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Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica$
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Aaron P. Johnson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296132.001.0001

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The Church as Apologetic: Eusebius' Legitimation of Christianity

The Church as Apologetic: Eusebius' Legitimation of Christianity

(p.198) 7 The Church as Apologetic: Eusebius' Legitimation of Christianity
Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica

Aaron P. Johnson

Oxford University Press

Christianity, for Eusebius, finds legitimation over against the other nations as the restored Hebrew nation. This chapter identifies passages that offer ethnographical sketches of the results of Christianity’s spread throughout all nations (‘Persians no longer sleep with their mothers nor Scythians practice cannibalism, as was their ancestral custom,’ etc.). The chapter shows that Eusebius simultaneously blends universalism (people from any nation may join this restored Hebrew nation) and particularism (conversion involves the total rejection of one’s ancestral ethnic customs for a new way of life) through his ethnographical rhetoric.

Keywords:   ethnography, universalism, conversion, identity

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