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Sacred Violence: African Christians and Sectarian Hatred in the Age of Augustine Paperback – October 17, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"... a truly noble work that represents a very modern collection of insights into late antique North Africa and African Christianity ... the book summarises the many theories about North African Christianity and Donatism to emerge over recent decades but then also asserts a rather coherent set of insights by Shaw that will undoubtedly shape research for some time to come. In the expanding library of works on ancient North African Christianity Brent Shaw's book will be a must-have amidst the ranks of WHC Frend, Serge Lancel, and Maureen Tilley ... an indispensable addition to the growing sources available for fans of late antique research. Brent Shaw has set a new standard for efforts into the field of North African Christianity and Donatism and this book is indeed a very valuable new volume in an expanding area of interest ... I endorse the work vividly."
Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses

"Brent Shaw's study offers a compelling and meticulous history of violence for late Roman North Africa, with a focus on the "sanctified violence" of the fourth and fifth centuries. Sacred Violence is an enormous, humane work of monumental importance for which Shaw should rightly receive many accolades. It is written with a verve and alacrity which given its length, is a remarkable achievement."
Nicholas J. Baker-Brian, The Journal of Roman Studies

Book Description

This detailed study of the sectarian battles which divided African Christianity in late antiquity explores how the emerging church and the Roman imperial state interacted to repress or excite violent action. Shaw uses this historical case as a model to explain how acts of religious violence are provoked and sustained.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 930 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521127254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521127257
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By linnea s. turner on January 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was brilliant in places, with a detailed description of the sources and development of violence in north Africa from the early 4th to the mid 5th Century. Not unsurprisingly it relies heavily on the writings and sermons of Augustine.
At times it seems somewhat disorganized, moving somewhat haphazardly from later event to earlier event. The author seems not to take very seriously violence against women in his overall discussion of sacred violence.
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