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Prologue: A Dead Body Is Lost to the World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2023

Hartmut Leppin
Affiliation:
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Am Main
Jan N. Bremmer
Affiliation:
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
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Summary

The ignominious death of Jesus on the cross was the starting point of the history of Christians. It could have meant the end of the followers of Christ, especially because soon the body of Jesus also disappeared. However, the Christians succeeded in interpreting the events for themselves by speaking of the resurrection of Christ and cultivating the expectation of his return (parousia). Such ideas seem strange to modern observers, but they were apparently convincing for enough contemporaries that the followers of Christ survived. However, they were continually dependent on words, because relics were initially lacking and only memories could help spread faith in Jesus.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Early Christians
From the Beginnings to Constantine
, pp. 16 - 24
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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