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Book: Theorizing Religion in Antiquity

Chapter: 14. Whither Shall we Go? Tertullian and Christian Identity Formation

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.27974


It is today common practice to refer to identity-formation practices and processes when dealing with early Christianity. In addition, postmodern approaches to religion tend to focus on identity formation as the underlying aim of 'religion' as a phenomenon. Tertulian, perhaps the most important author of the early Christian period in the west, dedicates a treatise on the spectacles and whether, how, and why Christians should avoid participating as spectators to the games, theater, and other social gatherings curated by the Roman Empire on the basis of their pagan contents. Although his argumentation is based on theological principles, his discussion touches upon the issue of theorizing about space, religion, and identity.

Chapter Contributors

  • Nickolas Roubekas ( - nickolaspr) 'University of Vienna'