Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire

In this fascinating book, Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker contest a widely held impression of Christianity. Basing their evidence on both verbal and visual texts, they systematically unravel the notion that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has always been central to Christian faith. Indeed, they point out, crucifixion scenes began to appear at a particular historical moment, when Carolingian emperors used violent means to establish a Christian empire. The popularity of crucifixion scenes was established as late as the end of the 11th century when violence entered theology with Anselm’s theory of atonement, and it escalated politically with the First Crusade against Muslims and Jews.


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