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Christians and Their Many Identities in Late Antiquity, North Africa, 200-450 CE$
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Éric Rebillard

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451423

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451423.001.0001

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(p.92) Conclusion
Christians and Their Many Identities in Late Antiquity, North Africa, 200-450 CE

Éric Rebillard

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes key findings. This book has tried to determine the circumstances under which Christians invoked Christianness as the guiding principle of their behavior. It appears that Christians were aware of the issues associated with handling multiple identities and that religion was given salience only intermittently, as was also the case with their other category membership sets. Groupness based on Christianness also occurred only intermittently, and Christians could be involved in groupness that was not based on Christianness. The case of North Africa demonstrates that religion and religious affiliation were neither the unique nor even the primary principles of action for Christians. The chapter also discusses how the spread of religious pluralism made individuals more aware of issues related to handling different category membership sets, and the need to abandon some old paradigms for Christians in late antiquity. It concludes by calling for a broader and more systematic comparison of the pre-Constantinian and Theodosian periods.

Keywords:   Christians, Christianity, Christianness, groupness, religious affiliation, religion, North Africa, religious pluralism

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