Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity
The World of the Acts of the Apostles
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Klauck describes the religious world into which Christianity was born, by looking at it from the many experiences of the first Christians as recorded in Acts. For example: Peter encounters Simon the magician, the people of Lystra want to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas, and a soothsaying slave-girl is the occasion for conflict in Philippi. We come to Athens where Paul finds the city full of idols but also discovers an altar "to an unknown god" and delivers the famous Areopagus speech, and to Ephesus, where some burn their books of magic formulae, while others provoke a riot in the name of Artemis.
"Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity" makes for a fascinating account of these phenomena and their significance for Christianity historically and today.