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Acta Theologica

On-line version ISSN 2309-9089
Print version ISSN 1015-8758

Abstract

KIRCHSCHLAEGER, P.G.. Slavery and Early Christianity - A reflection from a human rights perspective. Acta theol. [online]. 2016, vol.36, suppl.23, pp.66-93. ISSN 2309-9089.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/actat.v23i1s.4.

Addressing the topic "slavery and Early Christianity" is a difficult task for various reasons. First, it is complex to reach an understanding of slavery of that time. Secondly, there is the hermeneutic challenge of approaching the issue with a current mind-set that includes the notion of the abolition of slavery. Furthermore, from a contemporary perspective, a critical account of slavery and Early Christianity is possible, with the temporal distance protecting one from the consequences linked to a judgement about slavery. Finally, there is the hermeneutic challenge of engaging with texts from Early Christianity from an ethical perspective in order to reach present-day normative propositions, while respecting the original intention of the texts. In light of these challenges, this article will offer a brief overview of opinions on slavery in Hellenistic philosophy and in the Jewish tradition, and then discuss slavery and Early Christianity, followed by a reflection on slavery and Early Christianity from a human rights perspective.

Keywords : Slavery; Early Christianity; Human rights; Hermeneutics.

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