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The early Christians were by no means a homogeneous group, let alone a church. This is the fascinating story of the beliefs, practices and experience of individual Christians of antiquity, their relationships to Jewish tradition and the wider Roman world, and the shockwaves they caused among their contemporaries. Ancient Christians are closely connected to today's world through a living memory and a common textual heritage - the Bible - even for those who maintain a distance from Christianity. Yet, paradoxically, much about the early Christians is foreign to us and far removed from what passes for this faith as it currently stands. The distinguished historian Hartmut Leppin explores this paradox, and considers how such a small, diverse band of followers originating on the edge of the Roman Empire was able within less than three centuries to grow and become its dominant force under Emperor Constantine and his successors.
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