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The punishment of slaves in early Christianity: the views of some selected Church fathers

De Wet, Chris (2016) The punishment of slaves in early Christianity: the views of some selected Church fathers. ACTA Theologica, 23. pp. 263-282. ISSN 1015-8758

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With few exceptions, many of the Church Fathers approved, in principle, of the punishment of slaves. However, there were very specific guidelines on why, how, and when to punish slaves. The purpose of this article is to analyse more closely how some of the early Church Fathers conceptualised the punishment of slaves. The study begins, first, by examining the theological justifications for the punishment of slaves. Secondly, it assesses the reasons for punishment – for what reasons
did these Church Fathers admonish their slaveholding audiences to punish their slaves? Thirdly, the author investigates some selected Church Fathers’ advice on
how to punish, in terms of both the psychological disposition of the owner and the various methods for punishment directed towards the slave body. Finally, the article more specifically explores how these Church Fathers understood some of the main elements that were present in, during, and after punishment, namely fear and pain.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: punishment, slaves, church, history
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
College/Association with University of Divinity: ALC: Australian Lutheran College
Depositing User: Dr Suman Kashyap
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 04:32
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2019 04:32
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3472

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