Classifying Christians (Hardcover)

Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity

By Todd S. Berzon

University of California Press, 9780520284265, 320pp.

Publication Date: February 23, 2016

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Description

Classifying Christians investigates late antique Christian heresiologies as ethnographies that catalogued and detailed the origins, rituals, doctrines, and customs of the heretics in explicitly polemical and theological terms. Oscillating between ancient ethnographic evidence and contemporary ethnographic writing, Todd S. Berzon argues that late antique heresiology shares an underlying logic with classical ethnography in the ancient Mediterranean world. By providing an account of heresiological writing from the second to fifth century, Classifying Christians embeds heresiology within the historical development of imperial forms of knowledge that have shaped western culture from antiquity to the present.


About the Author

Todd S. Berzon is Assistant Professor of Religion at Bowdoin College.


Praise For Classifying Christians: Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity

"Berzon's book offers a potent epistemological reflection on the production, organization, and limits of knowledge in late antiquity... a finely articulated meditation on the effects of theological and ethnographic ancient list-making."

— Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Classifying Christians is a remarkable book... indispensable."

— Reading Religion

"Todd S. Berzon’s Classifying Christians: Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity partakes of these rich conversations by offering a sustained and convincing reflection on the adaptations, innovations, and antinomies of heresy-writing in the late ancient period."

— Ancient Jew Review

"Classifying Christians is a learned, wide-ranging, and exciting new study on ancient Christian heresiology... we look forward to Todd Berzon’s next [volume]."

— Histos

"This volume clears more space in our scholarly discourse for several topics which are only recently starting to receive a fraction of the attention they deserve."

— Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum

"Classifying Christians is a splendid and challenging study, a must-read for scholars in the field of Late Antique theological polemics. . . . immersive and engaging while intellectually challenging at the same time."


— Augustiniana