Book Review: The Final Pagan Generation

I am happy to announce that I have a new book review in publication! The review is in the Journal of Late Antiquity and looks at Edward J. Watt’s The Final Pagan Generation, which examines how Christianity snuck into the Roman elite consciousness unbeknownst to the Roman elites.

Here is a snippet of the review:

“While much scholarship has been devoted to the Christianization of Rome in the fourth century ce, the lives and experiences of those who were not swept up in religious changes are often overlooked. Watts seeks to correct this imbalance with The Final Pagan Generation. A natural development from his previous work on social interaction in the Roman academy and the roots of religious dissent which culminated in riots in fifth century Alexandria, The Final Pagan Generation captures the religious timbre of the late Roman Empire, filtering historical and religious change through the eyes of those born in the early fourth century, when Roman institutions seemed unshakeable and Christianity was a marginal force in Roman life. Watts problematizes the view that the triumph of Christianity was inevitable, arguing instead that the changes of the fourth century, although writ large in hindsight, were incomprehensible to those living through them. Instead, he suggests a generational divide existed which isolated the final pagan generation from a younger cohort which sought new social and religious possibilities in a changing empire.”

Those of you with access to an online journal database or through your university library can read the full review here.

Of course, I offer my sincerest thanks to the editorial team at the Journal for Late Antiquity for helping to make this happen and being wonderful to work with!