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Extra info for A History of Christian Thought: From its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism
It is this last point which has produced the radical reaction in modern times against dogma. Since the heretic undermines not only the church but also the state, he must be not only excommunicated but also delivered into the hands of the civil authorities to be punished as a criminal. It was this state of the dogma against which the Enlightenment was fighting. The Reformation itself was still pretty much in line with the prior development of dogma. But certainly since the Enlightenment all liberal thinking has been characterized by the attempt to avoid dogma.
For this reason these people went into the desert with a suit or gown. The later Christian monks followed them in this respect, because they also were in despair over the possibility of living in this world. Some of the skeptics of the ancient church were very serious people, and drew the consequences which our snobbistic skeptics today are usually unwilling to do, who have a very good time while doubting everything. The Greek skeptics retired from life in order to be consistent. This element of skepticism was an important preparation for Christianity.
Those who participate are brought into a state of deep sorrow over the death of the god, and then after a time they have an ecstatic experience of the god resurrected. The suffering 14 A History of Christian Thought god is described in these mysteries. Ever since the Delphic Apollo we have the idea of the participation of God in the suffering of man. Apollo at Delphi had to pay for the guilt of slaying the powers of the underworld which have their own rights. Then there are the methods of introduction through psychological means.