Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Labor
(3,045 words)

In the early church, labor was a duty as well as a mark of dignity. In his apology, written in 197 CE, Tertullian (Apol. 42.1–3) states that Christians are idle Brahmins nor Gymnosophists. Far from being infructuosi in negotiis (“unfruitful in business”), they engage in agriculture, arts, and commerce, just like the heathens do. In the apostolic fathers and early church fathers, idleness was a sin. Citing from Prov 6:6–11 that …

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Hengstmengel, Joost W., “Labor”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 30 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7993_EECO_SIM_00001874>
First published online: 2018



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