For half a century after its publication, in 1952, William Frend's The Donatist Church: A Movement of Protest in Roman North Africa remained the standard narrative on the late antique North African Christian controversy. Among the explosion of recent scholarship on late antique North Africa and the Donatist Schism in particular, Brent Shaw's monumental and magisterial Sacred Violence. African Christians and Sectarian Hatred in the Age of Augustine (2011) has had the most significant impact on revising Frend's traditional narrative. The book currently under review, itself revisionist, challenges several fundamental assumptions about the Donatist conflict, and its impressive roster of scholars systematically engages with Sacred Violence throughout, challenging its argument in...

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