Rogers examines what archaeology reveals for the early centuries of the church. From the period of persecution to that of the northern invasions, iconographic evidence for the performance of baptism is presented. Eastern and Western Church fonts are compared and evidence for baptism without a font is assessed. The question of immersion is considered.
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Archaeology has revealed substantial evidence for the Christian rite of baptism. In this essay Rogers explores what archaeology actually reveals for the early centuries of the church. Dividing early ecclesiastical history into the periods of persecution, the councils, and the northern invasions, Rogers presents iconographic evidence for the performance of baptism accompanied by line drawings of each piece. He pays careful attention to the issue of immersion as the material is assessed. Moving to the question of physical remains of actual fonts, Rogers considers Eastern Church fonts, Western Church fonts, and instances in which no font was used. These are compared in considerable detail, further elucidating the question of how baptism was administered.
C. F. Rogers is a name that has long been associated with the study of baptism. His work on the subject is cited by major studies in the field and continues to be cited in current works.