Yes, and this idea of a separate, divine world is found at every level of Christianity—a continuous insistence of being walled off. I'm doing an article on Paul, recalling my amazement at the book "Paul Among the People" by the classics scholar Sarah Ruden, who visited a Bible study, and realized she had specific knowledge about references. The Christians there were only guessing at them. I love a passage where she reflects on the separation between study of the ancient world & ‘religion’:

In seven years at Harvard as a classics graduate student, I got to know exactly two divinity students, and only as friends, not as scholars. I never met any of the divinity professors, wherever they were, somewhere up in the cloudy regions of the North Yard. Their language courses were separate, and in my curriculum there was not a single piece of Christian literature out of all that belonged to the era I was studying. We behaved as if the New Testament had not been written in Greek, as if Paul had not been a Hellenized Jew and by some accounts a Roman citizen, and as if the Roman Empire at its greatest period of power had not been in the early Christians’ background.

religion. sex. facts.

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