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Christians in general at this time mostly lived out the teachings of Christ as handed down in the Sermon on the Mount: they were pacifists, they practiced compassion and forgiveness and love of enemies, and so forth, which in the Roman empire marked them as more than a little weird. As far as I can tell, Constantine was the first high-profile convert who embraced Christianity wholeheartedly but did not abandon his previous life of warfare and violence. Saul of Tarsus converted and became St. Constantine does no such thing.

The conversion of Constantine and the Christianisation of Europe

He continues to live the opulent life of an emperor with forays as needed into actual warfare: trampling his enemies into the ground and so forth. Is it safe to say, then, that Constantine introduced cognitive dissonance into Christianity, kicking off a long tradition of Christian leaders who behave like barbarians? It seems to me that it is.

Constantine the Great and Christianity - Wikipedia

Jones make it clear that there is every reason to think that his conversion and faith were genuine, and I have no reason to think otherwise , he started doing things no Roman emperor had ever done: he started getting involved in discussions and decision-making involving doctrine. Traditional Roman religion was meant to be fun: yes, there were sacrifices and those sorts of thing, but mostly one summoned the gods for festivals and those so forth. No emperor before Constantine would have attended ecumenical councils to spend weeks or months debating esoteric matters of doctrine; Constantine not only attended the councils, but he attended as a subordinate.

Powerful and inspirational bishops and other leaders sprang up all over the place — especially in North Africa — and they got together for councils at Nicaea and elsewhere, but there was no central authority over all of them. The pope at that time was still just the bishop of Rome, with no more status or authority than the bishop of Alexandria or Nicomedia or Tyre. Popes are supposed to be humble like that; some are better at it than others. He was a bureaucrat, and it seems to me that his primary contribution to history was to normalize Christianity, to bring it under the umbrella of respectability so that, for the next two thousand years, it would become the tool of political and military leaders like him.

Professor Freedman hinted at this, suggesting that before Constantine Christianity was a feisty, energetic underground religion, rebellious in the face of authority and ready to embrace martyrdom if needed. After Constantine, Christianity had a big crown on, and a lot of rings that everyone had to kiss.

Davis SJ. Lynn Thorndike.

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Constantine and the Conversion of Europe

Unavailable for purchase. Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. This volume recounts the context of Constantine's "conversion" as a means of uniting an increasingly unwieldy empire which by the late third century was becoming more and more difficult to control.

Size: 7 X 4. Seller Inventory 2. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text.

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Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp s. Published by Hodder and Stoughton. About this Item: Hodder and Stoughton.


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  4. Condition: Acceptable. Used - Acceptable. Hardback edition. Ex-library with wear and barcode page may have been removed. Seller Inventory Z1-C Published by Hodder About this Item: Hodder, Hard Cover. Book-Good; sunned. Published by Hodder and Stoughton Thornhill, United Kingdom.