Rethinking Constantine: History, Theology, and Legacy

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This suggests that perhaps both demonology and hagiography should be avoided in reconstructing this intriguing figure who, no doubt, wanted to be perceived as the first Christian Roman emperor Origo Constantini Imperatoris 6. Their goal was nothing less than to rethink and reassess Constantine. This is explicitly stated in the editorial Introduction p. However, at least to the current reviewer, this looks a bit like an overstatement. Arguably, the page volume amends the controversial assertions of a few particular Constantine scholars, but it hardly reshapes for better, of course the whole field so that no one will ever say the things that the authors of Rethinking Constantine have rejected as inadequate.

But why such reservation about this project?

Rethinking Constantine: History, Theology, and Legacy

To be frank, every scholar, who has been interested in Constantine and his relation to Christianity, has tried to do this. Glen Thompson provides a beautiful opening accord to the whole collection by offering a brief but helpful overview of the current state of Constantinian studies. He highlights the contribution of Timothy Barnes especially his monograph of , and ends by mentioning the massive study of Jonathan Bardill His bishop-advisers later helped him to identify the deity in his vision as Christ VC 1.

Instead, Thompson suggests that the notion simul iustus et peccator might be a more adequate way of thinking about the allegedly Christian Constantine. Shelton proceeds by quoting heavily various Lactantius scholars e. David Alexander authors the longest essay in the collection pp.

Constantine - Bibliography

It is about Constantine and his role in the Donatist schism which definitely deserves a close study. This had actually been the dividing issue since the time of Cyprian and Stephen, as well as the decision of eighteen Numidian bishops at the Council of Carthage in Good stuff! No doubt, one needs to read Eusebius as much as one can, because his writings are among the best contemporary sources about Constantine. But Armstrong goes further than that.

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However, the rest of the article is again about other things than Constantine. Perhaps the primary reason is that Emperor Constantine never ceases to fascinate.

His story is like a good tale which has something for everyone—a quest for power, military campaigns, political intrigue, scandal, murder, religious disputes, demonstrations of piety, and lavish projects. No wonder that throughout the centuries, he has provoked various interpretations, debates, and speculation.

It has never been dull and boring with him.

Tarmo Toom Georgetown University. Advanced Search. Smither editor.

Early Christian Schisms - Ephesus, the Robber Council, and Chalcedon - Extra History - #4

Smither editor Essays exploring the historical and theological legacy of Constantine, unravelling the complexities of a significant figure in the history of the church. Buy Now.

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About this Book About this Book. Contents Contents. Smither 1. Litfin Bibliography Index. Extracts Extracts. About the Editor About the Editor. Reviews and Comments Reviews and Comments. Like him or dislike him, one cannot ignore Constantine in Christianity. His legacy can be seen at every turn, from Sunday observance to law to ecclesiastical dress! These essays help us to come to terms with the scope of that legacy. Thomas O'Loughlin, University of Nottingham In recent days, both scholarly re-assessment of this revolution and popular fiction have brought Constantine to public notice once again, and this collection of essays provides an extremely helpful guide in taking stock of one of the great turning points in church history.

Rethinking Constantine: History, Theology, and Legacy

Michael A. The contributors go a long way toward accomplishing this task.


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In place of the caricatured Constantine of popular fiction and theology, this collection of essays presents a living, breathing Constantine, flawed and failing, but a genuine believer struggling to use his power in a way that would please the 'Supreme God' who had chosen him.

Other Titles b B y the Same Author.