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Constantine and the rise of Christianity. Week Six. p ara = alongside. parallel. paralegal. parenthesis. j ect /jet = throw. projectile. eject. jettison. Constantine and the rise of Christianity. Week Six. I. A bride’s t rousseau.

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p ara alongside
para = alongside




j ect jet throw
ject/jet = throw




i a bride s t rousseau
I. A bride’s trousseau

The trousseau from the marriage of Secundus and Projecta combines pagan and Christian symbolism.

i a bride s trousseau
I. A bride’s trousseau
  • Constantine integrated Christianity with a pagan empire
ii the jesus movement
II. The Jesus Movement

A. Judaism

  • Toleration by Romans: No accommodation toward polytheistic cults, but Romans tried not to antagonize them
  • Pharisees: Stringent Jewish sect that resisted Roman culture, but did not advocate revolt
  • Zealots: Armed rebellion; Rome responds with severe repression
ii the jesus movement1
II. The Jesus Movement

B. Jewish Origins of Christianity

1. Jesus of Nazareth

  • Message: a kingdom of peace and love
  • Crucifixion: Jesus, savior of the world, dies a scandalous death
  • New theology
  • New practices: ritual meals, feet-washing, baptism

II. The Jesus Movement

2. Spreading the Faith

  • Paul of Tarsus: planted churches in Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy
  • Persecution
  • Attractive Christianity
rodney stark the rise of christianity
Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity
  • Question: How did a tiny and obscure messianic movement dislodge classical paganism and become the dominant faith of Western civilization?
  • Thesis: The central doctrines of Christianity prompted and sustained attractive, liberating, and effective social relations and organizations.
questions for discussion part i
Questions for discussion, part I
  • Chapter One
    • Describe the network theory of conversion.
  • Chapters Four and Seven
    • What made Christian faith so attractive? Push and pull.
b iblio libri book
biblio/libri = book




c orp carn body
corp/carn = body




questions for discussion part ii
Questions for discussion, part II
  • Chapter Five: Stark argues that Christianity was especially attractive to women. How so?
  • Chapter Eight: Stark argues that martyrs were not clinically crazy or masochistic. Why not?
  • Chapter Ten: In the end, what is the revolutionary message of the early Christians to the Roman world?
iii constantine christianity with an advantage
III. Constantine—Christianity with an Advantage

A. Empire on the Defensive

  • Over-extension of imperial boundaries
  • Archaic economic system
  • Barbarian menace

The Empire under Diocletian


B. Triumph of Christianity

  • Rise of Constantine
  • Conversion of Constantine
  • Official religion of Rome
  • Suppression of pagan cults
  • Growth of Christianity
iv imperialism christianity of violence
IV. Imperialism—Christianity of Violence

A. Theological debates

1. Nature of Christ

  • Monarchians
  • Gnostics
  • Arians
  • Origen and the Council of Nicea

2. Nature of Salvation

  • Donatists
  • Pelagians
  • Augustine of Hippo
iv imperialism christianity of violence1
IV. Imperialism—Christianity of Violence

B. Coercion

  • Emperor Theodosius
  • Case of Gaza
  • The Big Question
critiques of the constantinian shift
Critiques of the Constantinian Shift
  • Tertullian: “It is no part of religion to compel religion”
  • Lactantius: “There is no occasion for violence and injury, for religion cannot be compelled by force . . . We teach, we prove, we show.”
  • Augustine: “Christ-followers” had turned into “depraved persons who in mobs fill the churches in a bodily sense only.”
  • Jesus: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lauds those who are gentle, poor in spirit, peacemakers, and persecuted.
epilogue 1
Epilogue #1
  • Stanley Hauerwas, Shane Claiborne, Greg Boyd, and American civil religion
epilogue 2
Epilogue #2
  • The Trousseau