Constantine: Religious Faith and Imperial Policy  book cover
1st Edition

Constantine: Religious Faith and Imperial Policy

ISBN 9780367880446
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
160 Pages

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Book Description

Constantine: Religious Faith and Imperial Policy brings together some of the English-speaking world’s leading Constantinian scholars for an interdisciplinary study of the life and legacy of the first Christian emperor. For many, he remains a "sign of contradiction" (Luke 2:34) whose life and legacy generate intense debate. He was the first Christian emperor, protector of the Church, and eventually remembered as "equal to the apostles" for bringing about the Christianization of the Empire. Yet there is another side to Constantine’s legacy, one that was often neglected by his Christian hagiographers. Some modern scholars have questioned the orthodoxy of the so-called model Christian emperor, while others have doubted the sincerity of his Christian commitment, viewing his embrace of the faith as merely a means to a political end. 

Drawing together papers presented at the 2013 symposium at Stockton University commemorating the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, this volume examines the very questions that have for so long occupied historians, classicists, and theologians. The papers in this volume prove once again that Constantine is not so much a figure from the remote past, but an individual whose legacy continues to shape our present.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

Foreword - Tom Papademetriou



A. Edward Siecienski

Part One: Debates

Constantine and religious extremism

H.A. Drake

The significance of the Edict of Milan

Noel Lenski

Part Two: Historiography

The sources for our sources: Eusebius and Lactantius on Constantine in 312-313

Raymond Van Dam

Constantine in the pagan memory

Mark Edwards

Writing Constantine

David Potter

Part Three: Legacy

The Eusebian valorization of violence and Constantine's wars for God

George E. Demacopoulos

Constantine the Pious

Peter J. Leithart

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A. Edward Siecienski is Associate Professor of Religion and Pappas Professor of Byzantine Culture and Religion at Stockton University, New Jersey, USA. He is the author of The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy (2010) and The Papacy and the Orthodox: Sources and History of a Debate (2017).


"Its intended audience is mostly scholars and graduate students. Students of Eusebius, in particular, of late antique religious policy, textual representations of historical figures, in obvious addition to Constantine, should find ample food for thought in this interesting book."

- Eric Fournier, West Chester University of Pennsylvania. In Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2018.04.16