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14876Re: Constantine and Ardashir (slightly OT)

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  • richfaussette
    May 30, 2013
      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, George Athas <george.athas@...> wrote:
      > Constantine definite did NOT establish a monotheistic state. He simply declared Christianity legal. Theodosius at the end of the 4th century was the one who turned the Roman Empire into a Christian state officially. So on that particular front, the claim is false.
      > Dean of Research,
      > Moore Theological College (moore.edu.au)
      > Sydney, Australia

      Dear George,

      Is it sufficient to say that Constantine merely declared Christianity legal?

      Constantine engaged with the Arian controversy calling the Council of Nicea to resolve the issue of the very nature of Christianity's monotheistic God. His goal was not to become a theologian but to resolve an issue that would cause individual religious sects to arise from Christianity. Gibbon wrote that there were 70 Zoroastrian sects extant when Ardashir set out to centralize and re-establish Zoroastrianism. Constantine's concern was Ardashir's concern.

      Constantine's interest was political. He is in fact establishing the structure of the religion in the empire, building its churches and appointing its hierarchy. He is centralizing the religion so he cannot tolerate theological dissension. Zoroaster would not tolerate the icon worshipping daevas, as Judaism and Christianity would not tolerate idol worship.

      Theodosius, in his turn, made what was already established the only acceptable form of worship in the empire.

      Rich Faussette
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