14879Re: Constantine and Ardashir (slightly OT)
- May 31, 2013--- In ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org, George Athas <george.athas@...> wrote:
> Constantine certainly contributed to the formation of a monotheistic state in a significant way, but it was not a reality in his day. While he himself became a patron of Christianity, the Roman Empire was still legally multitheistic (I think I just invented a new term). When Theodosius decreed Christianity the sole religion of the Empire, it was not simply rubber stamping the situation that had come about by his time. He still had to do some key things to shut 'paganism' down. But over the course of the fourth century, Christianity came to dominate the empire, and Constantine played a significant role in that.
> GEORGE ATHAS
> Dean of Research,
> Moore Theological College (moore.edu.au)
> Sydney, Australia
I agree. In the context of Jeffrey's query regarding Ardashir who centralized the Magian priesthood and the Zoroastrian text, I thought it important to note that Constantine did the same things and that previous Persian emperors had also centralized Judaism in Jerusalem and authorized a single legitimate text.
Constantine engaged with the Christian leaders, financed the building of their churches, made the churches diocese in the civil administration and prevented theological dissension regarding the nature of Christianity's monotheistic God from splitting them into a conglameration like the 70 sects of Zoroastrianism Ardashir had decided to reform into one cohesive operation.
Theodosius does not participate in this establishment activity. He brings what Constantine had begun to its logical, almost inescapable conclusion given the groundwork laid by Constantine.
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