Christianity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter begins by observing that Christianity would have been unable to develop in the unprecedented way it did, had not the Roman Empire already opened up a vast domain to networks of communication. Kulikowski goes on to discuss two unforeseen consequences of Christianity’s success in eventually securing the adherence of emperors from Constantine onwards. First, Constantine’s decision to declare the rulings of the Council of Nicaea in 325 universally binding on all Christians, along with his successors’ concern to enforce orthodoxy, caused Christianity’s regional groupings and communication networks to gain the strength to survive the fall of the Empire in the West. Second, despite their intervention in church affairs, emperors could not serve as arbiters of matters of belief (all-important to Christians), so that laymen in search of guidance turned to alternative, and often competing, sources of authority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMercury's Wings
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages229-246
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780195386844
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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    Kulikowski, M. (2017). Christianity. In Mercury's Wings: Exploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World (pp. 229-246). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195386844.003.0013