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Constantine and the Militarization of Christianity
(1976)
  • Charles M. Odahl
Abstract
Modern studies on early Christianity have shown that no Church leaders approved of Christian military service in the pre-Constantinian period, and the evidence for Christian soldiers before the fourth century is very slight; and, in contrast, that many Church leaders approved of Christian military service after Constantine’s conversion, and the evidence for Christian soldiers greatly increases through the fourth and fifth centuries. Full documentation has been provided to support such conclusions. These studies have also assumed that Constantine’s conversion to the faith and subsequent support of the Church were the immediate causes of this fundamental alteration in Christian attitudes toward service in the imperial legions. This assumption is probably correct, but the documentation necessary to provide it has not yet been provided. The present study attempts to fill this lacuna by showing how the Constantinian revolution undermined the Church’s pacific position and established an environment conducive to Christian military service. 
Disciplines
Publication Date
1976
Publisher
University Microfilms International
Citation Information
Charles M. Odahl. Constantine and the Militarization of Christianity. Ann Arbor, MI(1976)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/charles_odahl/79/