Review of Religions of the Constantinian Empire(2016)
Mark Edwards, a Professor of theology and religion at Oxford University, has provided a number of important articles, textual translations, and books dealing with late antiquity over the past quarter century. In this magnum opus on Religions of the Constantinian Empire, he brings together his wide knowledge of the ancient literary sources to offer "a conspectus of change and persistence" (xi) in religious beliefs and practices under the shadow of Constantine's conversion to Christianity. In his introduction, he laments the overspecialization in modern academia which prevents practitioners of political history, philosophical studies, and theological debates from benefiting from the findings of their separate disciplines. As an historian of religion, he proposes to offer "a more holistic approach" (viii) in this tome by surveying and assimilating the philosophical discourses, religious rites, and theological debates of the historical period from A.D. 300 to 340 in order to better comprehend the spectrum of religious phenomena in the Constantinian Era. He partially succeeds through the breadth of subjects he includes, but partially stumbles with the manner of presentation he employs.
Citation InformationCharles M. Odahl. "Review of Religions of the Constantinian Empire" (2016)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/charles_odahl/84/