There Is No Crime for Those Who Have Christ: Religious Violence in the Christian Roman Empire (Google eBook)

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University of California Press, Oct 14, 2005 - History - 410 pages
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"There is no crime for those who have Christ," claimed a fifth-century zealot, neatly expressing the belief of religious extremists that righteous zeal for God trumps worldly law. This book provides an in-depth and penetrating look at religious violence and the attitudes that drove it in the Christian Roman Empire of the fourth and fifth centuries, a unique period shaped by the marriage of Christian ideology and Roman imperial power. Drawing together materials spanning a wide chronological and geographical range, Gaddis asks what religious conflict meant to those involved, both perpetrators and victims, and how violence was experienced, represented, justified, or contested. His innovative analysis reveals how various groups employed the language of religious violence to construct their own identities, to undermine the legitimacy of their rivals, and to advance themselves in the competitive and high-stakes process of Christianizing the Roman Empire.Gaddis pursues case studies and themes including martyrdom and persecution, the Donatist controversy and other sectarian conflicts, zealous monks' assaults on pagan temples, the tyrannical behavior of powerful bishops, and the intrigues of church councils. In addition to illuminating a core issue of late antiquity, this book also sheds light on thematic and comparative dimensions of religious violence in other times, including our own.
  

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Contents

Religious Violence Political Discourse and Christian Identity in the Century after Constantine
68
Religious Violence in Donatist Africa
103
Augustine the State and Disciplinary Violence
131
Holy Men and Holy Violence in the Late Fourth and Early Fifth Centuries
151
Holy Violence Contested
208
Problematizing Episcopal Power
251
Of Holy Synods and Robber Councils
283
Conclusion
323
Bibliography
343
Index
369
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Michael Gaddis is Associate Professor of History at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

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