There Is No Crime for Those Who Have Christ: Religious Violence in the Christian Roman Empire
"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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accusations actions Alexandria anger Antioch Antiochene argued Arian ascetic Athanasius attacks attempt Augustine Augustine’s authority Barsauma bishops C.Th Canon Catholic Chalcedon chap chapter Chris Christ Christian Chrysostom church Circumcellions claim clergy coercive condemned conflict Constantine Constantinople context council Cyril death Diocletian Dioscorus disciplinary discourse discussion divine Donatist ecclesiastical edict emperor empire enemies Ephesus episcopal Eusebius Eutyches extremists faith fear fifth centuries Flavian force fourth century Frend God’s Gregory hagiographer heresy heretics holy violence Hypatius Ibas ideology idols imperial incident Jews John Chrysostom Julian killed Lactantius late antique later latrocinium legitimacy Libanius Macarius Marculus martyrdom martyrs monastic monks Monophysite Nestorius Nicaea Nicene NPNF NPNF trans one’s Optatus pagan persecution persecutors polemical political punishment Rabbula religion religious role Roman secular power Sermon Shenoute Socrates soldiers sources Sozomen story suffered synod temples Theodoret Theodosius tian tion torture tradition tyrant-bishop unity Valens worldly zeal zealots