Posts Tagged ‘Constantine’


Sarah Bond on the Church and Funerals in Late Antiquity

How were the funerals for the dead managed in the period of “late antiquity,” roughly spanning the middle 3rd to late 6th century? Historian Sarah Bond of Maquette University surveys the “disreputable profession” of funeral workers prior to, and after, the Edict of Milan, noting how the change in church-state relations that occured had a dramatic impact on the this critical industry. In the post-Constantinian era, funeral workers were often used as bodyguards and personal militaries for bishops, and the process of interring bodies opened the door to a great deal of corruption (rent-seeking) within the Church.

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Ron Mock on Pacifism, War, and Terrorism

In light of the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and recent assaults on US diplomatic missions overseas, we explore the topic of Christian pacifism in the face of terrorism with Prof. Ron Mock of George Fox University. To exploare the roots and extent of his pacifist beliefs, we ask Prof. Mock whether or not he would have fought during the American War of Independence, which in turn leads to a discussion of his own pacifist background. We then discuss a number of philosophical issues related to pacificism in the abstract and the apply them to the topic of terrorism, discussion why Prof. Mock believes that the recent actions of the US (including drone strikes) have been counter-productive and what strategy would be more appropriate. This podcast was recorded on September 14, 2012.

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Rodney Stark on the Triumph of Christianity, Part II

Rod Stark rejoins our podcast to discuss the second portion of his book, “The Triumph of Christianity.” We survey the epoch from the Edict of Milan up until the start of the Protestant Reformation, covering topics such as the relationship between Christianity and economic growth, the Church’s role in promoting science, religious opposition to slavery, the supposed demise of paganism, the religiosity of the common folk, and the various “reformations” that were taking place within the Christian Church throughout this era, eventually leading to Luther’s Reformation.

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Rodney Stark on the Triumph of Christianity, Part 1

How does a small group of invididuals in a religiously-hostile environment build a sectarian movement of Judaism into the world’s largest faith tradition? Prof. Rodney Stark (Baylor) discusses the important sociological ingredients for Christianity’s success in the first three centuries of its existence. We examine the religious landscape at the time of Jesus’s birth (including both paganism and Judaism), as well as the sometimes surprising role of that mercy, persecution, wealthy individuals, and gender played in the growth of Christianity.

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Jim Papandrea on the Church Fathers & Patristic Exegesis

Who were the early Church Fathers? How did they interpret the Scripture? And how did their interpretations change over time and shape Christianity? Prof. Jim Papandrea of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary takes up these questions in a fascinating review of history of the early Church. Dr. Papandrea discusses four different phases of “patristic exegesis” and reflects upon how the history of Scriptural interpretation matters for our religious lives today. He also answers the age old question of whether or not you should tell someone their clothing tag is hanging out during religious services. Jim’s answer to that quandry is actually quite profound!

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