Archaeology / Fourth Century / Society and Religion

Fourth Century Church found in Iraq?

Erica Hunter, a professor of early Christianity at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, says historical evidence shows that by the early third century, the faith was well established in what is now southern Iraq by the Lakhmid dynasty, an Arab kingdom whose final ruler converted to Christianity […] Hunter is cautious about claims the newly discovered ruins are Iraq’s oldest church, but adds, “They certainly must be very, very early,” perhaps dating to the fourth century dating. (ht)  

Fourth Century

Oh God, Give Us a King That He Would Give Us Peace

“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. “Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since

Fourth Century

Donatism: Council of Arles

The first Council of Arles in the South of France was held a.d. 314, in consequence of an appeal of the Donatists to Constantine the Great, against the decision of a Roman Council of 313, consisting of three Gallican and fifteen Italian bishops under the lead of Pope Melchiades. This is the first instance of an appeal of a Christian party to the secular power, and it turned out unfavorably to the Donatists who afterwards became enemies of the government. The Council of Arles was the first called by Constantine and the forerunner of the Council of Nicaea. Augustin

Fourth Century

My Arguments against the ‘Good Constantine’

Image via Wikipedia So, yesterday evening, during class, the professor (whim I enjoy) asked whether or not the ‘conversion’ of Constantine was a good thing for the Church. My response was ‘Bad for the Church, Good for the World.’ Why? Because there was a certain amount of transference to State of Christian morality, although for the longest, you might be hard pressed to find. Further, Western Civilization was virtually built with Christianity. However, it institutionalized the Church and connected it to the State. As I wrote earlier, I felt that the Church lost its position as the loyal opposition,

Fourth Century

The Sayings of Antony the Great

When Christianity started to become too settled, Antony left and headed into the desert. Then came persecutions. Later, much later, Athanasius, during one of this exiles, wrote the life of Antony, perhaps as statement… Anyway, here are few of the Statements from Antony, one of Christianity’s first Monastics. (ht) 1. When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by accidie, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, “Lord, I wand to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be

Fourth Century

Constantine’s Summons to Nicaea

Fortunately, such things are preserved for us, as for a while now, I’ve heard that the original call for the Council of Nicaea was over the date of Easter, but Nicaea was far from just about Easter… Letter of Emperor Constantine summoning the bishops from Ancyra to Nicaea I believe it is obvious to everyone that there is nothing more honorable in my sight than the fear of God. Though it was formerly agreed that the synod of bishops should meet at Ancyra in Galatia, it seemed to us for many reasons that it would be well for the

Fourth Century

Scratch Pad One: Effects of Constantine

Image via Wikipedia I have to submit a paper tomorrow for a class on Church history. The topics are two fold – Constantine and Arianism. I thought I might use this blog as a scratch pad of sorts. So, here is the first part…. Admittedly, as a pluralist in a democratic society with a good start into the 21st century, the notion of a State-controlled church is appalling, and while I acknowledge these biases, I will seek to keep those prejudices to a minimum. There is little doubt that Constantine’s conversion is of great importance not only to Christianity