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Religions of the Constantinian Empire


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Table of Contents

Philosophical Variations
1: Christian versus Pagan in Eusebius of Caesarea
2: Latin Apologists and Roman Culture
3: The Metamorphoses of Platonism
4: Pagan Holiness
5: New Forms of Christian Holiness
Religious Plurality
6: Religions of the Vanquished
7: Religions of Transformation
8: Jews and Judaism
Christian Polyphony
9: The Religious Integrity of Constantine
10: The End of Sacrifice?
11: The Bible of the Constantinian Church
12: Celebrating Christ
13: From Origen to Arius
14: Retrospectives, Christian and Pagan

About the Author

Mark Edwards is Professor of Early Christian Studies at University of Oxford. His publications include Catholicity and Heresy in the Early Church (Ashgate, 2009) and John Through the Centuries (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003).


Throughout this useful volume, the repeated appearances of some of the same themes, issues and authors -- and, on occasion, the same texts -- in multiple chapters cumulatively invite the reader to appreciate the interconnectedness of diverse forms of literature and practice, and thus to ask whether the designation of them as 'diverse' would have been as obvious to readers and authors at the time. Perhaps more importantly, Edwards also warns against letting superficial similarities between texts become the basis for simple, reductionist statements about the 'religious identity' of authors, or seeking to neatly pigeonhole their works within clear intellectual genealogies. This detailed and thoughtful account is a useful introduction to a wide selection of early fourth-century writings and provides a fascinating insight into the innovation, experimentation and complexity of the age.
*Richard Flower, Late Antiquity *

[Edwards] is remarkably successful at ordering this diverse and complex material into a comprehensible whole, writing in a style that is elegant, precise [...], urbane and sometimes funny
*Adrian Spooner, Classics for All*

Those interested in exploring the complex nature of christianisation will find much here to stimulate their thoughts.
*Mark Smith, Churchman*

Mark Edwards's remarkably rich book, at once a tour d'horizon and a tour de force, in many ways represents the distilled result of decades of patient work. It is written in crisp language, and its thirteen chapters are at once concise and sharp... The great strength of Edwards's book lies with his sophisticated analysis of philosophical and patristic texts. The author's decision to read such philosophical polemics within the broader framework of religious history offers a new and enlightening perspective. He can thus highlight the emergence of new forms of saintliness (philosophical as well as Christian).
*Guy G. Stroumsa, Reading Religion*

In this rich study, Edwards offers a holistic picture of the age of Constantine, in which the religious, theological, and philosophical aspects stand out most conspicuously... this is a thorough, valuable, and enjoyable analysis, which will be in many ways an inspiration to scholars in ancient religions, early Christian studies, patristic theology, Roman history, and history of ancient philosophy.
*Ilaria L.E. Ramelli, Gnomon Vol. 90:1*

Edwards's volume invites the reader on a wide-ranging tour of the philosophical and religious landscape of late antiquity. Those who accept the invitation will perceive a scholar who displays a deft touch for eliciting valuable insights from a remarkable array of primary sources and facility with an equally broad range of academic disciplines. Each chapter has material that should encourage readers to reconsider time-honored theories and explore new avenues for scholarly research.
*David M. Reis, Journal of the American Academy of Religion*

I consider this book to be a major achievement in Constantinian studies, and graduate students and scholars in the late antiquity field will find pearls of knowledge in its pages.
*Charles M. Odahl, Sehepunkte*

This remarkable book is essential reading for all who engage with the early fourth century.
*Robin Lane Fox, Theology*

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