Soldiering for God

Soldiering for God : Christianity and the Roman Army

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Description

This new study argues that the religious attitude of the Roman army was a crucial factor in the Christianization of the Roman world. Specifically, by the end of the third century, there was a significant Christian presence within the army which was ready to act in the interests of the faith. Conditions at this time were thus ripe for the coming to power of a Christian emperor: when Constantine converted to Christianity he could rely upon the enthusiastic support of his Christian soldiers. Constantine strengthened his Christian base by initiating policies which accelerated the Christianization of the army. The continuation of these policies by Christian Roman emperors eventually allowed them to use the military as a vehicle for the suppression of paganism and 'heretical' Christian sects.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 476 pages
  • 165.1 x 246.38 x 30.48mm | 907.18g
  • Brill
  • Leiden, Netherlands
  • English
  • New.
  • 9004187316
  • 9789004187313

About John F. Shean

John F. Shean, Ph.D. (1998) in History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, is Associate Professor of History at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York. He has published several articles on religion and politics in antiquity.show more

Review quote

"Shean has provided a much-needed monograph on the development of Christianity within the Roman army, the role it played in the conversion of the Empire, and the ultimate Christianization of Europe." Dennis P. Quinn, California State Polytechnic University. Religious Studies Review, vol. 37 nr. 2 2011show more

Table of contents

List of Illustrations ... ix Preface ... xi Acknowledgements ... xiii Abbreviations ... xv Chapter One Introduction: The Warrior's Path to God ... 1 Chapter Two Roman Army Religion ... 31 Chapter Three Christian Attitudes towards the Roman State, War, and Military Service ... 71 Chapter Four Sociology of Early Christianity ... 105 Chapter Five Evidence for the Presence of Christians in the Roman Army ... 177 Chapter Six The Thirteenth Apostle ... 217 Chapter Seven Church and State in the Fourth Century ... 279 Chapter Eight The Impact of 'Barbarization' on the Roman Army ... 327 Chapter Nine Consequences of Conversion ... 369 Table 1 ... 409 Bibliography ... 415 Index ... 439show more

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