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Constantine and the Church 0 – Series Intro

Posted: August 10th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Constantine | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

As I was writing my series on the history of the belief and practice of the Eucharist, I decided I would next reflect on the pervasive modern myth that Constantine somehow subverted or radically changed the Church. This myth surfaces in a wide variety of ways. Some people assert that the dogma of the Trinity was invented under Constantine. Others assert that the Church somehow immediately changed into an entity concerned about worldly power and glory. Others claim that Constantine somehow took control of Christianity. Others assert that previously legitimate Christian beliefs and writings were excised when the Church eventually established a New Testament canon of Scripture. While I don’t think the many ways this idea pervades much modern thought can even be numbered, it’s another common myth about the history of the Church.

I think in looking at the consistency in belief and practice of the Eucharist, I helped dispel the other common myth that the Church somehow “lost” the faith after the Apostles died. In this series, I’m going to tackle the idea that Constantine somehow “corrupted” the faith that the Church under persecution had preserved. There’s no more historical basis for the latter idea than there is for the former.

If you’re reading and there’s some particular version of this myth about which you wonder, please post it in a comment or email it to me. There are so many different versions of this myth that I can’t possibly address them all. So I’m going to focus on the general consistency of the faith before and after Constantine. But I’ll be happy to explore any specific topic if it’s one that is of particular interest to someone.

One Comment on “Constantine and the Church 0 – Series Intro”

  1. 1 mike said at 6:20 am on August 10th, 2009: