Transformation of the Classical Heritage #51: Doctrine and Power

Theological Controversy and Christian Leadership in the Later Roman Empire

Transformation of the Classical Heritage #51: Doctrine and Power
Carlos R Galvao-Sobrinho
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During the fourth century a. d. , theological controversy divided Christian communities throughout the Eastern half of the Roman Empire. At stake was not only the truth about God but also the authority of church leaders, whose legitimacy depended on their claims to represent that truth. In this book, Carlos R. Galvao-Sobrinho argues that out of these disputes was born a new style of church leadership, one in which the power of the episcopal office was greatly increased. He shows how these disputes compelled church leaders repeatedly to assert their orthodoxy and legitimacy-tasks that required them to mobilize their congregations and engage in action that continuously projected their power in the public arena. These developments were largely the work of prelates of the first half of the fourth century, but the style of command they inaugurated became the basis for a dynamic model of ecclesiastical leadership found throughout late antiquity.
"Scholars of early Christianity and of Christian theology more generally will find this fascinating reading. . . . Highly recommended. " * CHOICE * "A thoughtful and scholarly volume that has much to offer to anyone interested in either the Arian controversy itself or the wider subject of episcopal authority in late antiquity. " * Bryn Mawr Classical Review * "Cogently argued. " * Louvain Studies * "A fascinating and innovative study . . . Galvao-Sobrinho succeeds. " * Classical Journal * "This book is a learned, thoroughly researched, and original study of some less acknowledged non-theological aspects of the Arian controversies from the time of Emperor Constantine' s conquest of the East to the death of Constantius II. " * American Historical Review *
Carlos Galvao-Sobrinho is a historian and physician. He currently practices medicine in Racine, Wisconsin