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mmw3lecture5cont

mmw3lecture5cont - Week Three Outline Lecture FiveImperial...

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Week Three Outline Lecture Five—Imperial Crisis and Theological Debate I) The Disintegration of the Roman Empire a) Strains on the Imperial Infrastructure during 3rd to 4th century i) Changing constitution of the army ii) Breakdown of imperial bureaucracy established by Augustus iii) Absence of further expansion meant lack of incentive iv) Breakdown of basic infrastructure v) Gibbon’s thesis b) Political Solution—Divide and Rule i) Gradual shift towards split of empire (1) Diocletian’s introduction of “tetrarchy” in early 4th century (2) Divided into East and West under Valentinian and Valens ii) Different constitution of East and West c) Social Solution—Appropriation of Christianity i) Diocletian’s persecutions in late 3rd century (1) Persecution vs. martyrdom ii) Adoption of Christianity as official religion of the empire (1) Emperor Theodosius (2) Pressure on Jews to convert iii) Orthodox triumph over other “heretical sects” like the Gnostic tradition iv) System of Caesaropapism (1) Suppression of “heresies” that undermine this concept (a) Monophysites (b) Arianism (c) First Council of Nicaea 325 (2) Marriage of convenience (a) Effect on empire (b) Effect on Christianity II) Suppression of Heresy a) The Tradition of Dissension in Early Christianity i) Where would Jesus stand?
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