The Church in Europe

The Church Shaping Empires, Empires Shaping the Church

This is a mosaic in the southwestern entrance of Hagia Sophia, the great cathedral built by Emperor Justinian in Constantinople, now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey.  The virgin Mary sits with child Jesus in the center.  To their left is the Emperor Constantine presenting a model of the city to them.  To their right is the Emperor Justinian presenting a model of the Hagia Sophia.  This symbolizes how temporal power bowed to Jesus, influencing law, cities, architecture, and art.  Photo credit:  Unknown, Public Domain. 


the church in europe: the church shaping empires, empires shaping the church

The selection of perspectives on church history in this section has been guided by three factors: (1) to demonstrate that Christianity has not been a “white man’s religion”; (2) the study of empire as a recurring motif in Scripture by recent biblical studies scholars; and (3) explorations of biblical Christian ethics on issues of power and polity, to understand how Christians were faithful to Christ or not.  Christian relational ethics continues a Christian theological anthropology that began with reflection on the human nature of Jesus, and the human experience of biblical Israel.

church and empire: reflections on faithfulness and compromise: topics