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Consequences Of Conversion

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Chapter Summary

One of the unanticipated consequences of the creation of the Christian Roman empire was the loss of religious freedom in the Roman world which partly led to the alienation of a substantial portion of the empire's population and shrinkage of the territory controlled by the Roman state. The elevation of the church to a privileged position of influence brought with it a shift in the locus of moral authority. By the end of the fourth century, with the spiritual life of the Roman world overwhelmingly under the guidance of the church, the clerics used this position to become the sole arbiters of Christian morality and Christian duty. In the end, Constantine was unable to suppress the dissidents and forced to accept division and agreed to build new churches for the orthodox to replace those seized by the Donatists.

Keywords: Christian Roman empire; Constantine; Roman world



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