Church and World

Eusebius's, Augustine's, and Yoder's Interpretations of the Constantinian Shift

By Simon P. Schmidt

Church and World

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  • ISBN: 9781532651526
  • Pages: 180
  • Publication Date: 2/14/2020
  • Retail Price: $23.00
Web Price: $18.40
Web Price: $18.40

Church and World

Eusebius's, Augustine's, and Yoder's Interpretations of the Constantinian Shift

By Simon P. Schmidt

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532651526
  • Pages: 180
  • Publication Date: 2/14/2020
  • Retail Price: $23.00
Web Price: $18.40

About-

“In the world but not of it”—an expression that has been interpreted in a multitude of ways. With the publication of Rod Dreher’s much-debated book The Benedict Option in 2017, the question of just how the church is to exist “in but not of the world” is once again on the minds of many. To provide answers true to the context in which the Western church now finds itself, it is worth first investigating how the question has been answered in the past. In determining what to do today, it helps to understand how we got here in the first place.

At the beginning of the fourth century, people were persecuted for being Christians; by the end of the fourth century, people were persecuted for not being Christians. This book is an academic investigation of how three paradigmatic theologians interpreted this so-called Constantinian shift: Eusebius of Caesarea (ca. 260–339), Augustine of Hippo (354–430), and John Howard Yoder (1927–1997).

Surprising similarities between the theology of Eusebius and Yoder become apparent, and underlying theological structures of how to interpret what it looks like to be a community that follows Christ are revealed.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“There is no debate that significant shifts happened in theology, ethics, and the relationship of church and world following the advent of Constantine as the first ‘Christian emperor.’ The only debate is how we are to understand these changes. This carefully researched and well-organized book is ideal to move this conversation forward. Even where readers disagree—and at places I certainly do—Schmidt carries the discussion forward through a careful naming of the pertinent issues.”

—Mark Thiessen Nation, Professor of Theology Emeritus, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, author, John Howard Yoder: Mennonite Patience, Evangelical Witness, Catholic Convictions



“How to understand the Constantinian shift has been debated intensively for many years. Schmidt’s substantial contribution to the debate demonstrates how Eusebius, Augustine, and Yoder interpret this shift—illuminating how to be a church in the world but not of the world. This book is a remarkable combination of sober analysis and constructive ambition—letting voices of the past guide the church of the present.”

—Jeppe Bach Nikolajsen, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Lutheran School of Theology in Aarhus, Denmark, and Adjunct Professor of Missiology at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society in Oslo, Norway

Contributors-

Simon P. Schmidt

Bio(s)-

Simon P. Schmidt holds a Cand.theol. from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and an MTS degree from Duke Divinity School, USA. His critical work on the relationship between church and state earned him a gold medal for academic achievement, paradoxically awarded by Danish queen Margrethe II of Denmark, head of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. He is currently employed at Lund University (Sweden).

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