Patristic Age and Politics

From the O’Donovans’ From Irenaeus to Grotius. These are summary points of the introductions to each section.

Outline on Irenaeus to Grotius

  1. Baptismal rules treated military as a problematic profession.
  2. There were Christians in the armed forces.
  3. The difficulty explained
    1. The military oath had quasi-religious connotations.
    2. Then there was the responsibility of bloodshed.
  4. Christian opinion changed imperceptibly between Tertullian and Basil.

There was a subtle difference in how West and East approached rule.  The former was a res publica and the latter a Basileus.

East

Moses as law-giver
Nomos subsumed under Logos

West

  • The line b/t political imagination and Christology was formed by the narratives of Christ’s confrontations with power and the reality of future judgment.
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