Stories matter. Every day, we hear stories and we tell stories about the world, and these stories in turn shape how we experience the world. These stories include anything from the stories of our religious traditions and our national myths to fairy tales, to our stories about how we were wronged in the check-out line … Continue reading A Storied World
I ended the previous post in this series reflecting on Empire with a quote from Paul's letter to the Romans. No exploration of how the New Testament related to the Roman Empire would be complete without a look this letter, written into the very heart of the Empire itself. But of course, not all Romans … Continue reading Whose Are You?
One of the most startling events in Christian history, and indeed one of the most game-changing events in Western history, was the Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity in the early fourth century. While the whole process of the "Christianization" of the Roman Empire took decades, Constantine's favoring of this once-despised sect set off a monumental … Continue reading “Not Like the Gentiles”: Empire vs. God’s Kingdom
We in the twenty-first century West — especially those of us with European ancestry — often bristle at the idea that Western culture can still be significantly understood as "Empire." Because we live in democratic societies, take our legal and political freedoms seriously, and, for the most part look back at the era of European … Continue reading Empire: A Brief History
Two thousand years ago, Jesus and his followers unleashed a strange new message into the world of the Roman Empire, which was nearing the apex of its power and authority. It was a world of large cosmopolitan cities and rural villages more-or-less untouched by the complications of 'modern' life. It was a world of unprecedented … Continue reading Empire Then and Now