Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Church History PhD

First Advisor

P. Gerard Damsteegt

Second Advisor

Jerry A. Moon

Third Advisor

Peter M. van Bemmelen

Abstract

This study analyzes and compares information from historical documents on the role and status of the church in the development of church-state relationships within the Roman Empire from A.D. 306 to 814 (from Constantine's ascendancy to the throne, to Charlemagne's death).

After the introductory chapter, chapter 2 analyzes church-state relationships at the time of Constantine. The chapter presents the Christian and Roman ways of understanding religion before Constantine, the changes that occurred because of Constantine's conversion to Catholicism, and his religious policies.

Chapter 3 analyzes the church-state relationships that existed form the time of Constantine's sons to the reign of Justinian. During this time, Catholicism replaced paganism and the Roman senate in the religious and political life of the empire. Also, it examines the development of the papacy and Justinian's religious policies.

Chapter 4 analyzes the church-state relationship during the reign of Clovis. It analyzes the significance of Clovis's conversion to Catholicism and to the political life of Gaul and the empire, as well as his model of church-state relations.

Chapter 5 analyzes the church-state relationship from Pope Gregory the great to the time of Charlemagne. It discusses Charlemagne's religious policies and the importance of the Catholic Church and the papacy to the Frankish empire and the legitimacy of the Carolingian dynasty. It presents the papacy's struggle for political power and its independence from the eastern empire after its alliance with the Frankish kings.

Chapter 6 analyzes and compares the church-state relationships that existed during the reigns of the four political leaders covered in the previous chapters- Constantine, Justinian, Clovis, and Charlemagne. The chapter suggests that the church-state model adopted by Justinian was similar to that of Constantine and the one adopted by Charlemagne was similar to that of Clovis.

This study proposes that just as Constantine's conversion and Charlemagne's coronation are considered turning points in history, Clovis's conversion and the reigns of Justinian and Vigilius can be considered tipping points for the beginning of the new European model of church-state relations and the fight for political supremacy by the papacy.

Subject Area

Church and state--Catholic Church--History, Church and state--History, Church and state--Rome--History, Catholic Church--History, Church history--Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600

Share

COinS