SMC103Y1 October 6, 2009
Icon of two early desert fathers who have a mystical understanding of religion, but
also involves women and are by no means exclusive to men in this movement.
Constantianian ideal of Imperial Church
Constantine had a vision or ideal of an Imperial church. Constantine was the one
who called the Council, following his Theocratic ideal where he is emperor at the
head of both the church and the state. Emperors considered themselves responsible
to God for the spiritual health of their subjects (maintain orthodoxy). Constantine
always left the decision of the doctrine to the bishops, their role complimenting his
role of enforcing the doctrine, rooting out heresy, and upholding ecclesiastical unity.
Image shows the bishops and Constantine in the middle holding the Nicene Creed.
Bishops are only responsible for their own dioces, and Constantine mediates the
council for them to mediate their dispute.
In 380 CE, Emperor Theodosius expels the non-Nicene bishop of Constantinople and
appointed a pro-Nicene bishop, demonstrating his ability to depose and appoint
bishops through his authority. Romans are now told to profess the Nicene faith
compared to simply accepting it. Theodosius summons the council of
Constantinople in 381 CE. He outlaws paganism throughout Rome and enforces the
edicts of the Nicene Creed. Tax exemption from Christian clergy is one such benefit.
Theodosius is the last emperor to really be in charge of the Empire as he passes
each half to each of his two sons, and the Empire continues to split.
235 – 284 CE Rome is on brink of collapse, a series of 25 different Roman