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Constantine and the Future of Christianity
"Constantine and the Future of Christianity", Lecture by Peter Brown, of Princeton University
Thursday, October 24, 2013 in Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary's Hall, at 8:00 pm
The lecture deals with the views of the development and future of Christianity held by a leading Christian thinker, Eusebius of Caesarea, in the reign of emperor Constantine. In the light of these views, it will consider what were the limits of the possible for the emperor Constantine and those around him. In so doing, it may help to avoid the anachronism of ascribing to the first Christian emperor views of what he could do that were not thinkable in his own times.
Peter Brown, Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History, Emeritus, (Princeton University), is credited with having created the field of study referred to as "late antiquity" (A.D. 250–800), the period during which Rome fell, the three major monotheistic religions took shape, and Christianity spread across Europe. A native of Ireland, Professor Brown earned his B.A. in history from Oxford University (1956), where he taught until 1975 as a Fellow of All Souls College. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1986 after teaching at the University of London and the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Brown's primary interests are the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages and the rise of Christianity, and he has pursued them through investigations into such diverse topics as Roman rhetoric, the cult of the saints, the body and sexuality, and wealth and poverty.