Douglas John Hall
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"Where in the World Are We?" (2006)Edit
- The conversion of Constantine ... was the effective beginning of “Christendom,” namely, of that particular form of the Christian religion that consists of a strong alliance of Christianity with political and social power, sometimes amounting to the practical identification of Christianity with the dominant forces of the society in which it finds itself.
- Christianity, with its strong emphasis on unity under one God (an emphasis that it shares with Islam), can seem an almost natural ally of empire—unless, of course, the prophetic-critical dimension of the biblical tradition, which the Jesus of the synoptics certainly represented, is allowed a hearing. But as the history of Christology in the West easily demonstrates, after the establishment of Christianity, the prophetic office of the Christ, based not only on Jesus’ teaching but (even more so) on his suffering at the hands of power, was definitely subdued in favor of his priestly and kingly offices. Triumphant peoples, successful peoples, possessing peoples—empires!—do not want crucified criminals as their chief cultic symbol, especially not when they themselves are the crucifiers ... as they regularly are!