Constantine the Populist. / Cooper, Kate.

In: Journal of Early Christian Studies, Vol. 27, No. 2, 26.06.2019, p. 241-270.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



It has long been acknowledged that although the reign of Constantine (d. 337 c.e.) brought new prosperity to the Christian churches, it was also an age of ever-escalating division. This essay suggests that recent scholarship on populism can help us to understand the role of conflict in Constantinian Christianity. Structured conflict, we suggest, had a recognized value as a tool for cultivating the loyalty of a following. The creation of factional loyalty, rather than spiritual unity, seems to have been the aim of the fourth-century Christian bishops and clergy. Yet it is less clear whether this goal was shared by the emperor himself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-270
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Early Christian Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2019
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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