A half-century ago, Arnaldo Momigliano argued that in electing Christian bishops to a privileged role in the Roman state, the emperor Constantine (d. 337) made a tragic mistake. On Momigliano's view, Constantine's dream of a peaceful empire united under a single God was destined to fail, because monotheist religious institutions by their very nature undermine the political and social pluralism necessary to a multi-cultural social order. A pyramid of consultation based in a single institution, Momigliano suggested, leads inevitably to either-or decisions about truth.

The Constantine's Dream project investigates the role of violence in early Christianity during the century before and after the reign of Constantine, asking what was distinctive about the Christian approach to violence, and the role of violence in establishing identities and boundaries between communities.Though the project involves traditional historical work such as establishing the date and context of surviving documents, it draws on contemporary psychological, sociological, and pedagogic approaches to the role of violence in creating cognitively 'sticky' communication strategies, and on post-colonial approaches to the 'politics of identity' in the context of the multi-cultural Roman empire.

 



"I Died in Hawara"

Producer: Kate Cooper Date: 25 December 2013 Video

‘Book burning as conflict management in the Roman Empire (213 BCE – 200 CE)’

Author: Dirk Rohmann Date: 25 December 2013 Journal article

Between Heaven and Earth: Law, Ideology, and the Social Order in Late Antiquity

Organiser: Kate Cooper Date: 08 October 2013 Organised event

Religion and Violence in Early Christianity and Early Islam

Organiser: Kate Cooper Date: 08 October 2013 Organised event

Religious Identity, Conversion, and Ethnic Identity in Late Antiquity

Organiser: Kate Cooper Date: 08 October 2013 Organised event

Religion, conflict and violence in contemporary and historical perspective

Organiser: Kate Cooper Date: 08 October 2013 Organised event

Conflicting Identities: Religion, Race and Belonging in a Changing World

Organiser: Kate Cooper Date: 08 October 2013 Organised event

Empathy For the Romans (Web-published videos and Web Page)

Author: Kate Cooper Date: 08 October 2013 Website

Violence and Authority in Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History

Author: James Corke-Webster Date: 28 September 2013 Other

Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Author: Kate Cooper Date: 01 August 2013 Book

Faces and voices : identity, culture and artefacts from Roman to contemporary Egypt

Curator: Kate Cooper Date: 14 January 2013 Organised event

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Author and authority : literary representations of moral authority in Eusebius of Caesarea's The Martyrs of Palestine

Author: James Corke-Webster Date: 01 June 2012 Book chapter

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Christianity, private power, and the law from Decius to Constantine : the minimalist view

Author: Kate Cooper Date: 25 December 2011 Journal article

A father, a daughter, and a procurator : authority and resistance in the prison memoir of Perpetua of Carthage

Author: Kate Cooper Date: 01 November 2011 Journal article

Start date
29 September 2009
End date
28 September 2012
Grant holder
Professor Kate Cooper
Grant amount
£442,256.78
Grant reference
RES-071-27-0070
Discipline
No Lead Discipline
Grant type