oa Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - The "Constantinian" sources of Western social ethics

Volume 4, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



Christians in the first century were a minority in a hostile world, and their ethical views were attuned to that context. Christians in the twentieth century - especially if by that noun we refer to people voluntarily committing themselves, at some cost, to living in the light of their confession of Christ - are also in a minority in a world committed to other loyalties, yet we do not reason as they did. This study shall seek to show summarily how some of the axioms of Western social thought are the product of the deep shift in the relation of Church and world for which Constantine soon became the symbol.

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