By Vattimo, Gianni; Caputo, John D.; Robbins, Jeffrey W
John D. Caputo is Thomas J. Watson Professor of faith and arts and professor of philosophy at Syracuse collage and the David R. prepare dinner Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Villanova college. His latest books are The weak point of God: A Theology of the development and Philosophy and Theology. Gianni Vattimo is emeritus professor of philosophy on the college of Turin and a member of the eu Parliament. His books with Columbia collage Press are Christianity, fact, and Weakening religion: A discussion (with René Girard), no longer Being God: A Collaborative Autobiography, Art's declare to fact, After the loss of life of God, discussion with Nietzsche, the way forward for faith (with Richard Rorty), Nihilism and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics, and the legislations, and After Christianity. Jeffrey W. Robbins is affiliate professor of faith and philosophy at Lebanon Valley collage.
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8 This distinction between Christendom and Christianity spawns from a well-known historical narrative that refers to the imperial religion of Christianity that began in the fourth century ce when the Emperor Constantine effectively established Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine’s edict of toleration in 312ce ended nearly three centuries of sporadic, though at times quite severe, state-sanctioned Christian persecution. By the end of the fourth century, however, Christianity had become both the dominant and official religion of the Roman Empire and, with the possible exception of the few hangers-on such as the desert monks and a select group of monastics, the Christian church had fully embraced its newfound alliance with the powers that be.
Perhaps, as Dostoyevsky suggests, the Christianization of culture was a devil’s bargain from the start. Such is the argument of those like Elaine Pagels whose appreciation of the early Gnostic literature points to a time before the Christian community came to be defined by a specific set of authorized beliefs. As Pagels tells it and as our increasing knowledge of the Gnostic literature confirms, the first centuries of the church was a time of great diversity in terms of beliefs and practices. It was also a time during which many different Christian communities seemed to flourish, even in the face of official state persecution.
To borrow a phrase from the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we can consider the death of God movement as a “coming-of-age,” an effort at honoring our history by following a certain cultural and theological rite of passage. In this sense, even though the preoccupation of contemporary theology no longer centers around the death of God, this radical theological movement still speaks to us today as it testifies to a moment of transition and crisis within Western religious consciousness and thereby helps to establish the genealogy that would develop into what we now know as postmodern theology.
After the Death of God by Vattimo, Gianni; Caputo, John D.; Robbins, Jeffrey W