imperial church, state religion & christendom

“The development toward an imperial Church and finally toward a state religion was almost a matter of necessity, given the constellation of late antiquity. Perhaps the Church had to take that road. It was a grandiose attempt to create a Christian ’empire’ and thus to unite faith, life, and culture…Only a careful look at the people of God in the Old Testament, their experiment with the state and the collapse of the experiment, could have preserved the Church from repeating the old mistake. But it was not possible in late antiquity or in the Middle Ages for people to read the Old Testament so analytically. Political theology was, instead, enraptured with David and Solomon. Only the history of the modern era shattered the dream…Today the experiment is truly at an end and can never be resumed.”

Gerhard Lohfink, Does God Need The Church? pp. 217–218 /// via Brian Zahnd


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