If you have some time, watch FRC’s lecture with Jim Tonkowich talking about his new e-book, The Liberty Threat: The Assault on Spiritual Flexibility in America Right now. A single particularly intriguing aspect of the chat was Tonkowich’s dialogue of the increase of religious independence during the Roman Empire. Of certain relevance was the Edict of Milan of 313 A.D. Study George Weigel’s Initial Factors weblog on this essential document. Referencing the wonderful church historian Robert Louis Wilken (The Very first Thousand Several years), Weigel describes the document’s foundational importance in Western political believed and exercise:
[The Edict] associated all religions, not just Christianity it went beyond mere toleration and embodied a a lot more strong notion of religious liberty, based mostly on the conviction that true faith and real worship cannot be compelled and it handled the Church as a corporate physique with authorized legal rights, like home-proudly owning legal rights. As a result the not-genuinely-an-Edict of Nicomedia and Elsewhere cemented into the foundations of the West tips 1st sketched by the Christian philosopher Lactantius: that coercion and correct religious faith don’t mix because “God needs to be adored by folks who are free” (as Joseph Ratzinger would rewrite Lactantius a millennium and a 50 % afterwards, in the 1986 Instruction on Christian Liberty and Liberation). The instead humane provisions of the mis-named “Edict of Milan” had been not infrequently overlooked in subsequent Western heritage but that doesn’t change the fact that the “Edict” experienced a profound and, in numerous respects, beneficial affect on the potential of the West.
(Weigel quotes a passage from Wilken revealing that the Milanese origins of the paperwork placing the coverage into impact arose from meetings between Emperors Constantine and Licinius in the course of a state marriage ceremony.)
So, look at the lecture and learn other exciting things that will impress your buddies and confound your opponents.