Constantine's Influence to Christianity
The history of religion continues to play an important role in defining why certain aspects of religion are the way they are today. Understanding religion’s history can also help one appreciate the importance, value, and determination that certain individuals went through in order for that particular religion to gain freedom and acceptance in society. Throughout history, Christianity has shown exactly this. By learning about its history, one can gain an understanding of how it emerged into being one of the most popular religions in the world. Furthermore, better understanding of the religion, both historically and contemporarily, can help dispel any negative preconceived notions about Christianity. In the first three centuries after
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This conversion, being perhaps the most important changes in Roman history, has continued to be a controversial issue in regards to what Constantine’s motivation may be. Alexander Flick states: “Whatever the theories may be, the fact remained that for some reason Constantine invoked the aid of the Christians’ God and embraced Christianity as part of the state.” Nevertheless, it has been concluded by various historians that his motives were ambiguous and perhaps they could be a mixture of political thought and overall sincerity on his part. However, as this essay will prove, perhaps his conversion was initially sincere - by eventually making Christianity part of the state - it leads to the conclusion that it became merely political due to the future problems. As it will be further discussed, his political motivations resulted in the manipulation and control of the church.
The Edit of Milan’s initial goal was to simply accept Christianity as a religion. It was, however, followed by favoritism as the years went on. For example, in 313, a conflict in regards to the unity and acceptance of Christians surfaced by the Donatist faction. As the issue continued to persist, and matters could not be solved, Constantine got involved to help solve the issue. It was concluded that his verdict favored the Christians in solving the conflict. In the same years, the clergy were exempted from paying taxes and