Volcano Eruption Influenced Medieval Iceland’s Conversion to Christianity

Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island’s conversion to Christianity, new research suggests. 03.19.2018 A team of scientists and medieval historians, led by the University of Cambridge, has used information contained within ice cores and tree rings to accurately[…]

Edom Divided: Jews and Christian Anti-Judaism in the Reformation

Jews in the Syngagoue by Rembrandt / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Lars Fischer / 10.27.2017 Honorary Research Associate, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies University College London “The Reformation” is really an umbrella term that covers a whole range of partly distinct, partly overlapping reformations that emerged and unfolded (even narrowly conceived) over the best[…]

When Americans Tried – and Failed – to Reunite Christianity

LeventeGyori/Shutterstock.com By Dr. David Mislin / 11.08.2017 Assistant Professor, Intellectual Heritage Program Temple University Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther, a German monk, initiated a split in Christianity that came to be known as the Protestant Reformation. After the Reformation, deep divisions between Protestants and Catholics contributed to wars, hostility and violence in Europe and America. For centuries, each side[…]

Ritual Landscapes in Pagan and Early Christian England

   By Dr. Austin Mason and Dr. Tom Williamson Mason: Assistant Professor of History, Carleton College Williamson: Professor of Landscape History, University of East Anglia Abstract This article explores some of the complex relationships which existed between topographic patterns and social organization in early medieval England. It argues that group identities were not entirely elective[…]

Did Financial Exigency Drive the Roman Empire to Embrace Christianity?

Detail of a Tapestry depicting Constantine’s Victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge designed by Peter Paul Rubens  1623-1625 CE. Photographed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Mary Harrsch © 2011 By Mary Harrsch / 12.20.2017 Historian Writing sometime between AD 307 and AD 310, an anonymous Gallic panegyrist recorded that Constantine witnessed a pagan theophany of Apollo accompanied by Victory, offering him laurel wreaths.[…]

Theodoret and Early Christian Growth in the Greek East

By Dr. Ioannis Papadogiannakis Lecturer in Patristics King’s College London Earth and sea are freed from their ancient ignorance; the error of idols is no longer to be seen; the darkness of ignorance has been dispersed, and the light of knowledge fills with its rays the whole inhabited world. Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians recognize the[…]

Early Modern Islam-Christian Transfers of Military Technology, 1730-1918

Château de Coussac-Bonneval / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Virginia H. Aksan / 01.14.2011 Professor Emeritus of History McMaster University Introduction Contained after 1700, the Ottoman threat to Europe evolved into an Austro-Russian-Ottoman struggle for hegemony over the remaining frontiers of the Danube, the Crimea and the Caucasus. The era from 1700 to 1900 is generally[…]

Consequences of the Reformation Continue to Fade Five Centuries Later

Illustration of a small crowd gathered to watch as Martin Luther directs the posting of his 95 theses, protesting the practice of the sale of indulgences, to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. Dated 1517. (Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)        By (left-to-right) Dr. Gregory A. Smith, Dr. Jessica Martinez, Dr. Becka[…]

European Calvinism: Church Discipline

John Calvin on his deathbed in 1564, from a 19th-century engraving / Public Domain    By Dr. Jordan J. Ballor (left) and Dr. W. Bradford Littlejohn (right) / 03.25.2013 Ballor: Senior Research Fellow and Director of Publishing, Acton Institute Littlejohn: Research in Theology and Ethics Abstract This article surveys the 16th-century development and dissemination of[…]

Byzantine Amphora with Christian Inscription Discovered in Roman Trimammium Fortress

The six-line inscription in Ancient Greek found on the fragment of a 6th century AD Byzantine amphora in the Trimammium Fortress in Northeast Bulgaria. Photo: Ruse Regional Museum of History By Ivan Dikov / 01.09.2018 Part of an Early Byzantine amphora with a fully preserved inscription in Ancient Greek dedicated to Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary[…]

The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus: Early Christian Adoption and Adaptation of Roman and Greek Art Forms

Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, marble, 359 C.E. (Treasury of Saint Peter’s Basilica) By Dr. Allen Farber / 08.08.2015 Professor of Art History State University of New York College at Oneonta Please note that due to photography restrictions, the images used in the video above show the plaster cast on display in the Vatican Museum. Nevertheless,[…]

An Introduction to Early Christian Art and Architecture

Colossal statue of Constantine the Great, 4th century (Capitoline Museum, Rome) (photo: Jean-Christophe BENOIST CC BY 2.5) By Dr. Allen Farber / 08.08.2015 Professor of Art History State University of New York College at Oneonta Early Christianity Two important moments played a critical role in the development of early Christianity: 1. The decision of the Apostle Paul[…]

What History Really Tells Us about the Birth of Jesus

The nativity scenes celebrated each Christmas bear little resemblance to history. skepticalview/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND By Dr. Robyn J. Whitaker / 12.21.2017 Bromby Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies Trinity College University of Divinity I might be about to ruin your Christmas. Sorry. But the reality is those nativity plays in which your adorable children wear tinsel and angel[…]

Flowers in Renaissance Manuscripts and Their Symbolism

Red roses in the Getty’s garden and as a detail in All Saints from the Spinola Hours, about 1510–20, Master of James IV of Scotland. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig IX 18, fol. 257v Manuscript curators shed light on the associations and uses of seven favorite garden flowers in Renaissance manuscripts and their symbolism for[…]

The Other Hippies in the 1967 Summer of Love – the ‘Jesus People’

A crowd at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco celebrates day one of the ‘Summer of Love.’ AP Photo By Dr. Larry Eskridge / 09.15.2017 Instructor in History Wheaton College This year marks the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love.” Popular culture remembers the tens of thousands of joyous young hippies that descended upon San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district to[…]

When African-American ‘Gospel Sermons’ Came on the Phonograph

Oak Grove Acapella Singers, a Gospel group of Chester County, Tennessee, being recorded while singing in the office of the preacher at the Oak Grove Church of Christ. Tennessee State Library and Archives By Dr. Jerry Zolten / 06.29.2017 Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences Pennsylvania State University The first truly African-American musical form, the[…]

The Christian Renaissance and Reformation in Continental Europe

Eight reformers (Hieronymus Bock, Johann Buchenhagen, Johann Calvin, Johannes Hus, Martin Luther, Philipp M. / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek By Dr. Stephen M. Feldman Jerry H. Housel/Carl F. Arnold Distinguished Professor of Law Adjunct Professor of Political Science University of Wyoming The Renaissance A first century AD bust of Cicero / Capitoline Museums, Rome Toward the end of[…]