"Constantinian" has lately been a favored pejorative in
theological circles. The term--an allusion to the fourth-century Roman emperor
whose conversion to Christianity turned a marginal sect into a state religion--has
been used to deplore any alliance between the church and the state or, more
broadly, between the church and the dominant political culture.
Constantine’s act of “calling himself a Christian and pouring in that flood of wealth and power on the church,” John Wesley charged in 1787, “was productive of more evil to the church than all the ten persecutions put together.” Judging by Constantine’s Bible, David L.