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Gregory the Great and a Post-Imperial Discourse

Demacopoulos, George

Last Spring, quite out of the blue, I stumbled upon an essay by Catherine Keller that was so provocative that I am no longer able to think about the relationship between Christianity and Empire as I once did. It is not that I found her conclusions to be especially persuasive but rather I was transfixed by the profound insight with which she begins. Her first sentence reads: “Christianity suffers from an imperial condition.” A paragraph or so later she observes, “When [Christianity] opened its young mouth to speak, it spoke in the many tongues of empire—nations and languages colonized by Rome, and before that Greece, and before that Babylon, which had first dispersed the Jews into an imperial space.” Keller rightly identifies Christianity’s transitions from its subaltern position, to its adoption of imperial symbols, and then its ascendance to an imperial status of its own. The bulk of her essay is devoted to an argument for the compatibility of postcolonial critique and the Christian theology of love.

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Also Published In

Title
Power and Authority in the Eastern Christian Experience: Papers of the Sophia Institute Academic Conference, New York, December 2010

More About This Work

Academic Units
Sophia Institute
Publisher
Theotokos Press
Series
Sophia Institute Studies in Orthodox Theology, 3
Published Here
February 7, 2013
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