The introduction describes the genesis of this study in light of the author's interests in religious violence associated with the so-called Arian controversy in the fourth century AD. After briefly surveying the historiography, it explains how this study, with its focus on the impact of the theological controversy on patterns of church authority, hopes to make an original contribution. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's concept of the habitus, the study postulates a connection between engagement in controversy and the rise of new style of church leadership that came to define the episcopal office in the fourth century AD. The introduction also lays out the chapter structure of the book and provides a justification for the geographical and chronological limits of the study.
Keywords: religious conflict, Christian history early church, ca. 30–600, Christianity history early church, Arian controversy, doctrine history Christian, bishops Rome, Arianism, power, religious violence (sociology), leadership (sociology), Rome history empire, 284–476
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