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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 May 2018


The theme of this fifty-fourth volume of Studies in Church History is ‘The Church and Empire’, and the twenty-three articles included here explore the complex and ever-evolving relationship of ecclesiastical and imperial power within a range of historical contexts. The articles represent plenary addresses and a selection of the communications presented at two highly successful Ecclesiastical History Society conferences during my presidential year – a Summer Conference held at the University of Edinburgh in July 2016 and a Winter Meeting held at Magdalene College, Cambridge, in January 2017. Both conferences attracted a large number of speakers and participants from across the world, and reflected the considerable scholarly interest in questions concerning the relations of Church and empire. These questions include the extent to which Christianity in the Western world became linked to the political power of large imperial states, the nature and extent of the connection of Christianity to the expansion of Western imperialism in the early modern and modern periods, and the manner in which the Church often came into conflict with imperial power, especially when Christians insisted on the spiritual independence of the Church and on maintaining an independent Christian moral witness against the wars of conquest, cruelty, racism, oppression and arrogance of power that too often have been associated with imperial rule.

Copyright © Ecclesiastical History Society 2018 

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