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There was obviously a lot wrong with Christendom, but “the word of God, the testimony of the saints, the faithful witness of the martyrs” was that Jesus had been seated at the right hand of God and, within a foreseeable future, would judge and rule over the nations governed until that point by Rome. In historical terms, I think it’s impossible not to identify that political-religious hope with the transformation that took place in the fourth century.

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