A refreshingly original and powerfully argued re-conception of the issues and the forces at work in this period of the conversion not of Constantine, but of Christianity... With laser-keen insight, bold thinking, and also a large measure of wry humor, Drake has presented a plausible and powerful interpretation of this formative moment in Western history... A riveting story, and masterfully told. Anyone who rejoices in our Founding Fathers' constitutional conviction that church must be kept separate from state will read Constantine and the Bishops with deepest appreciation; and perhaps those who long for the opposite should read it, too. The lessons of late antiquity remain pertinent, alas, to the politics of religion in our own day.
(Paula Fredriksen New Republic
If you read one book on late antiquity this year, read this one. If you read one book on politics this year, read this one again... A work of visionary brilliance.
(Virginia Quarterly Review
The strength of this work is Drake's skillful use of a wide range of scholarship... This is a stimulating book, with a persuasive thesis.
(Nathan Howard Journal of Church and State
In its scholarship and size Constantine and the Bishops is clearly a work to benefit scholars, but the clarity of its explanations make it accessible to the enterprising undergraduate as well.
(Ronald J. Weber History: Reviews of New Books
Compelling... His overarching thesis provides a persuasive new paradigm.
(David Brakke Journal of Religion
A well organized, well documented, and well written study.
(Richard A. Lebrun H-Catholic, H-Net Reviews
This is a learned, broadly based, and carefully elaborated argument. It is also racily written, interesting, and hard to put down.
(Stuart G. Hall Journal of Theological Studies
A thoughtful and erudite book that breaks the mold... A powerful study with a strong, coherent thesis, Constantine and the Bishops is animated by a fresh vision of the early fourth century. It skillfully incorporates major historical themes in unexpected and rewarding ways.
(Richard Lim Speculum
About the Author
H. A. Drake is a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara.