Power, Politics, and Christendom

November 4 - 10, 2018

Melozzo da Forlì: Sixtus IV Appointing Platina as Prefect of the Vatican Library (1477)

(Melozzo da Forlì: Sixtus IV Appointing Platina as Prefect of the Vatican Library (1477),
in the Vatican Museums)

How should Christians treat the secular powers?

The course presents a critical history of the interaction between Christianity and secular power, examining how economics, politics, war, and theology all contributed to the place of Christianity in the world today. As Christianity, for so long associated with the secular state of the west, begins to understand its role in the whole, post-colonial, world today, what can we learn from the traditions of prophetic witness and accommodation in Christian teaching?
Studying in Rome and Ravenna, students will explore:

  • the earliest house churches in Rome, as they developed from being hidden to being large public monuments and the theological impact of this transformation;
  • the relationship between Roman and Byzantine Emperors and the major theological controversies of their day;
  • the development of the Papal States in medieval Europe, and the claims to secular power of the papacy over the kingdoms and republics of Europe, and the “New World”
  • the Vatican Secret Archives to examine the the original documents related to the Church of England’s split with Rome and all the ecclesiological and theological consequences of that event;the Sant’Egidio community and hear how they, born out of the events of 1968, relate to modern politics, most importantly how they brokered peace in Mozambique.

Visits and sessions

The course is led by the Revd Dr Justin Lewis-Anthony, deputy director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, and graduate of the LSE and Oxford University. His experience of politics, history and theology, and their expression in the ancient, medieval and modern worlds, will allow students to understand the relationship between Church and State from the earliest period of Christianity to the twenty first-century, and to recognise the continuation of those dynamics in the twenty first-century situation, particularly in the relationship of the church of the First- and the Two-Thirds World

The course is a combination of visits to historical sites, lectures at the Anglican Centre, and discussions by the group. Last year the group heard from Professor Christopher Smith, the Director of the British School at Rome, on the emergence of Christianity from its Roman, pagan, context; from the Very Revd Dr John Hall, the Dean of Westminster, on the relationship between the Church and the State in Modern Britain; and from Dom Angelo Romano, a priest with Sant' Egidio, on their successful peacekeeping mission in Mozambique

You can read Dean John Hall's article about last year's course here.

Course fee

Course fee €695 (which includes travel and accommodation in Ravenna - although, as with all our courses, not in Rome.)
Accommodation and meals in Rome are not included in the course fee, as we have found people prefer to make their own arrangements. We estimate that this would cost an additional Euro €450, although this depends on the standard of accommodation which you choose. There are a number of scholarships available for those from developing nations.

To apply

Fill out this form and send it to pa-courses@anglicancentre.it 
It may help to read the guidelines for applying for a course.

The Revd Michelle Staples, Canadian Military:

I highly recommend courses offered by the Centre. My husband and I have just completed our time here following a course on Power and Politics and the Church, and it is a truly enriching experience. The Centre staff are wonderful, and the courses are rich in content.

Staff Member, 07/08/2017