Ramsay MacMullen is emeritus professor in the Department of History at Yale University and lives in New Haven, CT. Among his many previous books are Christianizing the Roman Empire, Corruption and the Decline of Rome, and Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries, all published by Yale University Press.
"Ramsay MacMullen has written another provocative and highly original book. He shows how Christian doctrine came to be decided by the democratic votes of bishops, and how the passions that this aroused all too often led to actual violence."-Averil Cameron, Keble College, Oxford University -- Averil Cameron "In MacMullen's highly original book we get a sense of what it was like to be at an early church council, how arguments ebbed and flowed, how power was wielded, how participants were intimidated and inspired."-David Brakke, Indiana University -- David Brakke "By fine literary detective work, MacMullen reassembles the mobs of bishops who debated, voted, and rioted in the fifteen thousand or so early church councils, tracing the progress of Christianity from a raucous democracy to a harnessed hierarchy."-Garry Wills, Northwestern University -- Garry Wills "Bloodthirsty bishops raining curses on their enemies storm through these pages, then step aside, humbled, allowing MacMullen's cool, sane, and immensely learned analysis to enrich our understanding of the making and fragmenting of Roman imperial Christianity."-James J. O'Donnell, author of Augustine: A New Biography -- James J. O'Donnell "A wonderfully fresh look at the early Christian councils ... both scholar and lay reader will find this volume a treasure trove to be savored and enjoyed."--Gaye Strathearn, BYU Studies -- Gaye Strathearn BYU Studies