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Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Whose Politics Are “Byzantine”?

Writing for The Guardian, Peter Frankopan believes that contrary to unflattering representations,  the old Byzantine Empire might have much to teach the modern EU, whose politics are really “Byzantine” in the pejorative sense, and run by a caste of men without chests even more than Byzantium was administered by eunuchs lacking other integral parts. Pointing out the Eastern Empire’s broad cultural and linguistic scope, he asks how Europeans might regain a memory and understanding of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire and translate some of its principles into contemporary political wisdom, looking to old Christendom for models of political resourcement.

Without underestimating the challenges, of both any such resourcement and the abiding health of the EU, we too think that the legacy of Roman Christian law is of more than academic interest. We believe that it comes with a larger cultural package, of course, and we think we know where to begin to find it.

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.