The Imperial Cult and the Development of Church Order
Recent studies have re-assessed Emperor worship as a genuinely religious response to the metaphysics of social order. Brent argues that Augustus' revolution represented a genuinely religious reformation of Republican religion that had failed in its metaphysical objectives. Against this backcloth, Luke, John the Seer, Clement, Ignatius and the Apologists refashioned Christian theology as an alternative answer to that metaphysical failure. Callistus and Pseudo-Hippolytus gave different responses to Severan images of imperial power. The early, Monarchian theology of the Trinity was thus to become a reflection of imperial culture and its justification that was later to be articulated both in Neo-Platonism, and in Cyprian's view of episcopal Order.
Contra-cultural theory is employed as a sociological model to examine the interaction between developing Pagan and Christian social order.