“In this imaginative retelling of the debate among Christians in the fourth century, we discover how dangerous it is for Christians to try to please Caesar. This book is as entertaining as it is serious.”
– Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School
Damon’s young life is molded when he sees his parents beheaded by the Romans. He’s determined to follow the harsh road of asceticism to prove that they did not die in vain.
Then he meets Theodora.
It’s an age of turmoil and fanaticism. As soon as Christians are free of Rome’s tyranny, they create their own. Acting like today’s Taliban or ISIS, Christian converts rampage across the empire tearing apart temples and monuments, burning libraries and shrines, closing bathhouses and theaters. Illiterate and unwashed, they eliminate learning, art, science, philosophy, music, and drama.
Interweaving history with a volcanic story of passion, regret, and triumph, Damon recounts the wild decades when Christians, an insignificant and persecuted minority, become the empire. Over the years of their erotic but impossible relationship, Theodora asks Damon six questions, each disturbing the spiritual goals he is so desperate to achieve. He comes to question his life’s work building the Church, all the while trying to shake off his lust for Theodora. He is determined to fight what has become a repressive Church, now persecuting pagans, heretics, and Jews. He is determined to love.