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Constantine’s Sword

I tend to appreciate nonfiction over fakery so here it goes.


Constantines Sword – James Carroll

Is a compelling book if you are either Catholic or Jewish or maybe just interested in the subject matter. The book th both Catholic and Jewish history and culture since the time of Christ and points to the Holocaust as an ever present reminder of even the current day anti-semitism that exists. The book looks at Constantine as being the true birth of the Christian Religion. The subject of Jesus Christ is interesting in the Jewish faith because as it would be stated, there would be those that look at Jesus as being the savior and thus you see the first decisive split between the religions.

For me, I have to say that I struggled over some of the theological aspects as it has been a long time since I studied that aspect of the Catholic Church. The other problem is that there seems to be a lot of evidence against the Catholic Church for their wrongs, there lacks that certain amount of compassion to look at the good that they have done. Also, there is a difference between discrimination and anti-semitism. The Pope will always have a heart for the beliefs and values of Catholics before anyone else and to make claims that the Pope is being anti-semitic is at times unfairly justified.

Carroll does a nice job in bringing his own personal accounts into the story as a guide to his unraveling with his Catholic beliefs. I would not suggest that Carrol is anti-catholic but more pro-religious unity. He speaks on behalf of both Christians and Jews to try to come to a solution for the issues that have plagued these two religions over the past 2000 years. He does point out that history should teach us lessons for the future and while he does say that some of the actions of the Catholic Church can obviously be questioned, how could they know that certain events would work out the way they did.

Overall, I am torn. Several events are repeated ad nausem. The same result could have been accomplished in about 100 less pages. However, I have always been somewhat fascinated with the studies between different faiths, especially christian (catholic especially) and Judiaism. There is so much that both faiths share that I would hope for some determination by the catholic church to correct its wrongs.

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