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Christian History

Today in Christian History

August 7

August 7, 317: Constantius II, Son of Constantine the Great and Roman emperor from 337 to 361, is born. During his lifetime, he outlawed pagan sacrifice (see "The Emperor Strikes Back" in issue 57: The Conversion of Rome). But Constantius was also a devout Arian (a heresy his father had condemned at the Council of Nicea) and strongly opposed Athanasius (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).

August 7, 1409: The Council of Pisa, convened by the cardinals to end the Great Schism that had divided Western Christendom since 1378, closes. The council deposed both warring popes as schismatics and heretics, and elected Alexander V. It didn't end the schism (as there were now three warring popes), but it paved the way toward a solution at the Council of Constance in 1417 (see issue 68: Jan Hus).

August 7, 1560: The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Calvinistic "Scottish Confession," which had been drawn up in four days principally by John Knox. The document remained the confessional standard until superseded by the Westminster Confession in 1647 (see issue 46: John Knox

August 7, 1771: Francis Asbury answers John Wesley's call for volunteers to go to America as missionaries; he would become the father of American Methodism (see issue 45: Camp Meetings & Circuit Riders).

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October 20, 751: Pepin the Short, son of Frankish hero Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne, deposes the last of the Merovingian kings and becomes the first king of the Carolingian dynasty. He was crowned by Pope Stephen II, who later asked for his help when threatened by Lombards of northern Italy. Pepin defeated the Lombards, then ceded the territory he captured back to the pope, laying the foundation for the papal states.

October 20, 1349: Pope Clement VI condemns self-flagellation, speaking ...

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