The Fourth-Century Rediscovery of Christian Jerusalem

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in History



Major Advisor

Charles Matson Odahl, Ph.D.


Despite Jerusalem's obvious importance in early Christianity, as the site of the most important events of the faith, it wasn't until the fourth century that the city truly became the center of Christianity. Indeed, it was the exciting events of that century, most notably the rediscovery of the sepulcher of Jesus, which elevated the city from an unimportant, even forgotten city of the Roman Empire to the Christian city par excellence. This thesis will survey Christianity's humble beginnings in Jerusalem and the subsequent decline of both the city and the religion, and then will propose that a new Christian identity arose from the seedbed of its physical and geographical origins. From first century ruins to fourth century splendor, Jerusalem the city was reborn, and with this geographic rebirth - came a renewal of its faith.

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