"Phil Booth has produced a magisterial book focusing on three crucial figures from Palestine who wrote in Greek in the early seventh century. Two of them played a central role in the huge issues of the period that saw the first Arab conquests; all three saw their world as that of the entire Mediterranean. Booth's demonstration of how sacramental spirituality, theology and politics were interlinked is a major achievement and a real breakthrough. The seventh century will never seem the same again."
—Averil Cameron, editor of Late Antiquity on the Eve of Islam
"Crisis of Empire is a fresh, provocative, and carefully revisionist interpretation of the extraordinary “monastic dissent” that challenged the imperial order in the turbulent seventh century in Byzantium. Booth’s narrative brilliantly captures the drama of the alliances forged between monks, ecclesiastics, and provincial imperial officials in countering the christological positions assumed by emperors and Patriarchs of Constantinople. This monograph will be of tremendous interest to Byzantinists and patristics scholars alike."
—Paul Blowers, author of Drama of the Divine Economy: Creator and Creation in Early Christian Theology and Piety
"Booth’s book showcases the political and religious roles of John Moschus, Sophronius of Jerusalem, and Maximus the Confessor, who have never before been treated together in this way. A compelling case is made for the position of the ascetic within the church, rather than on its fringes, against the continuous backdrop of the declining fortunes of the Christian Roman empire during the Persian and Arab advances. This book is well-written, well-argued, and above all readable."
—Pauline Allen, author of Sophronius of Jerusalem and Seventh-Century Heresy
"Previous works on this crucial period of Byzantine history have tended to focus on material, legal or military history, at the expense of the important role of theology in the events that unfolded. Booth’s innovation is to make the sacramental understanding of the eucharist central to the political involvement of Maximus, Sophronius, and Moschus, whose collaboration is traced here for the first time."
—Bronwen Neil, author of Seventh-Century Popes and Martyrs: The Political Hagiography of Anastasius Bibliothecarius