Social context: For the first couple of centuries, Christian community was
persecuted by Roman authorities. With Constantine, there was a change for
Religious status: Whether he formally converted to Christianity is still a question
but his wife and mother were Christians. He was symptomatically oriented into
Policies towards Christianity: In early times, Constantine was against Christianity.
Then, to stabilize the empire, he gradually removed the policy against
Christianity. In the year 313, he gave Christian the liberty to practice their religion
and at the same time, he supported them through patronage and state resources.
Influence on Christianity: Christian symbol showed on coins; Sunday became a
public holiday in 321; the churches were dispersed throughout the entire empire.
It had a system of regional government supervised by bishops.
Council of Nicene: established in 325 by Constantine and was rejected at the
council of Constantinople in 381. A more detailed formulation is the Nicene
Creed. The Nicene Creed reflects the emergence of the explicit doctrine of the
trinity: that God has three manifestations: Father, son and Holy Spirit. There were
three principal options for the major question-------is Jesus divine or human?
1)Two separate persons, one divine and one human, as the Nestorian churches,
stretching eastward across Asia held.
2)One person, with only a divine nature, as the Monophysites, from Ethiopia
and Egypt to Syria and Armenia held.
3)One person, but with both a divine nature and a human one, as the Greek and
Latin-speaking churches held.
After Constantine’s death: After his death, subsequent emperors supported
Constantine’s decision and Christianity became the state religion. Theodosius was
the first to officially do so. Christians’ personal safety wasn’t at risk any more and
political gain was to be acquired by becoming Christians. Churches, architecture,
symbology, music, rituals, etc. flourished in Rome.
The fall of Roman Empire
Happened in 5th century.
Schism: the division of Christianity which used to be one body. Christianity was
divided in two: the western Latin Christianity prevailing in Europe, also called
catholic; the Greek Christianity in Constantinople which is the eastern variety,
which is know as orthodox.
Latin Church( western church):
1) It centered in Rome, and became prevailing in western Mediterranean and