Development of Christian Churches & Beliefs

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University of Toronto St. George
St. Michael's College Courses
Jessy Pagliaroli

SMC 203 Lecture 6 Development of Christian Churches and Beliefs: • Becoming a Christianthere’s emphasis on morality & also upholding certain doctrinal beliefs and understandings. • Main Rituals Baptism & Eucharist and later, penance. • Early Chrstian church is an oral movement & these early apostles are creating Christian communities in different areas and are the heads of these areas. • Moral & DoctrinalEthics really mattered to the early Christians. How you lived your life was of outmost importance. • Before u became a Christian, you had to learn about the faith—could take from 2- 3 years. • People interested in the church were admitted into assemblies but on;y when they had reached a certain level of knowledge could they be baptized and only the baptized could partake in the eucharist. • Didache o 1 century o 2 ways= way of life and way of death o way of life- love god & your neighbour o way of death- evil robberies, adulteries… o If you can shoulder the lord’s yoke then you’ll be perfect—if that’s too much, do as much as u can—try to be perfect like Jesus: “following the way” • “imitato cristi” –imitate Christ • Christians had morals that differed from Roman society. • Abortion, infanticide, divorce, adultery, idolatry practiced by Romans but not by Christians. • Idolatrycaused them to be shunned • Lots of emphasis on preparing for the next world—second coming • What did the early Christians believe: o One God. o Were often called atheists for denying Roman gods. o Acknowledged J.C. as divine. o Idea of Trinity is not formally formulated but it’s present o They were part of a new covenant. o Emphasis on life after death o Importance of Baptism o Baptism = initiation & purification ritual o Baptism usually happened during the time of Easter o Oil-renounce satan-break with previous life o 3 dunks in water o with each submersion you’d be asked a question o you’d be anointed in the name of Jesus & usually put on new clothes and be able to participate in the Eucharist. o Eucharist celebrated on Sunday.  Involve scripture readings, singing of psalms, homilies, prayers in the name of Jesus & collection. o People would bring produce as offering but by the 4 century the central focus is bread and wine—imitation of last supper—3 steps: blessing, breaking and distribution of the bread. • How was this bread viewed: o Ignatius—calls it the real presense o Other writers call the eucharist the medicine of immortality o Real sense of communion between god & believer through eating this blessed bread. • Importance of alms giving—collection • Looked out for vulnerable in the community • Chrstianity = a concrete lifestyle • Where are these gatherings happening: o Originally informal—in people’s homes
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