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HI101 (65)

a Sept 30

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Alicia Mc Kenzie

Creating a Christian landscape: the church in the post-Roman West How did Christianity continue to spreadand establish itself in the post_Roman west Which of its methods and practices were most successful How did it adapt its approach to particular regional circumstances? What kind of challenges did regional variations in Christian practice create? Early Medieval Christianity in the west: theoretical model Characteristics of Christianity conducive to success (By Julia Smith) Small-scale organizational forms Bishops selected by pope, or often local aristocrats take over bishoprics (already had influence) Multiple social definitions Ascetic or otherwise Doctrinal flexibility Debate the doctrine Decentralized and easily replicated Easy to plant bishopric in place where there was not one before Sometimes would die out and return 100 years later Early medieval Christianity: “a repertoire of beliefs, social practices, and organizational form that could be adopted and adapted piecemeal” (Smith) The spread of Christianity Trade and travel Frontiers (churches very far north such as north of Hadrians wall) Raiding and Slaving (across borders) Intermarriage Took root on Goths because of Christian prisoners who would marry into Goths Cultural Seepage ^ these three models OR Political Jolts – Changes in rulers Formal vs informal means Institutionalization Churches, preachers, clergy Improvisational/folk Christianity No established rules, diverted from main beliefs and caused problems Christianity and Paganism Triumphalist perspective All other religions burn in hell Turning gods into humans (made other beliefs more acceptable to Christians) Daniel of Winchester to Boniface Woden Definition of “Pagan” Don’t know what was out there, Christians don’t record religions they are trying to replace Christians recorded most of the history Paganism and local identity? “Right” and “Wrong” Christianity Caesaripus ofArles (d.542) Superstition and error (people come to church Christian and leave Pagan) Spectrum of Christian Practices Baptised peasants who make sacrifices to church (shouldn’t be making sacrifices) Teachers of Christianity poorly educated Conflict between aristocratic bishops, missionary bishops Aristocratic bishops not as devout as missionary bishops Gregory the Great Letter to Mellitus Among second wave of missionaries sent to Britain Monasticism SaintAnthony rd Wants to get himself martyred (3 century) Spreads to west that he fought demons for decades in desert Closer to god because isolated, but not all can do that Pachomius Creates space for religious to contemplate religion in private Ascetics Communal living becomes more popular than solitary ascetic Easier Ascetics need ppl to bring
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