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HIST 2200 (12)

Early Christianity

3 Pages

Course Code
HIST 2200
Susannah Ferreira

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Early Christianity Spread - Roman Empire tolerant of all religious beliefs - Allowed spread of ideas and helped maintain unity across the Empire - Rome took Greek deities and added them to their beliefs, pantheon was fluid with stories and gods being created – flexibility - Cybele – Earth Mother goddess from Asian Minor - Mithras, religion from Persia, fierce religion of the gladiators promoting masculinity and violence Mithrauem – place of worship for this religion, example would be bathing in blood of a bull(bull on ndfloor, they below) to absorb the strength - Religions developed to fill voids in ideas o Elaborate initiations into faith o Activities/rites that all believers participated in, very active participation o Worship of god of rebirth for the land, belief that there was a need for a sacrifice, people became euphoric during worship, very public o All faiths involved personal redemption, they were all flexible and were not exclusive in practice(could be adherent of more than one) Toleration and its Challenges Church/State Tension o Monotheism was a new idea, not widely accepted by Romans o Persecution of Christians due to the fact they refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods o Christian Catacombs – decorated rooms for worship and to bury the dead, underground hiding areas o Officials feared this religion, faith of the common people for the first 3 centuries o Secret meetings raised fears of plots, refused to worship states god or participation in state requirements(army, government)  State thought that the Christians were immoral due to misinterpretations of the language of the faith(cannibals because of body and blood of Christ) Diocletian’s Persecution of the Christians o Launch last major persecution in 303 o 313 – Constantine issued Edict of Toleration  Possibly became Christian on his deathbed o Says that all peoples and faiths could flourish under the empire with individual decisions allowed - Every following Emperor was Christian except Julian the Apostate (361 – 363) who tried to return the empire to previous state, failed and pagan/Christian/state religion remained Theodosius I(379-395) o Outlawed all pagan religions and persecuted all faiths except Christianity o Pagan religions remained in the countryside because of the fact that less state influence allowed individuality to remain - 5thcentury time of barbarian invasions - Arians - Tensions arose between the Church and State, State thought they should have final say in the faiths o Believed that Jesus was highest of God’s creatures but was not God o Very popular among Germanic tribes Council of Nicea (325) – first Church council, continued on as a way for the Church to organize and develop doctrines - Bishops from across the empir
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