Monday, April 29, 2019

The Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire Essay

The Rise of Christianity in the roman type Empire - Essay ExampleThe kickoff part of this mention suggests that without the historical backdrop of the Roman Empire, and without the cultural and political directives it brought to bear, the Christian religion could neer have come to be, at least not in the form that we know. The second portion of the quotation suggests that the Christian religion has preserved the memory and something of the auspices of the Great Empire, as a necessary theatrical role of cultural transmission--as a necessary if incidental consequence of preserving and furthering itself. In large measure, both assertions are true. The Roman Empire made Christianity possible, first by bringing relative order and stability to those under its governance. Without the come of the Roman city-state under a central power, it is easy to imagine small, disparate tribes of rural, agrarian folk stay close to the cycles of nature and loyal to the simple ritual observances of e meritus pagan polytheism. Next, for all its dealings with the eternal, Christianity is a religion with strong historical and political roots. The historical embeddedness of this religion is undeniable. As Harold Mattingly points out, All the great religions of the terra firma speak to the passing generations of that which is outside the time order, the Eternal, that which was in the graduation exercise, is now and ever shall be. Some of these religions--not all--are very close related to floor. Mohammed, great prophet of Islam, rose to sudden greatness at the very moment in the seventh century when the empires of Rome and Persia had fought one another to a standstill. Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, who was in the beginning with God, was born in the Palestine of Herod the Great and, as we repeat in the Creed, suffered under Pontius Pilate. The sacred history of Mithras, on the other hand--his birth from the rock, his solemn meal with the Sun-god, his slaying of the great bull--is quite outside time. The early history of Christianity cannot be fully understood without a knowledge of the world into which it came (5). The world into which this immature reliance emerged was characterized by expanding empire, with the burdens of increasing taxation to fund the political and military machine and establish the benefits of relative peace, political unity and solidarity under the Roman Emperor. This was also a world where people maintained a smell in many gods and observed ritual sacrifices to those gods in exchange for good fortune. The statues and temples of these gods were visited and given homage by people of all stations, including the Emperor himself. Iconic images were engraved upon the coinage of the Empire, and the line between fidelity to the old gods and fidelity to the Empire of Rome was often blurred. Therefore, the emergence of an exclusive, monotheistic religion, that shunned all the vestiges of the older religions, offered a true threat to polit ical stability. The attitudes of the Roman Emperors and their officiators toward the Christians, in the first centuries of the new faith, varied from blind indifference to outright persecution, depending upon the emperor and the climate of the times. Likewise the attitudes of the Christians toward the Roman State varied, from individual to individual and from time to time, as the new religion grew. According to Grant, Within the Christian communities of the second century two different but every bit extreme minority positions were assumed. On the one hand, there were those, especially in Asia Minor, who under the influence of prophetic prophecy insisted upon an intensified expectation of the imminent end of society and the descent of the heavenly Jerusalem in Phrygia. On the other, there were those who turned their backs on the world and took the gospel to the world through the planetary spheres in a higher place and come to

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