Christianity and the Western Tradition
The role of Christianity during the Middle Ages has been strongly intertwined in the changes in Greco-Roman thought as well as the development of European civilization. Christianity quickly rose to become the dominate religion during the decline of the Roman Empire. Greco-Roman thought allowed for the Hellenization of Christianity, and it eventually led to the development of European states.
Christianity can be considered an inspiration for change, or an opening to new ideas and thoughts during the Greco-Roman period. Christianity began with the teachings of Jesus, a Jew, who was martyred for his teachings, and beliefs of one true God. Ironically enough, per Western Civilizations: a brief history, “There is no evidence that Jesus, who never preached to Gentiles, intended to establish a new church; this was accomplished by his followers” (107). Jesus, being raised in the Jewish faith, built on Judaism; he found weaknesses in the teaching, and corrected it with how God would want him to live. He began to preach about the coming of God, his father, and entering the kingdom of Heaven. His teachings urged other Jews to draw away from the religion they know and follow God. Christianity became a religion based off love, compassion, and selflessness which was needed to show love for their God and other human beings.
Jesus’ name became associated with the word trouble maker. Many priests and high Roman officials believed Jesus’ new religion threatened and undermined Jewish religion and Roman politics, which led to his sentence of death by crucifixion. However, his teachings of Christianity still lived on and grew extensively after his resurrection on the third day. It grew to become the ...
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...Many rulers also converted to Christianity, in order to maintain their obtained countries, regions and alliances. For example, after conquering many kingdoms Charlemagne and converting to Christianity, he was crowned emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III, meaning that he had a spiritual duty to spread the Christian faith. His kingdom blended “Roman heritage, Greco-Roman mind, Christian otherworldliness, and the customs of Germanic peoples” (137), creating a European civilization, that would soon lead to states.
Christianity shaped ideas, beliefs and escapes for many people. It helped people of lower class realize that they are worth something more and it brought people together for one common religion. It forged a new society, by taking pieces of old ones and it shaped human thought. Without it, many would say the world in its entirety would still be in the dark.
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