The Beginnings of Christianity

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The Beginnings of Christianity From the time that man became a thinking and reasoning being, there has been a driving need to explain what is unknown to us. Man’s fear of the unknown and his need to explain it gave rise to various different religions that attempted to provide answers to all of man’s mystical questions. The different religions of the world competed for followers and through time many died out, just as new religions were born. Eventually there came about there came about the birth of one of the biggest religions of today’s world, this was Christianity. Unlike most new religions Christianity grew and spread throughout the entire world. How did Christianity become this successful? Many different elements contributed to making Christianity what it is today, one key element was Christianity’s ability to adapt characteristics from other religions so it could replace them. The biggest competitor of Christianity was paganism "…with its multiplicity of divine powers, rituals of sacrifice, temples, statues of deities, votive offerings, and periodic festivals", therefore to become more popular with the people Christianity borrowed elements from the existing pagan religions so it could eventually replace them (Ferguson p.3). This method of drawing followers could be viewed as cut throat in retrospect, but it was tactics such as this combined with giving the people what they wanted that helped to make Christianity what it is today. With the coming of Christianity to the Roman Empire no one paid this new religion much thought. The cities were full of every type of religion imaginable from Judaism to various religions devoted to Greek gods. "If you walk the streets at the western edge of town, you pass: a temple ... ... middle of paper ... ... Brittanica. Vol. 16. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1990. Lanciani, Rodolfo. Pagan and Christian Rome. The riverside Press Cambridge, Boston and New York, 1892. Lanson, Maritin A. The Story of Christain Origins. Village Press, Oklahoma, 1977. MacMullen, Ramsay. Paganism in the Poman Empire. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1981. Morgan, Kenneth O. The Oxford Illustrated History of Brittain. Oxford University Press, Oxford and Yew York, 1984. Murray, Alexandor. "Medieval Christmas" History Today 3b (1986): 31-39 Oneil, Mery R. "Superstition" The Encylopedia of Religion. Macmilan Publishing Company, New York, 1987. Stock, Robert D. "Dionysus, Christ, and C. S. Lewis" Christianity and Literature 43 (1985): 7-13. Wilken, Robert L. The Cristaians As The Romans Saw Them. Yale Univerity Press, New Haven and London, 1984.
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