Essay about How Christianity Can Increase An Individual 's Self Efficacy

Essay about How Christianity Can Increase An Individual 's Self Efficacy

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One of the many phenomenons I have observed in our early middle ages class that intrigues me is the way religion affects the individual and society. As we have learned in class, the rigid social class structure of the Roman Empire placed only a few people at the top of the social ladder and everyone else at the bottom. This social inequality and general distaste for the rich and powerful allowed for the rise of Christianity, which viewed everyone as equals in the eyes of god. Of the many people that converted to christianity, the Roman emperor Constantine was perhaps the most significant convert as he was first to legalize Christianity in the Roman Empire. However, what is interesting about Constantine’s conversion was the effect Christianity had on him. Using Eusebius’ description of Constantine’s conversion, we can see how Christianity can increase an individual’s self-efficacy, explain its significance in the lives of the people in the early middle ages, and show how it can change minds.
According to Eusebius’ description of Constantine’s conversion, Constantine was not confident in his ability to win the the upcoming battle against Maxentius. Eusebius shows this when he writes:
“Being convinced, however, that he needed some more powerful aid than his military forces could afford him, .... he sought Divine assistance, deeming the possession of arms and a numerous soldiery of secondary importance, but believing the co-operating power of Deity invincible and not to be shaken.”
Because Constantine believed more in divine intervention than in his own troops, this shows how doubtful he was of winning. Luckily Constantine did see signs of divine intervention when he was near defeat. Eusebius shows this when he writes:
“He said that ...

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...rengthen those who believed in it. Although his source was most likely bias, Eusebius’ description of Constantine’s conversion was nevertheless significant because it shows how religion impacts an individual’s self efficacy, everyday life, and decision making. Constantine’s vision of the cross in the sky boosted his self-efficacy and allowed him to win the battle of Milvian Bridge. Christianity affected the day to day lives of civilians by helping them cope with fears of invading Germanic tribes. Pope Gregory’s letter to Theodelinda showed how Christianity can shape decision making. In our early middle ages class, we often talk about the different types of religion, the history behind each religion, and their general effects on society. From Eusebius’ account of Constantine’s conversion, we can see that religion can not only change people, but can also change history.

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