2nd Exam Essays - Reasons for the spread of Christianity in...

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Reasons for the spread of Christianity in the Roman world. Think in terms of reasons, both internal and external to the faith; changing conditions in the early versus late Empire; social and economic needs addressed; changing appeal. - Roads interconnected Empire, made easy for travelers (Paul, etc) - Decline in the Hellenistic focus on reason, desire for revelation of another realm - By the Late Roman Empire, science and philosophy had given way to mysticism and obsession with the divine - Decline of independent city-state, problems with alienation and lack of community - Greco-Roman thought did not provide for the emotional needs of many people - Jesus, his portrayal as a kind, all-loving man who died for the sins of people attracted those in need of a “Father-son” relationship with Holy Spirit - God’s love and forgiveness, as well as the openness to all mankind were attractive qualities - Became infused with Greek philosophy, St. Thomas of Aquinas and the Summa Theologica infused ideas with Aristotle’s teachings of reason and thought - Constantine in 313 AD Edict of Milan granting tolerance to Christianity, first Christian Emperor of Rome, Theodosius I made it official religion of Roman Empire in 392 Attributes of Christian leadership of Charlemagne compared to Paul. Think in
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