Week 4 - The Social Theology of the Church of the Martyrs

Week 4 - The Social Theology of the Church of the Martyrs -...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Week 4: The Social Theology of the Church of the Martyrs Our main historical problem in this assignment is the interaction and confrontation between the Roman and Christian cultures. We need to use this to understand the conversion of Rome and Christianity as well as the Church's compromises and adoption of Classical culture and values—you could call it “Romanization of Christianity.” The interaction influenced both cultures. The Christian View of History One of the main sources of difference and conflict between Christians and Romans stems from the Christian view of history, which was different from the Roman view of history. Let's start with that since it shaped Christians' attitude towards the world and towards Rome. ( You should have page 4 of your XP handy for this .) As you can see from the first diagram, Classical views of history were cyclical and thought of as following the same sorts of cycles as we see in nature—the seasons, day & night, days of the week, and so forth. The Romans believed that states followed the same sort of cyclical development: rising from a beginning, advancing towards a peak in growth & development, and then gradually declining to an eventual death from which new states would be reborn. The Augustan ideology of the rebirth of the “golden age” is an example. With Constantine's conversion to Christianity, we get another imperial ideology of Roman rebirth. In contrast, the Judeo-Christian view of history is linear; it is line with a beginning (creation) and an end (the end of the world). This history was providential, meaning it had a divine plan. The plan was one of salvation; it was a necessary remedy for the results of Original Sin and The Fall, which disrupted God's plan for humans of eternal blessedness in the Garden of Eden. The plan of salvation God developed was carried out in the history recorded in the Old Testament. There was a history there of God's remedies and guides to lead humans to salvation in events. This history includes… 1. The salvation of Noah to recreate a world cleansed of sinfulness in the flood, 2. The exodus of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, 3. The giving of the Law through Moses to guide people, 4. The establishing of sacred kings in the line beginning with David, and 5. The sending of prophets to warn the people of God to reform their sinful ways and to prepare them for future events through prophecies. These remedies and guides tend to alternate with people's lapses into sinfulness and immorality, which require further & stronger remedies. You already know the expectation about the end from class: there would be an apocalyptic conflict of good vs. evil, children of light vs. children of darkness, and a savior (messiah) would come to save the children of light and make them part of his messianic kingdom. Jews who did not become followers of Christ (Jewish Christians) did not believe that Jesus was the prophesied messiah, and they did not believe that history had reached its culmination or would reach
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course HIST 111 taught by Professor Rutenburg during the Fall '05 term at Maryland.

Page1 / 6

Week 4 - The Social Theology of the Church of the Martyrs -...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online