Entrusting the apostles to continue the work he had started by instructing them to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit . . .,” Jesus kindled the fires of a new religion in a world largely dominated by polytheism, cult leader worship, and mysticism. In the first century of its existence, Christianity was both welcomed and vilified throughout the Roman Empire. Many of Christianity’s original adherents were martyred —murdered by those who believed it a danger to their authority or, at the very least, the cause of unrest among an otherwise docile populace.
Christians themselves practiced their religion with great diversity, linked as much to local influences as theology. Political intrigue, theological beliefs, and simple misunderstandings created a need for dialogue between the many practitioners of the growing faith.
Christianity’s adoption as the official faith of the Roman state tied it inexorably to the fortunes of the Empire. This also helped to create a gulf between the two main theological branches of the religion, which remain to this day.
joshua galvas says:
I have not listened to any of the lectures from the "Modern Scholar" collection so I cannot give a proper review, [I gave it five stars because I had to mark something and I didn't want to scare anyone off] but I thought a syllabus might be good information to have. There is also a free 59 page guide for this course in pdf format available from the following site. I would love to read someone el... Read more
joshua galvas says:
I forgot to post the syllabus! Here it is: Course Syllabus Lecture 1 The Roman World Lecture 2 Judaea in the Time of Christ Lecture 3 The Age of the Apostles Lecture 4 The Spread of Christianity Lecture 5 The Organization of the Early Church Lecture 6 Christian Heresies Lecture 7 The Early Church Fathers Lecture 8 Roman Persecutions Lectu... Read more