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The Rise of Christianity. Roman State Religion During Age of Augustus  Official state religion focused on worship of gods and goddesses  Emperors often.

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Presentation on theme: "The Rise of Christianity. Roman State Religion During Age of Augustus  Official state religion focused on worship of gods and goddesses  Emperors often."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Rise of Christianity

2 Roman State Religion During Age of Augustus  Official state religion focused on worship of gods and goddesses  Emperors often officially made gods by Roman Senate  This strengthened support for the emperors  Many festivals and ceremonies to honor gods

3 What guaranteed peace and prosperity under Roman religion?  Romans believed observance of proper ritual by state priests created good relationship with gods  Because they were able to build such a strong empire, that meant the gods were favoring them

4 Were Romans tolerant of other religions?  Yes  Allowed worship of native gods and goddesses throughout provinces  Even adopted some of the local gods  As long as the religions did not threaten public order or public morals

5 Location of Judaea  Near Egypt and Jerusalem  Between Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea

6 What was a procurator?  By 6 A.D., Judaea had been made a Roman province  The official in charge of running Judaea who was answerable to the Roman emperor  Pontius Pilate (who condemned Jesus to death) was the procurator of Judaea

7 Different groups of Jews’ response to Roman rule  Sadducees: priests, favored cooperation with Rome  Pharisees: scholars, believed close observance of religious law would protect them from Roman influences  Essenes: lived apart from society, sharing goods in common, waiting for God to save Israel from oppression  Zealots: called for violent overthrow of Roman rule  66 A.D.: Began Jewish revolt that Romans crushed 4 years later

8 Connection between religion and government in Roman empire  Religion and government completely intertwined  Government needed to keep the favor of the gods and goddesses in order to be successful and keep the empire strong.

9 Jesus  Jewish teacher who travelled and preached throughout Judaea and neighboring Galilee  These teachings began new movement within Judaism that gained strength and eventually developed into new faith of Christianity

10 The teachings of Jesus…  Believed his mission was to complete salvation God had promised to Israel  Adhered to entire Law, but focused on elements that transformed the inner person  Emphasized humility, charity, and love towards others  Preaching stirred controversy  Some saw him as potential revolutionary who could lead revolt against Rome  Opponents turned him over to Roman authorities  Procurator Pontius Pilate ordered his crucifixion  After death, followers proclaimed he had risen from death and appeared to them  Believed he was the Messiah (anointed one) who would save Israel from its foes and bring an age of peace, prosperity, and monotheism (belief in the existence of only one god)  As opposed to polytheism (belief in many gods)

11 How Christianity spread throughout empire  Apostles (leaders) travelled around spreading message that Jesus was Savior and that accepting him as Christ, people could be saved from sin  Teachings of Christianity passed on orally and through written tradition  Apostles’ epistles (letters) and accounts of Jesus’s sayings made up the core of the New Testament, second part of Christian Bible  By 100 A.D. Christian churches established in most major cities

12 Why did Romans persecute Christians?  Basic values of Christianity differed from those of Greco- Roman world  Romans only tolerated religions of other peoples if those religions did not threaten public order or public morals  Many Romans viewed Christians as harmful to Roman state because Christians refused to worship state gods and emperors  They saw this as act of treason, punishable by death  Roman govt. began persecuting Christians during reign of Nero (A.D )

13 Why did Christians refuse to worship state gods and emperors?  Christians believed there was only ONE God  To them, worship of state gods and emperors meant worshipping false gods which would endanger their own salvation

14 How did the church become more organized in 2 nd and 3 rd centuries?  Missionaries established more churches and converted more Christians  Christian church created new structure where different people had different functions  Clergy: church leaders  Laity: regular church members

15 Three reasons Christianity attracted followers 1. Gave Romans meaning and purpose to life 2. Was familiar, yet easy to adopt and relate-able 3. Provided people with a sense of belonging

16 Why was Christianity attractive to ALL classes of people?  Eternal life was promised to all regardless of social class or gender

17  First Christian emperor: Constantine  Edict of Milan: proclaimed official tolerance of Christianity  Theodosius the Great: Romans adopted Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire


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