Presentation on theme: "Religious diversity in early empire -Within the culturally diverse Roman Empire, a variety of religious beliefs and practices coexisted. -Jupiter, Juno."— Presentation transcript:
Religious diversity in early empire -Within the culturally diverse Roman Empire, a variety of religious beliefs and practices coexisted. -Jupiter, Juno and Mars and other traditional Roman gods remained, but a growing number of people were looking elsewhere for spiritual fulfillment.
Continued Mystery religions- Some people turned to mysterious religions that emphasized secret rituals and promised special rewards One cult ISIS offered women equal status to men Others worshipped Mithras the Persian god who championed good over evil and offered life after death
Divisions in Judea By 63 B.C. Romans had conquered Judea, where most of the Jews of the time lived. To avoid violating the Jewish belief in one god, Romans excused the Jews from worshipping their gods. Among the Jews themselves, however, religious ferment was creating deep division. During the Hellenistic age, Jews had absorbed Greek customs and ideas. Concerned about weakening of their religion, Jewish conservatives rejected these influences
Jewish revolt While most Jews were reluctant to live under Roman rule, others called Zealots were not. They called on Jews to revolt against Rome and reestablish and independent state. Some Jews believed that a messiah or king sent by God would soon appear to lead the Jews to freedom. 66 A.D. - Jews rebelled and the Roman forces crushed the Jews and destroyed their sacred temple. Another revolt took place a century later and Jerusalem was destroyed. Although Jews were defeated in their attempt to gain political independence, they survived in scattered communities around the Mediterranean.
Jesus and his message As turmoil engulfed the Jews in Palestine a new religion arouse Christianity. The founder was Jesus and his disciples: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Almost all we know about Jesus comes from first four books of the bible or the New Testament.
Life of Jesus Jesus was born about 4 B.C. in Bethlehem, near Jerusalem. He grew up in Nazareth, and worshipped God and followed Jewish Law. As a young man he was a carpenter. At age 30, he began preaching in the villages. To help him in his mission he recruited 12 close followers known as the Apostles. After 3 years Jesus and his disciples went to Jerusalem to spread their message.
Death on the Cross Some Jews welcomed Jesus while others regarded him as a troublemaker. Jewish priest thought he was challenging their leadership. To Roman authorities, he was a revolutionary who might lead the Jews on a rebellion. Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples and arrested by the Romans, he was tried and condemned to be crucified. His disciples say Jesus commanded them to spread his teachings
Spread of Christianity Following the death of Jesus the apostles and disciples helped establish Christian communities. First the only preached to the Jews and slowly some Jews accepted the teachings of Jesus who was the Messiah or son of God. According to tradition, peter established Christianity in Rome itself, however it was Paul a Jew who played the most influential part of spread the new religion
Persecution Rome's tolerant attitude toward religion didn’t extend to Christianity. Rome officials suspected Christians of disloyalty. Christians started meeting in secret to avoid persecution. In troubled times persecutions increased. Roman emperors like Nero used Christians as scapegoats to blame them for Rome's problems. Christians became Martyrs or people who suffer or died for their beliefs. Both Peter and Paul were killed by Nero in Rome.
Division of the Church As rituals and structure of the church became more defined, divisions began to arise. In the Latin speaking west, the churches authority was the pope. In the Greek speaking east, there were 5 patriarchs who shared power. While the Christian Church was growing in strength and influence, Roman power was fading.