Judaeo Christian LegaCy Perspectives on the development of Christianity and religion as foundation of western civilization
WESTERN CIVILIZATIONFoundations:GREEK- Humanism – cultureROMAN- Materialism – Politics and lawJEWS and CHRISTIANS- Idealism / Spiritualism- Religion
Judaeo Christian legacy JeWs and Judaism1.)Essential character: persistent to be themselves, to be a people2.)Legacies: a.)rich literary traditions in sacred texts; b.)unique view of history as linear and miraculous; c.)element of morality based on 10 commandments and higher morality of prophets;d.)monotheism; e.) messianic impulse that gave way to Christianity(Messiah stands for redemption of an oppressed people)
CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIANITY-bears the stamp of Judaism as Christ practically satisfied the messianic impulse latent in the consciousness of his followers who were all Jews-took a new dimension as it split with Judaism towards the promise of private salvation by sacramental means and teachings of St Paul to the Gentiles- As it spread throughout the Mediterranean it absorbed hellenistic elementspersonal god of Jews and Christian became the abstract God of greek Philosophersstart of Christian theology which is a combination of simple faith and abstract theology
Sources of study of Christianity:1.Artifacts and archaeologysettlements in Algeria where remains of antiquities scatter even up until the end of WWII.2.Development of Biblical criticism in the 19th centuryResult: understanding of the evolution of the church as a social movement; research about the schism that happened in the church; knowledge of architectural background of churchesWhy study about Christianity? Study of Christianity is a study of antiquities which reflect the third leg of western civilizationRELIGION- which molded world culture and antecedents to man.
ESSENTIALS OF THE STUDIES ON CHRISTIANITY:1.)Who were the Christians? – an assortment of classes from wealthy, artisans, slaves(contrary to common notions that they’re representatives of an oppressed class)Proofs: Eusebius of Caesaria’s historical accounts and inscriptions in the catacombs
2. How did Christianity evolve from Judaism?a.Judaism was the most vigorous religion within and even outside the Roman empireb.Unparalleled Jewish intellectual communities in Alexandriac. But Judaism was riddled with sectarian conflictthose who accepted roman monarchythose who looked up at priesthood as God’s representationthose who looked back at Moses and prophet traditions
Implications:a.Jews were considered a major social group, vigorous and vital in the Mediterraneanb.Jews shared a common bond-messianic expectationc. Thus, such vigorous movement were open to the messianic preaching of a Jesus of Nazareth enough to eventually rend the “facade of unity” and let the rival traditions find a new field of action in Christianity. Christianity unfolded amid the fervent hopes and expectations of the Jewish people.
3.How did the early Christians survive and thrive?• It had the ability to adapt its ideas to those of many educated members of the Greco Roman world fusion with Greek Platonismformulation of doctrines• It inherited Judaism’s urban network of influence in the Mediterranean• Uniform organization under bishops and clergy, an authoritative sacred literature in the Jewish scriptures and the New testament, a liturgy that expressed hopes for this world and beyond, and a morality founded on Gospel teachings of Jesus rather than on inter-testamentary sources.
4.What were the other significant developments on the early Christian era?a.Decian persecution in 250AD when majority of inhabitants in Rome worshipped their emperorsb.thenafter, urban Christians became integrated to the Roman empire’s culture and lifestyle reaching a compromise in doctrines while rural christians in Egypt, North Africa and asia minor took the New Testament literally rejecting compromise with the world.c.Religious revolution in 312 and 325 led by Constantine where “immortal gods of Rome” were displaced by the Christian God.d.However, differences of interpretation of faith by urban christians(Greek christians educated in the philosophy of Plato) and rural christians(more beholden to Jewish rabbinic models(refer to letter b) resulted to emergence of doctrinal differences.