Constantine And Christianity Essay Research Paper Constantine
Constantine And Christianity Essay, Research Paper
Constantine was a Roman Emperor who ruled in the early 300 & # 8217 ; s AD, and was arguably one of the most powerful individual in his portion of the universe. His transition to Christianity had far making effects on the common pattern of the faith and on all the cabals of Christianity that are present today.
His transition happened during a war with a co-emperor, Maxentius. Constantine claimed that the dark before a critical conflict, in which he defeated this opposition, he had a vision of the Supreme God demoing him the symbol of the cross and said, & # 8220 ; Conquer by this. & # 8221 ; The cross was formed by the letters C ( qi ) and R ( rho ) , the first two letters of the word Christ in Greek, and was the symbol that Constantine put on the shields of his soldiers. After the conflict had ended, he attributed his triumph to God and announced his transition to Christianity. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, recorded this history of the Constantine & # 8217 ; s transition.
His transition helped Christianity in many ways. Followings were safe from persecution, and the Emperor gave Christian leaders many gifts. Constantine & # 8217 ; s attachment to Christianity ensured exposure of all his topics to the faith, and he had no little sphere. He besides made Sunday an official Roman vacation so that more people could go to church, and made churches tax-free. However, many of the same things that helped Christianity spread subtracted from its personal significance and promoted corruptness and lip service. Many people were attracted to the Church because of the money and favored places available to them from Constantine instead than from piousness. The growing of the Church and its new-found public facet prompted the edifice of specialised topographic points of worship where leaders were architecturally separated from the common attendants, which stood in crisp contrast to the earlier house churches which were little and informal.
Unlike modern thought in America and other democracies, Constantine believed that the Church and the State should be every bit near as possible. From 312-320 Constantine was tolerant of pagan religion, maintaining heathen Gods on coins and retaining his heathen high priest rubric & # 8220 ; Pontifex Maximus & # 8221 ; in order to keep popularity with his topics, and perchance bespeaking that he ne’er understood the divinity of Christianity. From 320-330 Howe
ver he began to assail pagan religion through the authorities. In many instances, Constantine was able to carry people to follow the Torahs by uniting heathen worship with Christianity. He made December 25th, the birthday of the heathen Unconquered Sun God, the official vacation it is now–the birthday of Jesus. It is likely that he besides instituted observing Easter and Lent based on heathen vacations. From 330-337 Constantine stepped up his devastation of pagan religion, and during this clip his female parent, Helen, made a pilgrim’s journey to Jerusalem and began diggings to retrieve artefacts in the metropolis. This popularized the tradition of pilgrim’s journeies in Christianity.
While Constantine & # 8217 ; s thought of an integrated Church and State, a term now called Constantinism, began holding sway in the imperium upon his transition, it became significantly stronger through several events. In 316, a religious order of Christians called the Donatists asked Constantine, as emperor of Rome, to settle a difference they were holding with the church in North Africa over the individuality of Christ. Ironically, this was resolved by Constantine prefering the N. African church. This was the first clip that a political leader had power in the spiritual domain.
In 324, Constantine defeated his co-emperor in the West, Licinius, go forthing Constantine to govern over the E and the West. He was so able to deracinate pagan religion where the tolerant Licinius had non. It was besides during this clip that he besides called together and presided over the Council of Nicaea, which was attended by over 300 bishops of the Christian religion. Once once more, the major subject of treatment was the individuality of Jesus: was He human, God, or both? They were sb ; vitamin E to outline the Creed of Nicaea, which was the predecessor to the Nicene Creed, a announcement of religion still used by many Christian denominations today. If it were non for Constantine & # 8217 ; s attempts or transition, it is dubious that Christianity could hold survived in the harsh, persecution heathen universe that existed before Constantine & # 8217 ; s reign.
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