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HISTORY of Christian Theology
Polytheism

Polytheism

In order to understand the origins and revolutionary nature of Christian theology, it is important to view it in proper relief against the religions in the region at the time of Jesus’s birth. Besides Judaism, which we will discuss in a subsequent lecture, various forms of polytheism dominated the religious landscape at the time Christianity came on the scene. Each province was subject to its own set deities with different powers who controlled the various forces of nature with one god typically becoming pre-eminent. But they all were still subject to the law of fate and eternal destiny. The nature of the gods in each society often differed from the nature of the gods of other areas. Some were plants, like the large sacred oaks or other...

Period I – The Early and Medieval Church

1 – Polytheism In order to understand the origins and revolutionary nature of Christian theology, it is important to view it in proper relief against the religions in the region at the time of Jesus’s birth. Besides Judaism, which we will discuss in a subsequent lecture, various forms of polytheism dominated the religious landscape at the time Christianity came on the scene. . . . moreHinduism & BuddhismEgyptianGreco-Roman PaganismMiddle Eastern PaganismZoroastrianism 2 – The Greco-Roman World Judaism gave birth to Christianity in a Greco-Roman world where Christianity’s Jewish roots merged with the Roman imperial culture and Greek philosophical ideas to mold Christianity into the institution it became in the early Church...
The Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed replaced the dominate Logos centered Christian theology that placed Jesus as an intermediary between humans and God and subordinated the Son to the Father. Historical Context Before we discuss the Nicene Creed we need to set the stage for the controversy leading up to the 1st Council of Nicaea that created the Nicene Creed. Sadly, power-politics played a major role in the early Church. The major metropolitan areas of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch rivaled for supremacy. In particular, the two major schools located in Alexandria and Antioch engaged in sustained and intense rivalry for centuries. The Christian school of Alexandria tapped into a long legacy of learning based in that city. During the 3rd...
The Greco-Roman World

The Greco-Roman World

Judaism gave birth to Christianity in a Greco-Roman world where Christianity’s Jewish roots merged with the Roman imperial culture and Greek philosophical ideas to mold Christianity into the institution it became in the early Church and through the Middle-Ages. Some of this Greco-Roman influence can be seen in the following ways: Plato’s philosophy greatly influenced the early Christian debate regarding the nature of God, Aristotle’s philosophy was the basis for much of the scholastic movement in the Church during the late Middle-Ages, Pilgrimages to Greek oracles paved the way to monasticism, and The Roman magisterial structure influenced the Church organization. You may recall the comical father of the bride in the movie “Big Fat...