Christianity’s Syncretism Student’s Name Essay Example
Unknown to the average Christian, Christianity is awash with religious syncretism. A salient feature in this religious syncretism is the adoption of pagan ideas and practices into the new religion which took place shortly after the ratification of the Edict of Toleration and the Edict of Milan in 311 and 313, AD, respectively.
The Reasons for the Religious Syncretism
There are antecedent and triggering factors which inspired the introduction of religious syncretism into Christianity. The antecedent factors were the inability of the Roman Empire to exterminate Christianity; the signing and the ratification of the Edict of Toleration and the Edict of Milan in AD 311 and 313 AD, respectively. The Roman Empire for the first two centuries carried out sustained and systematic spates of communication which were climaxed by Emperor Diocletian, following the Roman Empire’s Bicentennial Celebrations. Empire Constantine then later successfully led the empire to tolerate, accept and legitimize Christianity. Since Christianity had become part of a social construct in the empire, the empire had the power to moderate it, as it did, other religions.
The political dynamics in the empire then moved the emperors to make moderations on Christianity, its practices and doctrines as a way of consolidating their political power. The need to bring about social uniformity throughout the Roman Empire also necessitated the quest to modify Christianity, its doctrines and practices to fit those of Roman religions. Thus the Bishop of Rome was for instance given the title, Pope and later, that of the high priest in the Roman religions, Pontifex Maximus.
Research Support and the View in Our E Text
The research supports the views expressed in the text, since it underscores the fact that cultures interact and modify one another.
Sayre, N. Henry. (2011). The Humanities: Culture Continuity & Change. New Jersey: Pearson Education Vol. 1.