Free Research Exercise 2: Article Review Article Review Example
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During the early periods of Christianity, the religion was faced with numerous challenges including persecution politicization and heretical doctrines. This paper is a review of three scholarly journal articles that expound on three topics considered in the religious studies class. The three themes under consideration include the Conversion of Constantine, the Impact of the fall of the Western Empire on the Church, and Role of Heretical Christianity on the Advent of Islam. For each topic, one scholarly article was selected that analyzes the topic in detail.
The Conversion of Constantine
Constantine is recorded as the first Christian Emperor in history. The emperor’s reign was between the years 306 to 337 AD. Before his reign, Christian persecution was at its pick, with former emperors such as Nero, ordering mass execution of Christians. Therefore, Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity was a relief to the Christians during his reign. However, Constantine’s conversion to Christianity is still perceived to be controversial among historians, theologians, and present time scholars. The cause for this is because; most individuals view his conversion as a political move to further expand his personal interests. Similarly, theologians have always been a spectacle about the form of Early Christianity Emperor Constantine converted to. Theologians question his conversion because of his decision to change the traditional Jewish Sabbath day to Sunday in the year 321 AD. He also made other decisions and legal reforms that can be perceived by modern day Christians as unbiblical. Despite the speculations and skepticism, Constantine’s conversion had a significant influence in early Christianity since his move sparked the transition of the region to dominance in the Roman Empire during and after his reign. Emperor Constantine was also exposed to Christianity at an early age by his mother, Helena. Helena also played a significant role in trying to influence Constantine’s father to end the Christian persecution before Constantine came to power. However, Constantine was successful in ending the Christian persecution, something which his father was unable to do. As it was expected, Constantine opposed the Christian persecution in the Roman Empire and supported the religion, both morally and financially. Among other things, Constantine abolished the traditional Roman execution method of crucifixion with hanging because the cross was adopted as a sign of Christianity.
The Impact of the fall of the Western Empire on the Church
The fall of the Western Roman Empire was characterized by the disintegration of the empire into numerous different states. By the time Odoacer overthrew Emperor Romulus in 476 AD, the Western Roman Empire had insignificant political, financial, and military power. The region also lacked adequate control. In the face of the decline in power, the fall was finally completed by the barbarian invasion. In regards to the Church and how it was affected by the fall, as the empires control and influence decreased, the church rose in significance. During this period, the church was characterized by three significant institutions. The institutions included Bishops, Monastic movement, and Papacy. The fading of the empire’s powers and invasion of the Germans intensified the church’s influence on bishops becoming important spiritual and political figures. Church Bishops became even more powerful since the position was hereditary and not filled through elections. The monastic movement increasingly gained notable acknowledgment as the Western Empire disintegrated. As the ideologies proposed by the monastic movement grew in popularity, more communities of holy men were formed. Among the most prevalent and influential community was the St. Benedict’s monastery that was based in Monte Cassino, Italy. The third institution constituting the church after the fall of the Western Empire was Papacy. The Roman bishops thrived in establishing the pope as the overall ruler of the church. The pope was also appointed ruler of Rome and the adjacent territory.
The role of Heretical Christianity on the Advent of Islam
During the fourth and fifth century’s antagonism to the Christian, region resulted in divisions and heresies from the orthodox perception. These divisions and the refutation of the Greek culture and language were expressions of nationwide awakening. The major difference that existed among the Christians who were perceived to be heretical was the nature of Christ as being God or human. The Syrian life-force was affirming itself against the supremacy of Greek culture. The Syrians as a society were no more Hellenized during this period than they were to be Romanized at a later period. They were isolated from their Byzantine rulers because of political and economic as well as ideological motives. The Christian Byzantines were domineering in their regulation and beleaguered the people with heavy taxation. According to Yavorsky, they disarmed the inhabitants and had little regard for their well-being. In regards to religious matters, they exhibited a less lenience than their pagan predecessors. The result of all this was numerous religious divisions and heresies. In the year 484 AD, Nestorian theology was acknowledged to be the official doctrine of the Syrian Church. The Ghassanids and other Syrian Arabs accepted this theology before the introduction of Islam.
Andre Alfoldi. “The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome. Pp. 140. New York, Oxford University Press.” Theology Today: 423.
Joachim Thiel. “The Fall of Rome. The Collapse of the Roman Empire as Viewed by Posterity.” Philosophy and History: 147-48.
Yavorsky Maxim. “Impact of Heretical Christianity on the Advent of Islam.” Physical Review A. 117-58
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