History of Christianity Part III

History of Christianity 3

The Latin West was little involved in these disputes. As soon as an independent theology developed in this area – in North Africa since about 200 (Tertullian), in the rest of the West since the middle of the 4th century – it dealt with other questions. According to the Roman order thinking and the practical-juridical orientation of these people, Western Christianity v. a. about the questions of Christian practice: How does a person achieve salvation when he is completely shaped by sin? What must the Christian do, what must the church look like? In the late antiquity, the doctrine of original sin, a theology of Jesus’ death on the cross, was developedas payment and redemption price for sins, a doctrine of grace, predestination and sacraments. In all of these areas, Augustine submitted constitutive formulations that had a major influence on the Middle Ages and modern times.

In parallel with the development of teaching, the foundations of socialization and the institutions of Christianity were formed. The acceptance of the faith was connected with the formation of a church from the beginning. The focus was on the individual community, which represented all elements of Christianity. But there was also an awareness of belonging to a larger community, the church. This cross-community character of Christianity also created institutional expression in the course of time; An organization of the church developed in analogy to the political structure: episcopal municipalities with surrounding areas (bishop, supported by the priests ), metropolitan seats (metropolitan) and patriarchates (patriarch). Since the end of the 4th century, the Roman bishops raised a formal claim to primacy over the entire church (papacy, primacy of the pope). However, this claim was rejected in Eastern Christianity; in the west it was only gradually able to establish itself during the early Middle Ages. Other forms of overarching institutionalization of Christianity were regional synods (since around 200). In addition, confessional formulas, baptismal symbols, etc. Acquire “all-Christian” validity. – Monasticism has played an important role since the 3rd century.

All these developments took place for three centuries in an environment that was often hostile to Christianity. At first, the communities were small, closed themselves off from the environment ( Arcand discipline), did not take part in the state cult of gods and practiced unfamiliar behavior. This led to allegations and also to outbreaks of hatred, which were expressed in local and regional persecutions. Nevertheless, Christianity was able to spread until the middle of the 3rd century. Only since this time did the state come to systematic persecution, which became dangerous for the church ( persecution of Christians). This epoch came to an end with the beginning of the reign of Constantine (Constantinian turning point).

Middle Ages: In the Middle Ages, the center of Christian activities shifted from the urban Mediterranean to the rural European mainland. The sparse settlement and the agrarian character gave rise to spacious dioceses; Monasteries or priests working on behalf of the noble rulers (own church) took over the pastoral care. Since there were only a few urban centers here, theology and theological teaching were no longer a matter for the (large) Christian communities, but for the school (Latin schola): the emerging school science (scholasticism) has been cultivated at monastery and cathedral schools, since the high Middle Ages at universities. Church, science and common language of the Middle Ages was (still encouraged by the growing alienation of eastern Christianity of the Byzantine Empire, from which one had definitively separated in 1054, East-West Schism), the Latin standard language of late antiquity, the simple Christian de facto by a excluded mature participation in the spiritual life. After the crusades had led to a flourishing of handicrafts and trade and v. a. in northern Italy and southern France, a new urban culture developed, there were also theological (counter) movements in the population (poverty movement).

According to sciencedict.com, the Church responded positively to the threat to traditional views posed by the poverty movement (poverty dispute) with the approval of the mendicant orders, and negatively with the establishment of the Inquisition (4th Lateran Council 1215).

Medieval society – under the influence of the Germanic social constitution – developed the feudal system, which culminated in a universal empire and papacy as it grew together into a universal culture. World, people, society and their institutions were initially interpreted sacred. Initiated by reform movements within monasticism ( cluniac reform, Gorze), the church tried to achieve a certain independence from state power (Gregorian reform under the theme of “freedom of the church”); in the investiture dispute (Enclosed in the compromise of the Worms Concordat in 1122) a distinction was made between profane and sacred, state and church, and the idea of ​​an autonomy for both areas was developed for the first time. This laid the foundation for the late medieval disintegration of universal political culture: nation states pursued their own interests, the ideas of popular sovereignty (Marsilius of Padua) and freedom of politics from ethics (N. Machiavelli) emerged, sciences emancipated themselves from the primacy of Theology, theology withdrew from speculation on the revealed bases (biblicism).

History of Christianity 3