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The Rise of Christianity During the Dominate Period of the Roman Empire (Essay Sample)


MAIN QUESTION: 1. Compare and contrast the rise of Christianity during the Dominate period of the Roman Empire and afterward, with the rise of Islam and its expansion within and beyond the Arabian Peninsula. In your answer, include an examination of the relationship of each religion with political power in its period of expansion.
Suggested main sources: LEC Weeks 1, 3; Backman text, Ch. 9 (this is the only topic where you need to use the textbook for part of it); also consider as possible support: SEM Weeks 1, 2, 4


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The rise of Christianity during the Dominate period of the Roman Empire
Different tribes introduced their own gods and ways of devotion to what would eventually be known as Italy. This rendered ancient Rome's religion probabilistic, as they believed several gods. They also believed in spirits. In the mid-first century CE, Christianity arose in Judea, founded on the Jesus' doctrines and then on Paul of Tarsus' works and apostolic efforts. Christianity began as a tiny, disorganized group promising individual redemption after death. Believing in Jesus Christ   God’s son, the very same God as that of the Jews, was necessary for redemption. Early Church disputed whether they should just speak to Jews or whether they might convert non-Jews as well. Christianity eventually attracted adherents from all over the Roman Empire, not just from Jewish settlements. The Edict of Milan, enacted by Constantine The great in 313 CE, provided legal rights to Christianity and numerous established religions (Blankie). While it was a significant step forward in Christian history, it did not mean that Christianity completely replaced ancient Roman beliefs. In 325, Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea, an assembly of Evangelical groups tasked with determining Christianity's official or orthodox doctrines (Blankie). The Nicene Creed, which spelled forth the council's consented principles, was the product of this meeting. The Edict of Thessalonica, proclaimed by Emperor Theodosius in 380 CE, declared Christianity, especially Nicene Religion, to be the legal church of the Roman Empire. The Roman authority declared almost all other faith groups heretical, stripped them of their legal standing, and seized their property.

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