History of Christianity

History of Christianity

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The history of Christianity is the history of the Christian religion, Christian countries and communities, and the various denominations of Christians, from its formation in the 1st century to the present day. Christianity began with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, who preached the coming of the Kingdom of God and was crucified around AD 30 in Jerusalem in Roman Judea. His followers believe that the Gospels had identified him as the Son of God and that he died to forgive the sins of others. They further believe that he was raised from the dead, and would return to earthly existence soon to inaugurate God’s Kingdom on Earth.

The earliest followers of Jesus were Jewish Christians. The inclusion of gentiles in the early Christian Church caused a rift to erupt between Judaism and Jewish Christianity early in the Christian Era. In 313, the Edict of Milan legalizing Christian worship was promulgated by Emperor Constantine I. Then in 380, the Roman Empire officially adopted Christianity as its state religion. With that, Christianity became the predominant religion in the state church of the Roman Empire. But controversies raged in the early Church about the human and divine nature of Christ, and various church councils were called to resolve these disputes. Arianism was condemned at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 in support of the doctrine of the Trinity in the Nicene Creed.

In the Early Middle Ages, missionaries spread Christianity among the Germanic peoples to the west. During the High Middle Ages, eastern and western Christianity grew apart, and resulted in the Schism of 1054 that divided Eastern Orthodox Christianity from Roman Christianity. Moreover, the growing criticism of Church officials and their egregious behavior gave rise to Protestantism in the 16th century and the splintering of western Christianity. Since then, Christianity has expanded throughout the world and become the world’s largest religion, with more than two billion Christians worldwide. Although the influence of Christianity has waned in the West, it has rapidly grown in Asia and Third World developing countries.

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Christianity Index | Origins | Apostles: John: WritingsPaul: BackgroundMissionsBeliefs | Peter | Disciples | Gospels | Early Christianity: Moral CodeSacramentsRitualOrganizationBishopsDoctrine: Orthodoxy | Creeds | Jesus of Nazareth: Life and TeachingsAchievementsFinal BreakDeath and TransfigurationPerceptionScholarship | Monasticism | Spread | Empire | Persecution | Triumph: Constantine | Culture | Church Fathers: Augustine | Literature: Origen | Tertullian | ApologistsLiterary Tradition | Modern Scholarship: Higher Criticism


Christianity: Origins


Apostles: John

John: Writings

Apostles: Paul

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Paul: Background

Paul: Missions

Paul: Beliefs

Apostles: Peter

Christianity: Disciples

Christianity: Gospels

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Christianity: Early Christianity

Early Christianity: Moral Code

Early Christianity: Sacraments

Early Christianity: Ritual

Christianity: Organization

Christianity: The Church: Bishops

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Christianity: Doctrine

Doctrine: Orthodoxy

Christianity: Creeds

Christianity: Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth: Life and Teachings

Jesus of Nazareth: Achievements

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Jesus of Nazareth: Final Break

Jesus of Nazareth: Death and Transfiguration

Jesus of Nazareth: Perception

Jesus of Nazareth: Scholarship

Christianity: Monasticism

Christianity: Spread

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Spread: Empire

Spread: Persecution

Christianity: Triumph

Triumph: Constantine

Christianity: Culture

The Church: Church Fathers

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Church Fathers: Augustine

Culture: Literature

Literature: Origen

Literature: Tertullian

Literature: Apologists

Literature: Literary Tradition

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Christianity: Modern Scholarship

Modern Scholarship: Higher Criticism

Christianity in the Renaissance

The Reformation: Index

Religion in the Reformation

Society of Jesus

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Catholic Reformation

The Papacy in the Catholic Reformation

Catholic Reformation: Monasticism

Society in the Reformation

Culture in the Reformation

Reformation in Central Europe

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Reformation in the Netherlands

Reformation in Spain

Early Christianity

Early Christianity: Authority

Early Christianity: Doctrine

Early Christianity: Proselytizing

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Early Christianity: Structure


Christianity in the Late Middle Ages

The Enlightenment: Faith or Reason?

Christianity in the Enlightenment

Christianity: Authority


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