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FROM JESUS TO
CHRISTIANITY:
A
HISTORY OF
THE
EARLy
CHURCH
Professor Thomas
F.
Madden
SAINT LOU IS UN IVERSITY
From Jesus to Christianity:
A History of the Early Church
Professor Thomas F. Madden
Saint Louis Univers ity
.
 From Jesus to Christianity :
A History of the Early Church
Professor Thomas F. Madden
Course Syllabus
From Jesus to Christianity :
A
History of the Early Church
5 0000 10149484 6
About Your Professor
.4
Introduction
5
Lecture 1
The Roman World
6-8
Lecture 2
Judaea in the Time of Christ
9-12
Executive Producer
John J. Alexander
Lecture 3
The Age of the Apost les
13-16
Lecture 4
The Spread of Christianity
17-20
Executive Editor
Donna F. Carnahan
Lecture 5
The Organization of the Early Church
21-24
Lecture 6
Christian Heresies
25-29
RECORDING
Producer - David Markowitz
Director - Matthew Cavnar
Lecture 7
The Early Church Fathers
30-34
Lecture 8
Roman Persecutions
35-38
COURSE GUIDE
Editor - James Gallagher
Contributing Editor -
Karen Sparrough
Design - Edward White
Lecture 9
The Conversion of Constantin e
39-42
Lecture 10 Christianity as the Official Religion of Rome
.43-47
Lecture 11 The Rise of Christian Monasticism
.48-51
Lecture 12 The Latin Fathers
52-55
Lecture 13 Christianity and the Fall of Rome in the West...
56-59
Lecture content ©2005 by Thomas F. Madden
Course guide ©2005 by Recorded Books , LLC
Lecture 14 Challenges from the East..
60-62
Course Mater ials
63-64
®2005 by Recorded Books. LLC
#UT065 ISBN: 1-4193-4772-1
All beliefs and opinions expressed in this audio/video program and acC?mpanyin
g
course guide
are those of the author and not of Recorded Books, LLC, or Its employees .
3
About Your
Professor
Thomas F. Madden
Thomas F. Madden is a professor of medieval history and chair of the
Department of History at Saint Louis University. A recognized expert on the
Crusades, he has appeared in forums such as National Public Radio and the
New York Times.
Professor Madden is the author of
The New Concise
History
of
the Crusades
and
Enrico Dandolo and the Rise
of
Venice.
He is
coauthor with Donald E. Queller of
The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest
of
Constantinople
and the editor of
Crusades: The Illustrated History
and
The
Crusades : Essential Readings.
Among his published journal articles are 'T he
Endu ring Myths of the Fourth Crusade ," "Father of the Bride: Fathers,
- Dauqhters, and Dowries in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Venice, "
and 'The Fires of the Fourth Crusade in Constantinople, 1203-1204: A
Damage Assessment. "
Christ Seated in Judgment
Fresco (detail) by Fra Ang elico, 1447
Introduction
Entrusting the apostles to continue the work he had started by instructing
them to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ...," Jesus kindled the fires of
a new religion in a world largely dominated by polytheism, cult leader worship ,
and mysticism. In the first century of its existence , Christianity was both wel-
comed and villified throughou t the Roman Empire. Many of Christianity's origi-
nal adherents were martyred-murdered by those who believed it a danger to
their authority or, at the very least, the cause of unrest among an otherwise
docile populace.
Christians themselves practiced their religion with great diversity , linked as
much to local influences as theology . Political intrigue, theolog ical beliefs, and
simple misunderstandings created a need for dialogue between the many
practitioners of the growing faith.
Christianity's adoption as the official faith of the Roman state tied it inexorably
to the fortunes of the Empire. This also helped to create a gulf between the
two main theological branches of the religion, which remain to this day.
4
5
Lecture 1: The Roman World
Before beginning this lecture you may want to
...
Read E.T. Salmon's A
History
of
the Roman World from
30 BC
to AD 138.
Rome
Rome was founded around 750 B.C.
Around 509 B.C., the Romans revolted
against their foreign kings and established
a republic . This instilled in them a strong
distrust of concentrated power.
Roman expansionism was an ad hoc
affair. Romans responded to crises, but
found themselves involved in problems far-
ther and farther away.
The Gallic sack of Rome in 390 B.C. con-
vinced them of the necessity of organizing
strong defensive alliances with other Italian
powers.
By 275 B.C., the Romans were masters of
Caesar Augustus
There was always room for one more god or goddess , who was either
viewed as a new deity or a new manifestation of an old one.
The cult of the emperor fulfilled both a religious and political function.
Romans were also infatuated with mystery cults. These were often
Hellenized retreads of more ancient cults .
Each claimed to hold secret knowledge and ceremonies that were made
known only to certain initiates. Usually there were various levels of member-
ship that afforded greater access to the "mysteries."
This approach to religion stumbled when it came upon the exclusive
monothe ism of the Jews.
In time , the Romans learned to make
special accommodations for the Jews ,
but they were never able to eliminate
all frictions.
Monotheism seemed to be insulting,
impious , or at least antisocial.
- Italy. By 146 B.C., the Romans were the
last remaining "superpower" in the Mediterranean world .
Roman involvement in the land of the Jews began in 64 B.C. Various
Jewish factions appealed to the Roman general Pompey for aid. He inter-
vened, setting up one faction and placing Roman garrisons in the region to
maintain peace.
Although nominally independent, Judaea was ruled by Herod (37 B.C. -
4 AD.), a Roman appointee. After 6 B.C. , it became part of the province of
Syria.
Large -scale civil wars culm inated in the reign of Emperor Augustus
(27 B.C. - 14 A.D.). Thus began the Pax Romana, a period of unprecedent-
ed peace and prosperity in the region.
It would be into this world that Christianity was born .
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U
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Roman Religious Beliefs
The Romans were pious people who believed that the gods had blessed
them greatly . They cons idered impiety and atheism to be both wrong and
dangerous.
Roman piety led them to willingly acce pt the gods of other peoples that they
encountered. This was widely believed to be a cause of their great success .
Juno and Jupiter
Wall painting, Pompeii, first century A.D.
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