Europe And Christianity

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· While Rome disintegrated, the Christian church survived and grew · Christianity "“ Syncretic faith, absorbing and adapting many of the religious ideas of the Eastern Mediterranean.

o From Judaism came the concept of monotheism o From Orphism came the belief that the body was the prison of the soul o Hellenistic thought derived the notion of superiority of spirit over matter · Legalization of Christianity by Constantine in 312 · Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the empire in 380 · With the empire in decay, educated people joined and worked for the church instead.

· Belief in the church was the one institution able to provide leadership.

· Christian bishops established See's in urban centers, as the base of their operations.

· Christian missionaries preach Gospels to the Germanic peoples.

· Prestige of Rome enhanced by courage and leadership of Roman bishops.

o Pope Leo I met the advancing army of Attila the Hun in 452, saving Rome.

· Mediterranean Sea served as highway over which Christianity further spread.

· Christianity spread to the Irish.

· Monasticism begins in third century; individuals and small groups withdrew from cities, to seek God through prayers, in caves, deserts and mountain regions. (Monks) · Monasteries formed by monks - provided a model of Christian living, a pattern of agricultural development, and a place for education and learning.

· Apologists: Defenders of Christianity · Law Code of Justinian · Similarity between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

· Christian missionaries preached the Gospels to Germanic peoples · Strong Christian faith built in Latin west.

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