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The history of Christianity concerns the
Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of d ...

Christian religion
,
Christian countries A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings o ...
, and the
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...

Christians
with their various
denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu denominations ** Schools of Buddhism, Buddhist denomination * Denomination (currency) * Denomination ( ...
, from the 1st century to the
present The present (or here and now) is the time that is associated with the events perception, perceived directly and in the first time, not as a recollection (perceived more than once) or a speculation (predicted, hypothesis, uncertain). It is a peri ...
. Christianity originated with the ministry of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
, a Jewish teacher and healer who proclaimed the imminent
kingdom of God The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" but ...
and was
crucified Crucifixion is a method of punishment or capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang perhaps for several days, until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It was used as a punishment ...

crucified
in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
in the
Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled ...
of
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...
. His followers believe that, according to the
Gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...

Gospel
s, he was the Son of God and that he died for the forgiveness of sins and was raised from the dead and exalted by God, and will return soon at the inception of God's kingdom. The earliest followers of Jesus were apocalyptic
Jewish Christian Jewish Christians ( he, יהודים נוצרים, yehudim notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, stand ...
s. The inclusion of
gentile Gentile () is a word that usually means "someone who is not a Jews, Jew". Other groups claiming affiliation with Israelites, groups that claim Israelite heritage sometimes use the term ''gentile'' to describe outsiders, notably Mormons. More ...

gentile
s in the developing early Christian Church caused a schism between
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
and Jewish Christianity during the first two centuries of the
Christian Era The terms (AD) and before Christ (BC) are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a ...
. In 313, Emperor
Constantine I Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...
issued the
Edict of Milan The Edict of Milan ( la, Edictum Mediolanense, el, Διάταγμα τῶν Μεδιολάνων, ''Diatagma tōn Mediolanōn'') was the February 313 CE agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire.Frend, W. H. C. ''Th ...
legalizing Christian worship. In 380, with the
Edict of Thessalonica The Edict of Thessalonica (also known as ''Cunctos populos''), issued on 27 February AD 380 by three reigning Roman emperors The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βα ...
put forth under
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
, the Roman Empire officially adopted
Trinitarian The Christian theology, Christian doctrine of the Trinity (, from "threefold") defines God in Christianity , God as being Monotheism, one god existing in three wikt:coequal , coequal, wikt:coeternal , coeternal, Consubstantiality , consubsta ...
Christianity as its state religion, and Christianity established itself as a predominantly Roman religion in the
state church of the Roman Empire The state church of the Roman Empire refers to the church approved by the Roman emperors after Theodosius I issued the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which recognized the catholic orthodoxy of Nicene Christians in the Great Church as the Roman Empi ...
. Christological debates about the human and divine nature of Jesus consumed the Christian Church for two centuries, and seven ecumenical councils were called to resolve these debates.
Arianism Arianism is a Christology, Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. Arian theology holds that the Son of God is not co-eternal with God the Father and is distinct from th ...
was condemned at the
First Council of Nicea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea (now İznik, Turkey) by the Roman Emperors, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, Constantine I in AD 325. This ec ...
(325), which supported the Trinitarian doctrine as expounded in the
Nicene Creed The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Ca ...
. In the early
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, missionary activities spread Christianity towards the west among German peoples. During the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
, eastern and western Christianity grew apart, leading to the
East–West Schism The East–West Schism (also known as the Great Schism or Schism of 1054) was the break of communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eatin ...
of 1054. Growing criticism of the
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
ecclesiological In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of the Church (congregation), Church, the origins of Christianity, its relationship to Jesus, its role in salvation, its ecclesiastical polity, polity, its Church discipline, discipline, its eschat ...
structure and its behavior led to the
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
movement of the 16th century and the split of western Christianity. Since the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
era, with colonialism inspired by the Church, Christianity has expanded throughout the world. Today there are more than two billion Christians worldwide, and Christianity has become the world's largest religion. Within the last century, as the influence of Christianity has waned in the West, it has rapidly grown in the East and the
Global South The concept of Global North and Global South (or North–South divide in a global context) is used to describe a grouping of countries along socio-economic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies ho ...
; in China, South Korea and much of sub-Saharan Africa.


Origins


Jewish-Hellenistic background

The
religious Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religious
climate of 1st century Judea was diverse, with numerous Judaic sects. The ancient historian
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...

Josephus
describes four prominent sects:
Pharisees The Pharisees (; Hebrew: ''Pərūšīm'') were a social movement and a school of thought in the Levant during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70), destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic belie ...
,
Sadducees The Sadducees (; he, צְדוּקִים ''Ṣĕdûqîm'') were a sect or group of Jews who were active in Judea Judea or Judaea, and the modern version of Judah (; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', ...
,
Essenes The Essenes (; Modern Hebrew Modern Hebrew ( he, עברית חדשה, ''ʿivrít ḥadašá ', , ''Literal translation, lit.'' "Modern Hebrew" or "New Hebrew"), also known as Israeli Hebrew or Israeli, and generally referred to by speakers ...
, and an unnamed one. The 1st century BC and 1st century AD had numerous charismatic religious leaders, contributing to what would become the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah. ...
of
rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, CE, after the codification of ...
, including
Yohanan ben Zakkai Yohanan ben Zakkai ( he, יוחנן בן זכאי, 1st century CE), sometimes abbreviated as Ribaz () for Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, was one of the Tannaim ''Tannaim'' ( arc, תנאים , singular , ''Tanna'' "repeaters", "teachers") were the ...
and Hanina ben Dosa.
Jewish messianism The Messiah in Judaism () is the savior and liberator figure in Jewish eschatology, whose role is to restore Judaism by enabling the Jews, Jewish people to observe all 613 commandments through building the The Third Temple, Temple in Jerusalem and ...
, and the Jewish messiah concept, has its
roots A root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a lar ...
in the
apocalyptic literature Apocalyptic literature is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category ...
of the 2nd century BC to 1st century BC, promising a future "anointed" leader (messiah or king) from the
Davidic line The Davidic line or House of David (, ) refers to the Lineage (anthropology), lineage of the Israelites, Israelite king David through texts in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and through the succeeding centuries. In Judaism and Christianit ...
to resurrect the Israelite Kingdom of God, in place of the foreign rulers of the time.


Ministry of Jesus

The main sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the four
canonical gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words an ...
, and to a lesser extent the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
and the
Pauline epistles The Pauline epistles, also known as Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although the authorship of some is in dispute. Among these epistles are some of the earliest extant ...
. According to the Gospels, Jesus is the Son of God who was crucified c.30–33 AD. His followers believed that he was raised from the dead and exalted by God, heralding the coming Kingdom of God.


Early Christianity (c. 31/33–324)

Early Christianity is generally reckoned by church historians to begin with the ministry of Jesus ( 27–30) and end with the
First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialec ...
(325). It is typically divided into two periods: the ''Apostolic Age'' ( 30–100, when the first apostles were still alive) and the ''Ante-Nicene Period'' ( 100–325).


Apostolic Age

The Apostolic Age is named after the
Apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, parti ...

Apostles
and their missionary activities. It holds special significance in Christian tradition as the age of the direct apostles of Jesus. A
primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

primary source
for the Apostolic Age is the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
, but its historical accuracy is questionable and its coverage is partial, focusing especially from Acts 15 onwards on the ministry of
Paul Paul may refer to: *Paul (name), a given name (includes a list of people with that name) *Paul (surname), a list of people People Christianity *Paul the Apostle (AD 5–67), also known as Saul of Tarsus or Saint Paul, early Christian missionar ...
, and ending around 62 AD with Paul preaching in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
under
house arrest In justice Justice, one of the four cardinal virtues, by Vitruvio Alberi, 1589–1590. Fresco, corner of the vault, studiolo of the Virgin of Mercy, Madonna of Mercy, Palazzo Altemps, Rome Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle t ...
. The earliest followers of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
were a sect of apocalyptic
Jewish Christian Jewish Christians ( he, יהודים נוצרים, yehudim notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, stand ...
s within the realm of
Second Temple Judaism Second Temple Judaism is Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social sy ...
. The early Christian groups were strictly Jewish, such as the
Ebionites Ebionites ( grc-gre, Ἐβιωναῖοι, ''Ebionaioi'', derived from Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is rega ...
, and the early Christian community in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
, led by James the Just, brother of Jesus. According to Acts 9, they described themselves as "disciples of the Lord" and ollowers"of the Way", and according to Acts 11, a settled community of disciples at
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...
were the first to be called "Christians". Some of the early Christian communities attracted
God-fearers God-fearers ( grc-x-koine, φοβούμενοι τὸν Θεόν, ''phoboumenoi ton Theon'') or God-worshippers ( grc-x-koine, θεοσεβεῖς, ''Theosebeis'') were a numerous class of Gentile Gentile (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
, i.e. Greco-Roman sympathizers which made an allegiance to Judaism but refused to convert and therefore retained their Gentile (non-Jewish) status, who already visited Jewish synagogues. The inclusion of gentiles posed a problem, as they could not fully observe the
Halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific ...
. Saul of Tarsus, commonly known as
Paul the Apostle Paul; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, Saũlos Tarseús; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus AD ...
, persecuted the early Jewish Christians, then
converted Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ''Cyberman'' * Conversion (Stargate Atlantis), "Conversion" (''Stargate Atlantis ...
and started his mission among the gentiles. The main concern of Paul's letters is the inclusion of gentiles into God's
New Covenant The New Covenant (Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew '; Koine Greek, Greek ''diatheke kaine'') is a biblical interpretation originally derived from a Book of Jeremiah#Sections of the Book, phrase in the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34), in the Hebrew ...
, sending the message that faith in Christ is sufficient for salvation. Because of this inclusion of gentiles, early Christianity changed its character and gradually grew apart from Judaism and Jewish Christianity during the first two centuries of the Christian Era. The fourth-century church fathers Eusebius and Epiphanius of Salamis cite a tradition that before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 the Jerusalem Christians had been miraculously warned to flee to Pella in the region of the Decapolis across the Jordan River. The Gospels and
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
epistles An epistle (; el, ἐπιστολή, ''epistolē,'' "letter") is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal Didacticism, didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Eg ...
contain early
creed A creed, also known as a confession of faith, symbol, or statement of faith, is a statement of the shared belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology ...
s and
hymns A hymn is a type of song A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at melody, distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various song form, ...
, as well as accounts of the Passion, the empty tomb, and Resurrection appearances. Early Christianity spread to pockets of believers among
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac ...
-speaking peoples along the
Mediterranean coast The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
and also to the inland parts of the Roman Empire and beyond, into the
Parthian Empire The Parthian Empire (), also known as the Arsacid Empire (), was a major political and cultural power in from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, , who led the tribe in conquering the region of in 's northeast, ...

Parthian Empire
and the later
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Ērānshahr The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its ...

Sasanian Empire
, including
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
, which was dominated at different times and to varying extent by these empires.


Ante-Nicene period

The ante-Nicene period (literally meaning "before Nicaea") was the period following the Apostolic Age down to the First Council of Nicaea in 325. By the beginning of the Nicene period, the Christian faith had spread throughout
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
and the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
, and to
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
and the East. A more formal Church structure grew out of the early communities, and various Christian doctrines developed. Christianity grew apart from Judaism, creating its own identity by an increasingly harsh rejection of Judaism and of Jewish practices.


Developing church structure

The number of Christians grew by approximately 40% per decade during the first and second centuries. In the post-Apostolic church a hierarchy of clergy gradually emerged as overseers of urban Christian populations took on the form of '''' (overseers, the origin of the terms bishop and episcopal) and ''
presbyter In the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Christian biblical canon. It discusses the te ...
s'' (
elders An elder is someone with a degree of seniority or authority. Elder or elders may refer to: Positions Administrative * Elder (administrative title), a position of authority Cultural * American Indian elder, a person who has and transmits cul ...
; the origin of the term
priest A priest is a religious leader Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social w ...

priest
) and then ''
deacons A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...
'' (servants). But this emerged slowly and at different times in different locations. , a 1st-century bishop of Rome, refers to the leaders of the Corinthian church in his epistle to Corinthians as bishops and presbyters interchangeably. The New Testament writers also use the terms overseer and elders interchangeably and as synonyms.


Variant Christianities

The Ante-Nicene period saw the rise of a great number of Christian
sect A sect is a subgroup of a religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Diff ...
s,
cult In modern English, a cult is a social group In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity. Regardless, soc ...

cult
s and
movements Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referred to as movement Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Movement (short story), "Movement", a short ...
with strong unifying characteristics lacking in the apostolic period. They had different interpretations of
Scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of ...

Scripture
, particularly the
divinity of Jesus In Christianity, Christology (from Ancient Greek, Greek Χριστός ''Khristós'' and , ''wiktionary:-logia, -logia''), translated literally from Greek as "the study of Christ", is a branch of theology that concerns Jesus. Different denomina ...
and the nature of the
Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Trinity
. Many variations in this time defy neat categorizations, as various forms of Christianity interacted in a complex fashion to form the dynamic character of Christianity in this era. The Post-Apostolic period was diverse both in terms of beliefs and practices. In addition to the broad spectrum of general branches of Christianity, there was constant change and diversity that variably resulted in both internecine conflicts and syncretic adoption.


Development of the biblical canon

The Pauline epistles were circulating in collected form by the end of the 1st century. By the early 3rd century, there existed a set of Christian writings similar to the current New Testament, though there were still disputes over the canonicity of Hebrews, James, I Peter, I and II John, and Revelation. By the 4th century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon, and by the 5th century the East, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the canon.


Early orthodox writings

As Christianity spread, it acquired certain members from well-educated circles of the Hellenistic world; they sometimes became bishops. They produced two sorts of works, theological and
apologetic Apologetics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mil ...
, the latter being works aimed at defending the faith by using reason to refute arguments against the veracity of Christianity. These authors are known as the
Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, di ...
, and study of them is called
patristics Patristics or patrology is the study of the early Christian writers who are designated Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians an ...
. Notable early fathers include
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
,
Polycarp Polycarp (; el, Πολύκαρπος, ''Polýkarpos''; la, Polycarpus; AD 69 155) was a Christian bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with ...

Polycarp
,
Justin Martyr Justin Martyr ( el, Ἰουστῖνος ὁ μάρτυς, Ioustinos ho martys; c. 100 – c. 165) was an early Christian apologetics, Christian apologist and philosopher. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue did survive ...

Justin Martyr
,
Irenaeus Irenaeus (; grc-gre, Εἰρηναῖος ''Eirēnaios''; c. 130 – c. 202 AD) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Rep ...
,
Tertullian Tertullian (; la, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; 155 AD – 220 AD) was a prolific early Christian The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religio ...

Tertullian
,
Clement of Alexandria Titus Flavius Clemens, also known as Clement of Alexandria ( grc, Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; – ), was a Christian theologian #REDIRECT Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Chr ...
, and
Origen Origen of Alexandria, ''Ōrigénēs''; Coptic language, Coptic: Ϩⲱⲣⲓⲕⲉⲛ Origen's Greek name ''Ōrigénēs'' () probably means "child of Horus" (from , "Horus", and , "born"). ( 184 – 253), also known as Origen Adamantius, was an ...

Origen
.


Early art

Christian art Christian art is sacred art which uses themes and imagery from Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , and ...
emerged relatively late and the first known Christian images emerge from about 200 AD, although there is some literary evidence that small domestic images were used earlier. The oldest known Christian paintings are from the Roman
catacombs catacombs in Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_ca ...

catacombs
, dated to about 200, and the oldest Christian sculptures are from
sarcophagi , Minerva Minerva (; ett, Menrva) is the Roman goddess Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the It ...

sarcophagi
, dating to the beginning of the 3rd century. The early rejection of images, and the necessity to hide Christian practice from persecution, left behind few written records regarding early Christianity and its evolution.Andre Grabar, p. 7


Persecutions and legalisation

There was no empire-wide persecution of Christians until the reign of
Decius Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius (c. 201 ADJune 251 AD), sometimes translated as Trajan Decius or Decius, was the emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler ...

Decius
in the third century.Martin, D. 2010
"The "Afterlife" of the New Testament and Postmodern Interpretation

lecture transcript
). Yale University.
The last and most severe persecution organised by the imperial authorities was the
Diocletianic Persecution#REDIRECT Diocletianic Persecution The Diocletianic or Great Persecution was the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. In 303, the Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and ...
, 303–311. The
Edict of Serdica The Edict of Serdica, also called Edict of Toleration by Galerius, was issued in 311 in Serdica Serdika or Serdica is the historical Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization fro ...
was issued in 311 by the Roman Emperor
Galerius Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus (; c. 258 – May 311) was from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by , against the , sacking their capital in 299. He also campaigned across the against the , defeating them in 297 and 300. ...

Galerius
, officially ending the persecution in the East. With the passage in 313 AD of the
Edict of Milan The Edict of Milan ( la, Edictum Mediolanense, el, Διάταγμα τῶν Μεδιολάνων, ''Diatagma tōn Mediolanōn'') was the February 313 CE agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire.Frend, W. H. C. ''Th ...
, in which the Roman Emperors
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...

Constantine the Great
and
Licinius Licinius (; la, Valerius Licinianus Licinius ; (Ancient Greek Λίκινιος) (c. 265 – 325) was Roman emperor from 308 to 324. For most of his reign he was the colleague and rival of Constantine I, with whom he co-authored the Edict of M ...
legalised the Christian religion, persecution of Christians by the Roman state ceased. Armenia became the first country to establish Christianity as its state religion when, in an event traditionally dated to 301 AD, St. Gregory the Illuminator convinced Tiridates III, the king of Armenia, to convert to Christianity.


Late antiquity (325–476)


Influence of Constantine

How much Christianity Constantine adopted at this point is difficult to discern,R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, ''Medieval Worlds'' (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) p. 55 but his accession was a turning point for the Christian Church. He supported the Church financially, built various
basilicas In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building g ...
, granted privileges (e.g., exemption from certain taxes) to clergy, promoted Christians to some high offices, and returned confiscated property. Constantine played an active role in the leadership of the Church. In 316, he acted as a judge in a North African dispute concerning the
Donatist Image:Augustine and donatists.jpg, alt=Painting of Augustine of Hippo arguing with a man before an audience, Charles-André van Loo's 18th-century ''Augustine arguing with Donatists'' Donatism was a Christian sect leading to schism in the Catholic ...
controversy. More significantly, in 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, the first
ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote a ...
. He thus established a precedent for the emperor as responsible to
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...

God
for the spiritual health of his subjects, and thus with a duty to maintain
orthodoxy Orthodoxy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
. He was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity. Constantine's son's successor, his nephew Julian, under the influence of his adviser Mardonius, renounced Christianity and embraced a Neo-platonic and mystical form of paganism, shocking the Christian establishment. He began reopening pagan temples, modifying them to resemble Christian traditions such as the episcopal structure and public charity (previously unknown in Roman paganism). Julian's short reign ended when he died in battle with the Persians.


Arianism and the first ecumenical councils

A popular doctrine in the 4th century was
Arianism Arianism is a Christology, Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. Arian theology holds that the Son of God is not co-eternal with God the Father and is distinct from th ...
, which taught that Christ is distinct from and subordinate to
God the Father God the Father is a title given to God in various religions, most prominently in Christianity. In mainstream trinity, trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is regarded as the first person of the Trinity, followed by the second person, God t ...

God the Father
. Although this doctrine was condemned as
heresy Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
and eventually eliminated by the Roman Church, it remained popular underground for some time. In the late 4th century,
Ulfilas Ulfilas (–383), also known as Ulphilas and Orphila, all Latinized forms of the unattested Gothic language, Gothic form *𐍅𐌿𐌻𐍆𐌹𐌻𐌰 Wulfila, literally "Little Wolf", was a Goths , Goth of Cappadocian Ancient Greeks , Greek des ...
, a Roman bishop and an Arian, was appointed as the first bishop to the
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between West ...
, the Germanic peoples in much of Europe at the borders of and within the Empire. Ulfilas spread Arian Christianity among the Goths, firmly establishing the faith among many of the Germanic tribes, thus helping to keep them culturally distinct.Padberg 1998, 26 During this age, the first ecumenical councils were convened. They were mostly concerned with
Christological In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religio ...
disputes. The First Council of Nicaea (325) and the
First Council of Constantinople The First Council of Constantinople ( la, Concilium Constantinopolitanum; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως) was a council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople la, Constantinopolis , alternate ...
(381) resulted in condemnation of Arian teachings as heresy and produced the Nicene Creed.


Christianity as Roman state religion

On 27 February 380, with the
Edict of Thessalonica The Edict of Thessalonica (also known as ''Cunctos populos''), issued on 27 February AD 380 by three reigning Roman emperors The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βα ...
put forth under
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
,
Gratian Gratian (; la, Flavius Gratianus; 18 April 359 – 25 August 383) was Roman emperor, emperor of the Western Roman Empire, western part of the Roman Empire from 367 to 383. The eldest son of Valentinian I, Gratian accompanied his father on severa ...

Gratian
, and
Valentinian II Valentinian II ( la, Flavius Valentinianus; 37115 May 392) was a Roman emperor in the Western Roman Empire, western part of the Roman empire between AD 375 and 392. He was at first junior co-ruler of his brother, was then sidelined by a usurper, ...
, the Roman Empire officially adopted Trinitarian Christianity as its state religion. Prior to this date,
Constantius II Flavius Julius Constantius ( grc-gre, Κωνστάντιος; 7 August 317 – 3 November 361), known as Constantius II, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). ...
and
Valens Flavius Valens (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ) ...
had personally favoured Arian or
Semi-Arian Semi-Arianism was a position regarding the relationship between God the Father God the Father is a title given to God in various religions, most prominently in Christianity. In mainstream trinity, trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is ...
forms of Christianity, but Valens' successor Theodosius I supported the Trinitarian doctrine as expounded in the Nicene Creed. After its establishment, the Church adopted the same organisational boundaries as the Empire: geographical provinces, called
diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, prov ...
s, corresponding to imperial government territorial divisions. The bishops, who were located in major urban centres as in pre-legalisation tradition, thus oversaw each diocese. The bishop's location was his "seat", or " see". Among the sees, five came to hold special eminence:
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
,
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...
,
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...
,
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...

Antioch
, and
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...
. The prestige of most of these sees depended in part on their apostolic founders, from whom the bishops were therefore the spiritual successors. Though the bishop of Rome was still held to be the
First among equals ''Primus inter pares'' ( grc, πρῶτος μεταξὺ ἴσων, ) is a Latin phrase meaning first among equals. It is typically used as an honorary title for someone who is formally equal to other members of their group but is accorded unoff ...
, Constantinople was second in precedence as the new capital of the empire. Theodosius I decreed that others not believing in the preserved "faithful tradition", such as the Trinity, were to be considered to be practitioners of illegal heresy, and in 385, this resulted in the first case of the state, not Church, infliction of capital punishment on a heretic, namely
Priscillian Priscillian (died ) was a wealthy nobleman of Roman Hispania who promoted a strict form of Christian asceticism. He became bishop of Ávila in 380. Certain practices of his followers (such as meeting at country villas instead of attending church) we ...
. Review of Church policies towards heresy, including capital punishment (see Synod at Saragossa).


Church of the East and the Sasanian Empire

During the early 5th century, the
School of Edessa The School of Edessa ( syr, ܐܣܟܘܠܐ ܕܐܘܪܗܝ) was a Christian theological Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught a ...
had taught a Christological perspective stating that Christ's divine and human nature were distinct persons. A particular consequence of this perspective was that
Mary Mary may refer to: People * Mary (name) Mary is a feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Although femininity is socially constru ...
could not be properly called the mother of God but could only be considered the mother of Christ. The most widely known proponent of this viewpoint was the Patriarch of Constantinople
Nestorius Nestorius (; in grc, Νεστόριος; 386 – 450) was the Archbishop of Constantinople The ecumenical patriarch ( el, Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης, translit=Oikoumenikós Patriárchis; tr, Konstantinopolis ekü ...
. Since referring to Mary as the mother of God had become popular in many parts of the Church this became a divisive issue. The Roman Emperor
Theodosius II Theodosius II ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος, ''Theodósios''; 10 April 401 – 28 July 450), commonly called Theodosius the Younger or the Calligrapher, was Roman emperor for most of his life, proclaimed ''Augustus (title), Augustus'' as an in ...
called for the
Council of Ephesus The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western ...
(431), with the intention of settling the issue. The council ultimately rejected Nestorius' view. Many churches who followed the Nestorian viewpoint broke away from the Roman Church, causing a major schism. The Nestorian churches were persecuted, and many followers fled to the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Ērānshahr The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its ...

Sasanian Empire
where they were accepted. The Sasanian (Persian) Empire had many Christian converts early in its history tied closely to the
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...

Syriac
branch of Christianity. The Empire was officially
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōr ...
and maintained a strict adherence to this faith in part to distinguish itself from the religion of the Roman Empire (originally the pagan Roman religion and then Christianity). Christianity became tolerated in the Sasanian Empire, and as the Roman Empire increasingly exiled heretics during the 4th and 6th centuries, the Sasanian Christian community grew rapidly.''Culture and customs of Iran'', p. 61 By the end of the 5th century, the Persian Church was firmly established and had become independent of the Roman Church. This church evolved into what is today known as the
Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an church of the , based ...
. In 451, the
Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Χαλκηδόνος, ''Synodos tēs Chalkēdonos'') was the fourth ecumenical council The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; ...
was held to further clarify the Christological issues surrounding Nestorianism. The council ultimately stated that Christ's divine and human nature were separate but both part of a single entity, a viewpoint rejected by many churches who called themselves
miaphysites Miaphysitism is the Christology, Christological doctrine upheld by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Syriac Orthodox ...
. The resulting schism created a communion of churches, including the Armenian, Syrian, and Egyptian churches. Though efforts were made at reconciliation in the next few centuries, the schism remained permanent, resulting in what is today known as
Oriental Orthodoxy The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings ...
.


Monasticism

Monasticism Monasticism (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). An ...
is a form of
asceticism Asceticism (; from the el, ἄσκησις ''áskesis'', "exercise, training") is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for thei ...
whereby one renounces worldly pursuits and goes off alone as a
hermit A hermit, or eremite (adjectival form: hermitic or eremitic), is a person who lives in seclusion. Eremitism plays a role in a variety of religions. Description In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremi ...

hermit
or joins a tightly organized community. It began early in the Church as a family of similar traditions, modelled upon Scriptural examples and ideals, and with roots in certain strands of Judaism.
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
is seen as an archetypical monk, and monasticism was inspired by the organisation of the Apostolic community as recorded in Acts 2:42–47. Eremetic monks, or hermits, live in solitude, whereas
cenobitic Cenobitic (or coenobitic) monasticism is a monastic Monasticism (from Ancient Greek , , from , , 'alone'), or monkhood, is a religion, religious way of life in which one renounces world (theology), worldly pursuits to devote oneself fully to s ...
s live in communities, generally in a
monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical l ...

monastery
, under a rule (or code of practice) and are governed by an
abbot Abbot (from Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that originated among the in the ancient , at the end of the , and later became one of the most prominent languages of the . During its three thousand years long ...

abbot
. Originally, all Christian monks were hermits, following the example of
Anthony the Great Anthony or Anthony the Great ( grc-gre, Ἀντώνιος ''Antṓnios''; ar, القديس أنطونيوس الكبير; la, Antonius; ; c. 12 January 251 – 17 January 356), was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a s ...
. However, the need for some form of organised spiritual guidance lead
Pachomius Pachomius (; el, Παχώμιος ''Pakhomios''; ; c. 292 – 9 May 348 AD), also known as Saint Pachomius the Great, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism. Coptic churches celebrate his feast day on 9 May, ...
in 318 to organise his many followers in what was to become the first monastery. Soon, similar institutions were established throughout the Egyptian desert as well as the rest of the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Women were especially attracted to the movement. Central figures in the development of monasticism were
Basil the Great Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great ( grc, Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας, ''Hágios Basíleios ho Mégas''; cop, Ⲡⲓⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ Ⲃⲁⲥⲓⲗⲓⲟⲥ; 330 – January 1 or 2, 379), was an East Roman b ...

Basil the Great
in the East and, in the West, , who created the famous
Rule of Saint Benedict The ''Rule of Saint Benedict'' ( la, Regula Sancti Benedicti) is a book of precepts written in 516 by Benedict of Nursia ( AD 480–550) for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot. The spirit of Saint Benedict's Rule is summed ...
, which would become the most common rule throughout the Middle Ages and the starting point for other monastic rules.


Early Middle Ages (476–799)

The transition into the Middle Ages was a gradual and localised process. Rural areas rose as power centres whilst urban areas declined. Although a greater number of Christians remained in the East (Greek areas), important developments were underway in the
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...
(Latin areas) and each took on distinctive shapes. The
bishops of Rome The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Chr ...
, the popes, were forced to adapt to drastically changing circumstances. Maintaining only nominal allegiance to the emperor, they were forced to negotiate balances with the "barbarian rulers" of the former Roman provinces. In the East, the Church maintained its structure and character and evolved more slowly.


Western missionary expansion

The stepwise loss of
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
dominance, replaced with
foederati ''Foederati'' (, singular: ''foederatus'' ) were peoples and cities bound by a treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law ...
and
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
kingdoms, coincided with early missionary efforts into areas not controlled by the collapsing empire. As early as in the 5th century, missionary activities from
Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity when large parts of the island of Great Britain were under Roman conquest of Britain, occupation by the Roman Empire. The occupation lasted from AD 43 to AD 410. During that time, the ...

Roman Britain
into the Celtic areas (
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
, Ireland and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
) produced competing early traditions of
Celtic Christianity Celtic Christianity ( kw, Kristoneth; cy, Cristnogaeth; gd, Crìosdaidheachd; gv, Credjue Creestee/Creestiaght; ga, Críostaíocht/Críostúlacht; br, Kristeniezh) is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abr ...
, that was later reintegrated under the Church in Rome. Prominent missionaries were Saints Patrick,
Columba Columba, gd, Calum Cille, sco, Columbkille, gv, Colum Keeilley, non, Kolban or (7 December 521 – 9 June 597) was an Irish abbot Abbot (from Aramaic: ''Abba'' "father") is an ecclesiastical title A title is one or more words use ...

Columba
and
Columbanus Columbanus ( ga, Columbán; 540 – 21 November 615) was an Hiberno-Scottish mission, Irish missionary notable for founding a number of monastery, monasteries after 590 in the Franks, Frankish and Lombards, Lombard kingdoms, most notably Luxeui ...
. The
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group expression ...
tribes that invaded southern Britain some time after the Roman abandonment were initially pagan but were converted to Christianity by
Augustine of Canterbury Augustine of Canterbury (early 6th century – probably 26 May 604) was a monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the Christianity in Anglo-Saxon E ...

Augustine of Canterbury
on the mission of
Pope Gregory the Great Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally ent ...

Pope Gregory the Great
. Soon becoming a missionary centre, missionaries such as
Wilfrid Wilfrid ( – 709 or 710) was an English bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the ...

Wilfrid
,
Willibrord Willibrord (; 658 – 7 November AD 739) was an Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or ...

Willibrord
,
Lullus Saint Lullus (Lull or Lul) (born about 710 in Wessex Wessex (; ang, Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy, kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was Kingdom ...
and
Boniface Boniface ( la, Bonifatius; 675 – 5 June 754), born Winfrid (also spelled Winifred, Wynfrith, Winfrith or Wynfryth) in the Devon Devon (, also known as Devonshire) is a Counties of England, county of England, reaching from the Bristol C ...

Boniface
converted their
Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...

Saxon
relatives in
Germania Germania ( , ), also called Magna Germania (English: ''Great Germania''), Germania Libera (English: ''Free Germania'') or Germanic Barbaricum Barbaricum (from the gr, Βαρβαρικόν, "foreign", "barbarian") is a geographical name used by ...

Germania
. The largely Christian Gallo-Roman inhabitants of
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rat ...

Gaul
(modern France) were overrun by the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
in the early 5th century. The native inhabitants were persecuted until the Frankish King
Clovis I Clovis ( la, Chlodovechus; reconstructed Old Frankish, Frankish: ; – 27 November 511) was the first List of Frankish kings, king of the Franks to unite all of the Franks, Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a ...

Clovis I
converted from paganism to
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
ism in 496. Clovis insisted that his fellow nobles follow suit, strengthening his newly established kingdom by uniting the faith of the rulers with that of the ruled.Janet L. Nelson, ''The Frankish world, 750–900'' (1996) After the rise of the
Frankish Kingdom Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankland, or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent ...
and the stabilizing political conditions, the Western part of the Church increased the missionary activities, supported by the
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the ...

Merovingian
kingdom as a means to pacify troublesome neighbour peoples. After the foundation of a church in
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the List of cities in the Netherlands by province, fourth-largest city and a List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the Provinces of the Netherlands, provin ...
by
Willibrord Willibrord (; 658 – 7 November AD 739) was an Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or ...

Willibrord
, backlashes occurred when the pagan
Frisian Frisian usually refers to: *Frisia, a region on the western coasts of Germany and the Netherlands **Frisians, the medieval and modern ethnic group inhabiting Frisia ***Frisii, the ancient inhabitants of Frisia prior to 600 AD **Frisian languages, a ...

Frisian
King Radbod destroyed many Christian centres between 716 and 719. In 717, the English missionary
Boniface Boniface ( la, Bonifatius; 675 – 5 June 754), born Winfrid (also spelled Winifred, Wynfrith, Winfrith or Wynfryth) in the Devon Devon (, also known as Devonshire) is a Counties of England, county of England, reaching from the Bristol C ...

Boniface
was sent to aid Willibrord, re-establishing churches in Frisia and continuing missions in Germany. During the late 8th century,
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
used mass killings to subjugate the pagan
Saxons The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...

Saxons
and compel them to accept Christianity


Byzantine Iconoclasm

Following a series of heavy military reverses against the
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
, Iconoclasm emerged in the early 8th century. In the 720s, the Byzantine Emperor
Leo III the Isaurian Leo III the Isaurian ( gr, Λέων Γ ὁ Ἴσαυρος, Leōn ho Isauros; 685 – 18 June 741), also known as the Syrian, was Byzantine Emperor from 717 until his death in 741 and founder of the Isaurian dynasty. He put an end to the Twent ...
banned the pictorial representation of Christ, saints, and biblical scenes. In the West,
Pope Gregory III Pope Gregory III ( la, Gregorius III; died 28 November 741) was the bishop of Rome from 11 February 731 to his death. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by Byzantine iconoclasm and the advance of the Lombards, in which h ...

Pope Gregory III
held two synods at Rome and condemned Leo's actions. The Byzantine Iconoclast Council, held at
Hieria Hieria (in Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as ...
in 754, ruled that holy portraits were heretical. The movement destroyed much of the Christian church's early artistic history. The iconoclastic movement was later defined as heretical in 787 under the
Second Council of Nicaea The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, th ...
(the seventh ecumenical council) but had a brief resurgence between 815 and 842.


High Middle Ages (800–1299)


Carolingian Renaissance

The
Carolingian Renaissance The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Franks, Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe dur ...
was a period of intellectual and cultural revival of literature, arts, and scriptural studies during the late 8th and 9th centuries, mostly during the reigns of
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
and
Louis the Pious Louis the Pious (16 April 778 – 20 June 840), also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Ro ...

Louis the Pious
,
Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman author ...

Frankish
rulers. To address the problems of illiteracy among clergy and court scribes, Charlemagne founded schools and attracted the most learned men from all of Europe to his court.


Growing tensions between East and West

Tensions in Christian unity started to become evident in the 4th century. Two basic problems were involved: the nature of the
primacy of the bishop of Rome Papal primacy, also known as the primacy of the bishop of Rome, is a Christian ecclesiological doctrine concerning the respect and authority that is due to the pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "fathe ...
and the theological implications of adding a clause to the Nicene Creed, known as the ''
filioque ''Filioque'' ( , ) is a Latin term ("and from the Son") added to the original Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (commonly known as the Nicene Creed The Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) i ...
'' clause. These doctrinal issues were first openly discussed in Photius's patriarchate. The Eastern churches viewed Rome's understanding of the nature of episcopal power as being in direct opposition to the Church's essentially conciliar structure and thus saw the two ecclesiologies as mutually antithetical. Another issue developed into a major irritant to Eastern
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the ...
, the gradual introduction into the Nicene Creed in the West of the ''Filioque'' clause – meaning "and the Son" – as in "the Holy Spirit ... proceeds from the Father ''and the Son''", where the original Creed, sanctioned by the councils and still used today by the Eastern Orthodox, simply states "the Holy Spirit, ... proceeds from the Father." The Eastern Church argued that the phrase had been added unilaterally and therefore illegitimately, since the East had never been consulted. In addition to this ecclesiological issue, the Eastern Church also considered the'' Filioque'' clause unacceptable on dogmatic grounds.The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church by
Vladimir Lossky Vladimir Nikolayevich Lossky (russian: Влади́мир Никола́евич Ло́сский; 1903–1958) was an Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox theologian in exile from Russia. He emphasized ''Theosis (Eastern Orthodox theology), t ...

Vladimir Lossky
, SVS Press, 1997. () James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. ()


Photian schism

In the 9th century, a controversy arose between Eastern (Byzantine, Greek Orthodox) and Western (Latin, Roman Catholic) Christianity that was precipitated by the opposition of the Roman
Pope John VII Pope John VII ( la, Ioannes VII; c. 650 – 18 October 707) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority a ...

Pope John VII
to the appointment by the Byzantine
Emperor Michael III Michael III ( el, Μιχαήλ Γʹ, ''Mikhaēl III''; 839 or 840 – 23/24 September, 867) was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian Dynasty, Amorian (or Phrygian) dynasty. He ...
of Photios I to the position of patriarch of Constantinople. Photios was refused an apology by the pope for previous points of dispute between the East and West. Photios refused to accept the supremacy of the pope in Eastern matters or accept the ''Filioque'' clause. The Latin delegation at the council of his consecration pressed him to accept the clause in order to secure their support. The controversy also involved Eastern and Western ecclesiastical jurisdictional rights in the Bulgarian church. Photios did provide concession on the issue of jurisdictional rights concerning Bulgaria, and the papal legates made do with his return of Bulgaria to Rome. This concession, however, was purely nominal, as Bulgaria's return to the Byzantine rite in 870 had already secured for it an autocephalous church. Without the consent of
Boris I of Bulgaria Boris I, also known as Boris-Mihail (Michael) and ''Bogoris'' ( cu, Борисъ А҃ / Борисъ-Михаилъ bg, Борис I / Борис-Михаил; died 2 May 907), was the ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire in 852–889. At the ...

Boris I of Bulgaria
, the papacy was unable to enforce any of its claims.


East–West Schism (1054)

The
East–West Schism The East–West Schism (also known as the Great Schism or Schism of 1054) was the break of communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eatin ...
, or Great Schism, separated the Church into Western (Latin) and Eastern (Greek) branches, i.e., Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. It was the first major division since certain groups in the East rejected the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon (see
Oriental Orthodoxy The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings ...
) and was far more significant. Though normally dated to 1054, the East–West Schism was actually the result of an extended period of estrangement between Latin and Greek
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the ...
over the nature of papal primacy and certain doctrinal matters like the ''Filioque'', but intensified from cultural and linguistic differences.


Monastic reform

From the 6th century onward, most of the monasteries in the West were of the
Benedictine Order The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Ben ...
. Owing to the stricter adherence to a reformed
Benedictine rule The ''Rule of Saint Benedict'' ( la, Regula Sancti Benedicti) is a book of precepts written in 516 by Benedict of Nursia ( AD 480–550) for monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or ...
, the abbey of
Cluny Cluny () is a commune in the eastern French department of Saône-et-Loire, in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. It is northwest of Mâcon Mâcon (), historically anglicised Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally a ...
became the acknowledged leader of western monasticism from the later 10th century. Cluny created a large, federated order in which the administrators of subsidiary houses served as deputies of the abbot of Cluny and answered to him. The Cluniac spirit was a revitalising influence on the Norman church, at its height from the second half of the 10th century through the early 12th century. The next wave of monastic reform came with the Cistercian Movement. The first Cistercian abbey was founded in 1098, at Cîteaux Abbey. The keynote of Cistercian life was a return to a literal observance of the Benedictine rule, rejecting the developments of the Benedictines. The most striking feature in the reform was the return to manual labour, and especially to field-work. Inspired by
Bernard of Clairvaux Bernard of Clairvaux ( la, Bernardus Claraevallensis; 109020 August 1153), venerated as Saint Bernard, was a Burgundian abbot Abbot (from Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that originated among the in the ...

Bernard of Clairvaux
, the primary builder of the Cistercians, they became the main force of technological diffusion in medieval Europe. By the end of the 12th century, the Cistercian houses numbered 500, and at its height in the 15th century the order claimed to have close to 750 houses. Most of these were built in wilderness areas, and played a major part in bringing such isolated parts of Europe into economic cultivation. A third level of monastic reform was provided by the establishment of the
Mendicant orders Mendicant orders are, primarily, certain Christian religious orders that have adopted a lifestyle of vow of poverty, poverty, traveling, and living in urban areas for purposes of preacher, preaching, evangelization, and Christian ministry, minist ...
. Commonly known as friars, mendicants live under a monastic rule with traditional vows of
poverty, chastity, and obedience The three evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings ...
but they emphasise preaching, missionary activity, and education, in a secluded monastery. Beginning in the 12th century, the
Franciscan , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , ...
order was instituted by the followers of
Francis of Assisi Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone; it, Francesco d'Assisi; la, Franciscus Assisiensis; 1181 or 1182 – 3 October 1226), was an Italian , , and . He founded the men's , the women's , the and the . Francis is one of ...

Francis of Assisi
, and thereafter the
Dominican order The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans ( la, Ordo Praedicatorum; abbreviated OP), is an order of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by ...
was begun by St. Dominic.


Investiture Controversy

The
Investiture Controversy#REDIRECT Investiture Controversy The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops ( investiture) and abbots of monasteries a ...
, or Lay Investiture Controversy, was the most significant conflict between secular and religious powers in
medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. It began as a dispute in the 11th century between the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
Henry IVHenry IV may refer to: People * Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106), King of The Romans and Holy Roman Emperor * Henry IV, Duke of Limburg (1195–1247) * Henry IV, Duke of Brabant (1251/1252–1272) * Henryk IV Probus (c. 1258–1290), Duke ...

Henry IV
and
Pope Gregory VII Pope Gregory VII ( la, Gregorius VII; 1015 – 25 May 1085), born Hildebrand of Sovana ( it, Ildebrando da Soana), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian d ...

Pope Gregory VII
concerning who would appoint bishops (
investiture Investiture (from the Latin preposition ''in'' and verb ''vestire'', "dress" from ''vestis'' "robe"), is the formal installation or ceremony in which a person is given the authority and regalia of a high office. Investiture can include formal dre ...
). The end of lay investiture threatened to undercut the power of the Empire and the ambitions of noblemen. Bishoprics being merely lifetime appointments, a king could better control their powers and revenues than those of hereditary noblemen. Even better, he could leave the post vacant and collect the revenues, theoretically in trust for the new bishop, or give a bishopric to pay a helpful noble. The Church wanted to end lay investiture to end this and other abuses, to reform the episcopate and provide better
pastoral care Pastoral care is an ancient model of emotion Emotions are biological states associated with all of the nerve systems brought on by neurophysiological changes variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a degree of ...

pastoral care
. Pope Gregory VII issued the ''
Dictatus Papae ''Dictatus papae'' is a compilation of 27 statements of powers arrogated to the pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of D ...

Dictatus Papae
'', which declared that the pope alone could appoint bishops. Henry IV's rejection of the decree led to his excommunication and a ducal revolt. Eventually Henry received absolution after dramatic public penance, though the
Great Saxon Revolt The Great Saxon Revolt was a civil war fought between 1077 and 1088, early in the history of the Holy Roman Empire. The revolt was led by a group of opportunistic German princes who elected as their figurehead the duke of Swabia, Rudolf of Rhei ...
and conflict of investiture continued. A similar controversy occurred in England between and
St. Anselm Anselm of Canterbury (; 1033/4–1109), also called ( it, Anselmo d'Aosta, link=no) after his birthplace and (french: Anselme du Bec, link=no) after his monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic ...

St. Anselm
,
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
, over investiture and episcopal vacancy. The English dispute was resolved by the Concordat of London, 1107, where the king renounced his claim to invest bishops but continued to require an oath of fealty. This was a partial model for the
Concordat of Worms The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops (investiture) and abbots of monasteries and the pope himself. A series of po ...
(''Pactum Calixtinum''), which resolved the Imperial investiture controversy with a compromise that allowed secular authorities some measure of control but granted the selection of bishops to their cathedral canons. As a symbol of the compromise, both ecclesiastical and lay authorities invested bishops with respectively, the
staff Staff may refer to: Pole * Staff, a weapon used in stick-fighting Stick-fighting, stickfighting, or stick fighting is a variety of martial arts which use simple long, slender, blunt, hand-held, generally wooden "sticks" for fighting, such as a gun ...

staff
and the ring.


Crusades

Generally, the Crusades refer to the campaigns in the Holy Land sponsored by the papacy against Muslim forces. There were other crusades against Islamic forces in southern Spain, southern Italy, and Sicily. The Papacy also sponsored numerous Crusades to subjugate and convert the pagan peoples of north-eastern Europe, against its political enemies in Western Europe, and against heretical or schismatic religious minorities within Christendom. The Holy Land had been part of the Roman Empire, and thus Byzantine Empire, until the Islamic conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries. Thereafter, Christians had generally been permitted to visit the sacred places in the Holy Land until 1071, when the
Seljuk Turks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq''), was an Oghuz Turkic Sunni Muslim dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford Un ...
closed Christian pilgrimages and assailed the Byzantines, defeating them at the Battle of Manzikert. Emperor
Alexius I Alexios I Komnenos ( grc-gre, Ἀλέξιος Ά Κομνηνός, – 15 August 1118), Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisati ...

Alexius I
asked for aid from
Pope Urban II Pope Urban II ( la, Urbanus II;  – 29 July 1099), otherwise known as Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, was the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christia ...

Pope Urban II
against Islamic aggression. He probably expected money from the pope for the hiring of mercenaries. Instead, Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom in a speech made at the
Council of Clermont The Council of Clermont was a mixed synod of ecclesiastics and laymen of the Catholic Church, called by Pope Urban II and held from 17 to 27 November 1095 at Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont, County of Auvergne, Auvergne, at the time part of the Duchy ...
on 27 November 1095, combining the idea of pilgrimage to the Holy Land with that of waging a holy war against infidels. The
First Crusade The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Muslim conqu ...
captured Antioch in 1099 and then Jerusalem. The
Second Crusade The Second Crusade (1147–1150) was the second major crusade The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern M ...
occurred in 1145 when
Edessa Edessa (; grc, Ἔδεσσα, Édessa) was an ancient city (''polis'') in Upper Mesopotamia, founded during the Hellenistic period by King Seleucus I Nicator (), founder of the Seleucid Empire. It later became capital of the Kingdom of Osroene ...
was taken by Islamic forces. Jerusalem was held until 1187 and the
Third Crusade The Third Crusade (1189–1192) was an attempt by three European monarchs of Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monothei ...
, famous for the battles between
Richard the Lionheart Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the from abo ...

Richard the Lionheart
and
Saladin Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub ( ku, سەلاحەدینی ئەییووبی, Selahedînê Eyûbî; ar, الناصر صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيوب, an-Nāṣir Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb; 11374 March 1193), better k ...

Saladin
. The
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
, begun by
Innocent III Pope Innocent III ( la, Innocentius III; 1160 or 1161 - 16 July 1216, born Lotario dei Conti di Segni (anglicized as Lothar of Segni Segni (, ) is an Italy, Italian town and ''comune'' located in Lazio. The city is situated on a hilltop in the ...

Innocent III
in 1202, intended to retake the Holy Land but was soon subverted by the Venetians. When the crusaders arrived in Constantinople, they sacked the city and other parts of Asia Minor and established the
Latin Empire The Latin Empire, also referred to as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, was a feudal Crusader state The Crusader states were feudal polities created by the Latin Catholic leaders of the First Crusade through conquest and political ...

Latin Empire
of Constantinople in Greece and Asia Minor. Five numbered crusades to the Holy Land, culminating in the
siege of AcreSiege of Acre may refer to: *Siege of Acre (1104), following the First Crusade *Siege of Acre (1189–1191), during the Third Crusade *Siege of Acre (1263), Baibars#Campaign against the Crusaders, Baibars laid siege to the Crusader city, but abandon ...
of 1219, essentially ending the Western presence in the Holy Land.Setton, K. M. (Kenneth Meyer). (1969)
A history of the Crusades
d ed.Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Jerusalem was held by the crusaders for nearly a century, while other strongholds in the Near East remained in Christian possession much longer. The crusades in the Holy Land ultimately failed to establish permanent Christian kingdoms. Islamic expansion into Europe remained a threat for centuries, culminating in the campaigns of
Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I ( ota, سليمان اول, Süleyman-ı Evvel; tr, I. Süleyman; 6 November 14946 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the West and Suleiman the Lawgiver ( ota, قانونى سلطان سليمان, Ḳā ...

Suleiman the Magnificent
in the 16th century. Crusades in Iberia (the ''
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
''), southern Italy, and Sicily eventually lead to the demise of Islamic power in Europe. The
Albigensian Crusade The Albigensian Crusade or the Cathar Crusade (1209–1229; , ) was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III Pope Innocent III ( la, Innocentius III; 1160 or 1161 - 16 July 1216, born Lotario dei Conti di Segni (anglicized ...
targeted the heretical
Cathars Catharism (; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...
of southern France; in combination with the
Inquisition The Inquisition, in historical ecclesiastical terminology also referred to as the "Holy Inquisition", was a group of institutions within the Catholic Church whose aim was to combat Christian heresy, heresy. Studies of the records have found that ...

Inquisition
set up in its aftermath, it succeeded in exterminating them. The
Wendish Crusade The Wendish Crusade (german: Wendenkreuzzug) was a military campaign in 1147, one of the Northern Crusades The Northern Crusades or Baltic Crusades were Christian colonization and Christianization Christianization ( or Christianisation) is ...
succeeded in subjugating and forcibly converting the pagan Slavs of modern eastern Germany. The
Livonian Crusade The Livonian Crusade refers to the various Christianization campaigns in the area constituting modern Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia during the Papal-sanctioned Northern Crusades. It was conducted mostly by Germans from the Holy Roman Empire and ...
, carried out by the
Teutonic Knights The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (official names: la, Ordo domus Sanctae Mariae Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum; german: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly known ...
and other orders of warrior-monks, similarly conquered and forcibly converted the pagan Balts of
Livonia Livonia ( liv, Līvõmō, et, Liivimaa, fi, Liivinmaa, German and North Germanic languages, Scandinavian languages: ', archaic German: ''Liefland'', nl, Lijfland, Latvian language, Latvian and lt, Livonija, pl, Inflanty, archaic English ...

Livonia
and
Old Prussia Prussia (Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-European l ...
. However, the pagan
Grand Duchy of Lithuania The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire t ...

Grand Duchy of Lithuania
successfully resisted the Knights and converted only voluntarily in the 14th century.


Medieval Inquisition

The
Medieval Inquisition The Medieval Inquisition was a series of Inquisition, Inquisitions (Catholic Church bodies charged with suppressing heresy) from around 1184, including the Episcopal Inquisition (1184–1230s) and later the Papal Inquisition (1230s). The Medieval ...
was a series of inquisitions (
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
Church bodies charged with suppressing heresy) from around 1184, including the Episcopal Inquisition (1184–1230s) and later the Papal Inquisition (1230s). It was in response to movements within Europe considered
apostate Apostasy (; grc-gre, ἀποστασία ''apostasía'', "a defection or revolt") is the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religi ...
or heretical to , in particular the
Cathars Catharism (; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...
and the
Waldensians The Waldensians (also known as Waldenses (), Vallenses, Valdesi or Vaudois) are adherents of a proto-Protestant Proto-Protestantism, also called pre-Protestantism or pre-Reformation movements, refers to individuals and movements that propagat ...
in southern France and northern Italy. These were the first inquisition movements of many that would follow. The inquisitions in combination with the Albigensian Crusade were fairly successful in ending heresy.


Spread of Christianity

Early evangelisation in Scandinavia was begun by
Ansgar Ansgar (8 September 801 – 3 February 865), also known as Anskar, Saint Ansgar, Saint Anschar or Oscar, was Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen This list records the bishops of the Roman Catholic diocese of Bremen (german: link=no, Bistum Bremen), supp ...

Ansgar
,
Archbishop of Bremen In many Christian Denominations Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
, "Apostle of the North". Ansgar, a native of
Amiens Amiens (English: or ; ; pcd, Anmien, or ) is a city and commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abst ...

Amiens
, was sent with a group of monks to
Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, Den Kimbriske Halvø, Den Jyske Halvø; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel), is a peninsula of Nort ...

Jutland
in around 820 at the time of the pro-Christian King Harald Klak. The mission was only partially successful, and Ansgar returned two years later to Germany, after Harald had been driven out of his kingdom. In 829, Ansgar went to
Birka Birka (''Birca'' in medieval sources), on the island of Björkö (literally: "Birch Island") in present-day Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries ...

Birka
on
Lake Mälaren A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in lan ...
, Sweden, with his aide friar Witmar, and a small congregation was formed in 831 which included the king's steward Hergeir. Conversion was slow, however, and most Scandinavian lands were only completely Christianised at the time of rulers such as Saint Canute IV of Denmark and
Olaf I of Norway Olaf Tryggvason (960s – 9 September 1000) was King of Norway from 995 to 1000. He was the son of Tryggvi Olafsson, king of Viken, Norway, Viken (Vingulmark, and Rånrike), and, according to later sagas, the great-grandson of Harald Fairhair, fi ...
in the years following AD 1000. The
Christianisation of the Slavs The Slavs were Christianized in waves from the 7th to 12th century, though the process of replacing old Slavic religious practices began as early as the 6th century. Generally speaking, the monarchs of the South Slavs adopted Christianity in ...
was initiated by one of Byzantium's most learned churchmen – the patriarch
Photios I of Constantinople Photios I ( el, Φώτιος, ''Phōtios''; c. 810/820 – 6 February 893), also spelled PhotiusFr. Justin Taylor, essay "Canon Law in the Age of the Fathers" (published in Jordan Hite, T.O.R., & Daniel J. Ward, O.S.B., "Readings, Cases, Materia ...
. The Byzantine Emperor
Michael III Michael III ( grc-gre, Μιχαήλ; January 840 – 24 September 867) was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian dynasty, Amorian (or Phrygian) dynasty. He was given the dispar ...

Michael III
chose Cyril and Methodius in response to a request from King
Rastislav of Moravia Rastislav or Rostislav, also known as St. Rastislav, (Latin language, Latin: ''Rastiz'', Greek language, Greek: Ῥασισθλάβος / ''Rhasisthlábos'') was the second known ruler of Great Moravia, Moravia (846–870).Spiesz ''et al.'' 2006 ...
, who wanted missionaries that could minister to the Moravians in their own language. The two brothers spoke the local Slavonic vernacular and translated the Bible and many of the prayer books. As the translations prepared by them were copied by speakers of other dialects, the hybrid literary language
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
was created, which later evolved into
Church Slavonic Church Slavonic (црькъвьнословѣньскъ ѩзыкъ, ''crĭkŭvĭnoslověnĭskŭ językŭ'', literally "Church-Slavonic language"), also known as Church Slavic, New Church Slavonic or New Church Slavic, is the conservative ...
and is the common liturgical language still used by the Russian Orthodox Church and other Slavic Orthodox Christians. Methodius went on to convert the Serbs. Bulgaria was a pagan country since its establishment in 681 until 864 when
Boris I Boris I, also known as Boris-Mihail (Michael) and ''Bogoris'' ( cu, Борисъ А҃ / Борисъ-Михаилъ bg, Борис I / Борис-Михаил; died 2 May 907), was the ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire The First Bulgarian ...

Boris I
converted to Christianity. The reasons for that decision were complex; the most important factors were that Bulgaria was situated between two powerful Christian empires, Byzantium and
East Francia East Francia (Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Ro ...
; Christian doctrine particularly favoured the position of the monarch as God's representative on Earth, while Boris also saw it as a way to overcome the differences between Bulgars and Slavs. Bulgaria was officially recognised as a patriarchate by Constantinople in 927, Serbia in 1346, and Russia in 1589. All of these nations had been converted long before these dates.


Late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance (1300–1520)


Avignon Papacy and Western Schism

The
Avignon Papacy The Avignon Papacy, also known as the Babylonian Captivity, was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () o ...
, sometimes referred to as the Babylonian Captivity, was a period from 1309 to 1378 during which seven popes resided in
Avignon Avignon (, ; ; oc, Avinhon, label= Provençal or , ; la, Avenio) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. L ...

Avignon
, in modern-day France. In 1309,
Pope Clement V Pope Clement V ( la, Clemens Quintus; c. 1264 – 20 April 1314), born Raymond Bertrand de Got (also occasionally spelled ''de Guoth'' and ''de Goth''), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Cathol ...

Pope Clement V
moved to Avignon in southern France. Confusion and political animosity waxed, as the prestige and influence of Rome waned without a resident pontiff. Troubles reached their peak in 1378 when
Gregory XI Pope Gregory XI ( la, Gregorius, born Pierre Roger de Beaufort; c. 1329 – 27 March 1378) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Catholics . As th ...

Gregory XI
died while visiting Rome. A
papal conclave A papal conclave is a gathering of the College of Cardinals The College of Cardinals, or more formally the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal ( ...
met in Rome and elected
Urban VI Pope Urban VI ( la, Urbanus VI; c. 1318 – 15 October 1389), born Bartolomeo Prignano (), was the Roman claimant to the headship of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Chris ...

Urban VI
, an Italian. Urban soon alienated the French cardinals, and they held a second conclave electing Robert of Geneva to succeed Gregory XI, beginning the
Western Schism The Western Schism, also known as the Papal Schism, the Vatican Standoff, the Great Occidental Schism, or the Schism of 1378 (), was a split within the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is ...
.


Criticism of Church corruption

John Wycliffe John Wycliffe (; also spelled Wyclif, Wickliffe, and other variants; 1320s – 31 December 1384) was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, priest, and a seminary professor at the University of Oxford. H ...

John Wycliffe
, an English scholar and alleged heretic best known for denouncing the corruptions of the Church, was a precursor of the Protestant Reformation. He emphasized the supremacy of the Bible and called for a direct relationship between God and the human person, without interference by priests and bishops. His followers played a role in the English Reformation.
Jan Hus Jan Hus (; ; – 6 July 1415), sometimes anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spel ...

Jan Hus
, a Czech theologian in Prague, was influenced by Wycliffe and spoke out against the corruptions he saw in the Church. He was a forerunner of the Protestant Reformation, and his legacy has become a powerful symbol of Czech culture in Bohemia.


Renaissance and the Church

The
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
was a period of great cultural change and achievement, marked in Italy by a classical orientation and an increase of wealth through mercantile trade. The city of Rome, the papacy, and the papal states were all affected by the Renaissance. On the one hand, it was a time of great artistic patronage and architectural magnificence, where the Church commissioned such artists as
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance In art history, the High Renaissance was ...

Michelangelo
,
Brunelleschi Filippo Brunelleschi ( , , also known as Pippo; 1377 – 15 April 1446), considered to be a founding father of Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition f ...

Brunelleschi
,
Bramante Donato Bramante ( , , ; 1444 – 11 April 1514), born as Donato di Pascuccio d'Antonio and also known as Bramante Lazzari, was an Italian architect and painter. He introduced Renaissance architecture Renaissance architecture is the Europ ...

Bramante
,
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (; March 28 or April 6, 1483April 6, 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture ...

Raphael
,
Fra Angelico Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; February 18, 1455) was an Italians, Italian List of Italian painters, painter of the Early Italian Renaissance, Renaissance, described by Giorgio Vasari, Vasari in his ''Lives of the Artists'' as having "a ra ...
,
Donatello Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi ( – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello ( ), was a Florentine Florentine most commonly refers to: * a person or thing from Florence, a city in Italy * the Florentine dialect Florentine may also re ...

Donatello
, and
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
. On the other hand, wealthy Italian families often secured episcopal offices, including the papacy, for their own members, some of whom were known for immorality, such as
Alexander VI Pope Alexander VI (born Rodrigo de Borja; ca-valencia, Roderic Llançol i de Borja ; es, Rodrigo Lanzol y de Borja, lang ; 1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as th ...

Alexander VI
and
Sixtus IV Pope Sixtus IV (21 July 1414 – 12 August 1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 9 August 1471 to his death. His accomplishments as pope included the construction of the Sisti ...

Sixtus IV
. In addition to being the head of the Church, the pope became one of Italy's most important secular rulers, and pontiffs such as
Julius II Pope Julius II ( it, Papa Giulio II; la, Iulius II; born Giuliano della Rovere; 5 December 144321 February 1513) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1503 to his death in 1513. Nicknamed the ''Warrior Pope'' or the ...

Julius II
often waged campaigns to protect and expand their temporal domains. Furthermore, the popes, in a spirit of refined competition with other Italian lords, spent lavishly both on private luxuries but also on public works, repairing or building churches, bridges, and a magnificent system of
aqueducts in Rome Aerial footage of a Roman provincial aqueduct at Mória ( Lesbos) The Romans constructed aqueducts throughout their Republic A republic ( la, res publica, links=yes, meaning "public affair") is a List of forms of government, form of governm ...

aqueducts in Rome
that still function today.


Fall of Constantinople

In 1453, Constantinople fell to the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. Eastern Christians fleeing Constantinople, and the Greek manuscripts they carried with them, is one of the factors that prompted the literary renaissance in the West at about this time. The Ottoman government followed Islamic law when dealing with the conquered Christian population. Christians were officially tolerated as
people of the Book People of the Book ( ar, أهل الكتاب , ''ahl al-kitāb'') is an Islamic term which refers to Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international s ...
. As such, the Church's canonical and hierarchical organisation were not significantly disrupted, and its administration continued to function. One of the first things that
Mehmet the Conqueror Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Su ...

Mehmet the Conqueror
did was to allow the Church to elect a new patriarch,
Gennadius Scholarius Gennadius II (Greek language, Greek Γεννάδιος Βʹ; lay name Γεώργιος Κουρτέσιος Σχολάριος, ''Georgios Kourtesios Scholarios''; c. 1400 – c. 1473) was a Byzantine philosopher and theologian, and Ecumenical P ...

Gennadius Scholarius
. However, these rights and privileges, including freedom of worship and religious organisation, were often established in principle but seldom corresponded to reality. Christians were viewed as Dhimmitude, second-class citizens, and the legal protections they depended upon were subject to the whims of the sultan and the sublime porte.The Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
''The New York Times''.
The Hagia Sophia and the Parthenon, which had been Christian churches for nearly a millennium, were converted into mosques. Violent persecutions of Christians were common and reached their climax in the Armenian genocide, Armenian, Assyrian genocide, Assyrian, and Greek genocide, Greek genocides.


Early modern period (c. 1500 – c. 1750)


Reformation

In the early 16th century, attempts were made by the theologians Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli, along with List of Protestant Reformers, many others, to reform the Church. They considered the root of corruptions to be doctrinal, rather than simply a matter of moral weakness or lack of ecclesiastical discipline, and thus advocated for monergism, God's autonomy in redemption, and against Voluntarism (philosophy)#Medieval theological voluntarism, voluntaristic notions that salvation could be earned by people. The Reformation is usually considered to have started with the publication of the ''Ninety-five Theses'' by Luther in 1517, although there was no schism until the 1521 Diet of Worms. The edicts of the Diet condemned Luther and officially banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas.Fahlbusch, Erwin, and Bromiley, Geoffrey William, ''The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 3''. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003. p. 362. The word ''Protestant'' is derived from the Latin ''protestatio'', meaning ''declaration'', which refers to the Protestation at Speyer, letter of protestation by Lutheran princes against the decision of the Second Diet of Speyer, Diet of Speyer in 1529, which reaffirmed the edict of the Diet of Worms ordering the seizure of all property owned by persons guilty of advocating Lutheranism.Definition of Protestantism at the Episcopal Church website
The term "Protestant" was not originally used by Reformation era leaders; instead, they called themselves "evangelical", emphasising the "return to the true gospel (Greek: ''euangelion'')." Early protest was against corruptions such as simony, the holding of multiple church offices by one person at the same time, episcopal vacancies, and the sale of indulgences. The Protestant position also included ''sola scriptura, sola fide'', the Theology of Martin Luther#Universal priesthood of the baptized, priesthood of all believers, Law and Gospel, and the two kingdoms doctrine. The three most important traditions to emerge directly from the Reformation were the Lutheran, Reformed churches, Reformed, and Anglicanism, Anglican traditions, though the latter group identifies as both "Reformed" and "Catholic", and some subgroups reject the classification as "Protestant". Unlike other reform movements, the English Reformation began by royal influence. Henry VIII of England, Henry VIII considered himself a thoroughly Catholic king, and in 1521 he defended the papacy against Luther in a book he commissioned entitled, ''Defence of the Seven Sacraments, The Defence of the Seven Sacraments'', for which Leo X, Pope Leo X awarded him the title ''Fidei Defensor'' (Defender of the Faith). However, the king came into conflict with the papacy when he wished to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, for which he needed papal sanction. Catherine, among many other noble relations, was the aunt of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor Charles V, the papacy's most significant secular supporter. The ensuing dispute eventually lead to a break from Rome and the declaration of the King of England as head of the Church of England, English Church, which saw itself as a Protestant Church navigating a middle way between Lutheranism and Reformed Christianity, but leaning more towards the latter. Consequently, England experienced periods of reform and also Counter-Reformation. Monarchs such as Edward VI of England, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I of England, Mary I, Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth I, and Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishops of Canterbury such as Thomas Cranmer and William Laud pushed the Church of England in different directions over the course of only a few generations. What emerged was the Elizabethan Religious Settlement and a state church that considered itself both "Reformed" and "Catholic" but not "Roman", and other unofficial more radical movements such as the Puritans. In terms of politics, the English Reformation included heresy trials, the exiling of Roman Catholic populations to Spain and other Roman Catholic lands, and censorship and prohibition of books.


Radical Reformation

The Radical Reformation represented a response to corruption both in the Catholic Church and in the expanding Magisterial Reformation, Magisterial Protestantism, Protestant movement led by Martin Luther and many others. Beginning in Germany and Switzerland in the 16th century, the Radical Reformation gave birth to many radical Protestant groups throughout Europe. The term covers radical reformers like Thomas Müntzer and Andreas Karlstadt, the Zwickau prophets, and Anabaptism, Anabaptist groups like the Hutterites and the Mennonites.


Counter-Reformation

The Counter-Reformation was the response of the Catholic Church to the Protestant Reformation. In terms of meetings and documents, it consisted of the ''Confutatio Augustana'', the Council of Trent, the ''Roman Catechism'', and the ''Defensio Tridentinæ fidei''. In terms of politics, the Counter-Reformation included heresy trials, the Huguenots#Exodus, exiling of Protestant populations from Catholic lands, the Salzburg Protestants#Defereggen Valley expulsion, seizure of children from their Protestant parents for institutionalized Catholic upbringing, a series of Counter-Reformation#Politics, wars, the ''Index Librorum Prohibitorum'' (the list of prohibited books), and the Spanish Inquisition#Protestants and Anglicans, Spanish Inquisition. Although Protestants were excommunicated in an attempt to reduce their influence within the Catholic Church, at the same time they were persecuted during the Counter-Reformation, prompting some to live as crypto-protestantism, crypto-Protestants (also termed Nicodemites, against the urging of John Calvin who urged them to live their faith openly. Crypto-Protestants were documented as late as the 19th century in Latin America. The Council of Trent (1545–1563) initiated by Pope Paul III addressed issues of certain ecclesiastical corruptions such as simony, absenteeism, nepotism, the holding of multiple church offices by one person, and other abuses. It also reasserted traditional practices and doctrines of the Church, such as the episcopal structure, clerical celibacy, the Sacraments (Catholic Church), seven Sacraments, transubstantiation (the belief that during mass the consecrated bread and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ), the veneration of relics, icons, and saints (especially the Blessed Virgin Mary), the necessity of both faith and good works for salvation, the existence of purgatory and the issuance (but not the sale) of indulgences. In other words, all Protestant doctrinal objections and changes were uncompromisingly rejected. The Council also fostered an interest in education for parish priests to increase pastoral care. Milan's Archbishop Saint Charles Borromeo set an example by visiting the remotest parishes and instilling high standards.


Catholic Reformation

Simultaneous to the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Reformation consisted of improvements in art and culture, anti-corruption measures, the founding of the Society of Jesus#Early works, Jesuits, the establishment of seminaries, a reassertion of traditional doctrines and the emergence of new religious orders aimed at both moral reform and new missionary activity. Also part of this was the development of new yet orthodox forms of spirituality, such as that of the Spanish mystics and the French school of spirituality. The papacy of Pope Pius V, St. Pius V was known not only for its focus on halting heresy and worldly abuses within the Church, but also for its focus on improving popular piety in a determined effort to stem the appeal of Protestantism. Pius began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor, charity, and hospitals, and the pontiff was known for consoling the poor and sick as well as supporting missionaries. These activities coincided with a rediscovery of the ancient Christian catacombs in Rome. As Diarmaid MacCulloch states, "Just as these ancient martyrs were revealed once more, Catholics were beginning to be martyred afresh, both in mission fields overseas and in the struggle to win back Protestant northern Europe: the catacombs proved to be an inspiration for many to action and to heroism." Catholic missions were carried to new places beginning with the new Age of Discovery, and the Roman Catholic Church established Mission (Christian), missions in the Americas.


Trial of Galileo

The Galileo affair, in which Galileo Galilei came into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church over his support of heliocentrism, is often considered a defining moment in the history of the relationship between religion and science. In 1610, Galileo published his ''Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger)'', describing the surprising observations that he had made with the new telescope. These and other discoveries exposed major difficulties with the understanding of the heavens that had been held since antiquity, and raised new interest in radical teachings such as the heliocentrism, heliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus, Copernicus. In reaction, many scholars maintained that the motion of the earth and immobility of the sun were heretical, as they contradicted some accounts given in the Bible as understood at that time. Galileo's part in the controversies over his theological and philosophical positions culminated in his trial and sentencing in 1633, on a grave suspicion of heresy.


Puritans in North America

The most famous colonisation by Protestants in the New World was that of English Puritans in North America. Unlike the Spanish or French, the English colonists made surprisingly little effort to evangelise the native peoples. The Puritans, or Pilgrim (Plymouth Colony), Pilgrims, left England so that they could live in an area with Puritanism established religion, established as the exclusive civic religion. Though they had left England because of the suppression of their religious practice, most Puritans had thereafter originally settled in the Low Countries but found the licentiousness there, where the state hesitated from enforcing religious practice, as unacceptable, and thus they set out for the New World and the hopes of a Puritan utopia.


Late modern period (c. 1750 – c. 1945)


Revivalism

Christian revival, Revivalism refers to the Calvinism, Calvinist and Wesleyan revival, called the Great Awakening in North America, which saw the development of evangelical Congregational church, Congregationalist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and new Methodist churches.


Great Awakenings

The First Great Awakening was a wave of religious enthusiasm among Protestants in the American colonies c. 1730–1740, emphasising the traditional Reformed virtues of Godly preaching, rudimentary liturgy, and a deep sense of personal guilt and redemption by Christ Jesus. Historian Sydney E. Ahlstrom saw it as part of a "great international Protestant upheaval" that also created pietism in Germany, the Evangelicalism, Evangelical Revival, and Methodism in England. It centred on reviving the spirituality of established congregations and mostly affected Congregational church, Congregational, Presbyterianism, Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed Church, Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, Baptist, and Methodist churches, while also spreading within the slave population. The Second Great Awakening (1800–1830s), unlike the first, focused on the unchurched and sought to instill in them a deep sense of personal salvation as experienced in revival meetings. It also sparked the beginnings of groups such as the Mormons, the Restoration Movement and the Holiness movement. The Third Great Awakening began from 1857 and was most notable for taking the movement throughout the world, especially in English speaking countries. The final group to emerge from the "great awakenings" in North America was Pentecostalism, which had its roots in the Methodist, Wesleyan, and Holiness movements, and began in 1906 on Azusa Street Revival, Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Pentecostalism would later lead to the Charismatic movement.


Restorationism

Restorationism refers to the belief that a purer form of Christianity should be restored using the early church as a model.Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, ''The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ'', Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, , 854 pages, entry on ''Restoration, Historical Models of''Gerard Mannion and Lewis S. Mudge, ''The Routledge companion to the Christian church'', Routledge, 2008, , 684 pages In many cases, restorationist groups believed that contemporary Christianity, in all its forms, had deviated from the true, original Christianity, which they then attempted to "reconstruct", often using the Acts of the Apostles, Book of Acts as a "guidebook" of sorts. Restorationists do not usually describe themselves as "reforming" a Christian church continuously existing from the time of Jesus, but as ''restoring'' the Church that they believe was lost at some point. "Restorationism" is often used to describe the Restoration Movement, Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. The term "restorationist" is also used to describe the Jehovah's Witnesses, Jehovah's Witness movement, founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell. The term can also be used to describe the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the Community of Christ and numerous other List of sects in the Latter Day Saint movement, Latter Day Saints sects. Latter Day Saints, also known as Mormons, believe that Joseph Smith was chosen to restore the original organization established by Jesus, now "in its fullness", rather than to reform the church.


Eastern Orthodoxy

The Russian Orthodox Church held a privileged position in the Russian Empire, expressed in the motto of the late empire from 1833: Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Populism. Nevertheless, the Church reform of Peter I in the early 18th century had placed the Orthodox authorities under the control of the tsar. An ober-procurator appointed by the tsar ran the committee which governed the Church between 1721 and 1918: the Most Holy Synod. The Church became involved in the various campaigns of russification, and was accused of involvement in Antisemitism in the Russian Empire#Involvement of the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian anti-semitism, despite the lack of an official position on Judaism as such. The Bolsheviks and other Russian revolutionaries saw the Church, like the tsarist state, as an enemy of the people. Criticism of atheism was strictly forbidden and sometimes lead to imprisonment. Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers included torture, being sent to gulags, prison camps, sharashka, labour camps or Psikhushka, mental hospitals, as well as execution.Father Arseny 1893–1973 Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father. Introduction pp. vi–1. St Vladimir's Seminary Press In the first five years after the Bolshevik revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were executed. This included people like the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna who was at this point a monastic. Executed along with her were: Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov; the Princes Ioann Konstantinovich of Russia, Ioann Konstantinvich, Prince Constantine Constantinovich of Russia, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich of Russia, Igor Konstantinovich and Vladimir Paley, Vladimir Pavlovich Paley; Grand Duke Sergei's secretary, Fyodor Remez; and Varvara Yakovleva, a sister from the Grand Duchess Elizabeth's convent.


Trends in Christian theology

Liberal Christianity, sometimes called liberal theology, is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically informed religious movements and moods within late 18th, 19th and 20th-century Christianity. The word "liberal" in liberal Christianity does not refer to a leftist ''political'' agenda or set of beliefs, but rather to the freedom of dialectic process associated with continental philosophy and other philosophical and religious paradigms developed during the Age of Enlightenment. Christian fundamentalism, Fundamentalist Christianity is a movement that arose mainly within British and American Protestantism in the late 19th century and early 20th century in reaction to Modernist Christianity, modernism and certain liberal Protestant groups that denied doctrines considered fundamental to Christianity yet still called themselves "Christian." Thus, fundamentalism sought to re-establish tenets that could not be denied without relinquishing a Christian identity, the "The Fundamentals, fundamentals": Biblical inerrancy, inerrancy of the Bible, ''Sola Scriptura'', the Virgin Birth of Jesus, the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, and the imminent Second Coming of Christ, return of Jesus Christ.


Under Communism and Nazism

Under the state atheism of countries in the Eastern Bloc, Christians of many denominations experienced persecution, with many churches and monasteries being destroyed, as well as clergy being executed. The position of Christians affected by Nazism is highly complex. Pope Pius XI declared – ''Mit brennender Sorge'' – that Fascist governments had hidden "pagan intentions" and expressed the irreconcilability of the Catholic position and totalitarian fascist state worship, which placed the nation above God, fundamental human rights, and dignity. His declaration that "Spiritually, [Christians] are all Semites" prompted the Nazis to give him the title "Chief Rabbi of the Christian World." Catholic priests were executed in concentration camps alongside Jews; for example, 2,600 Catholic priests were imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp, Dachau, and 2,000 of them were executed (cf. ''Priesterblock''). A further 2,700 Polish priests were executed (a quarter of all Polish priests), and 5,350 Polish nuns were either displaced, imprisoned, or executed. Many Catholic laymen and clergy played notable roles in sheltering Jews during the Holocaust, including Pope Pius XII. The head rabbi of Rome became a Catholic in 1945 and, in honour of the actions the pope undertook to save Jewish lives, he took the name Eugenio (the pope's first name). A former Israeli consul in Italy claimed: "The Catholic Church saved more Jewish lives during the war than all the other churches, religious institutions, and rescue organisations put together." The relationship between Nazism and Protestantism, especially the German Lutheran Church, was complex. Though many Protestant church leaders in Germany supported the Nazis' growing anti-Jewish activities, some such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer (a Lutheran pastor) of the Confessing Church, a movement within Protestantism that strongly opposed Nazism, were strongly opposed to the Third Reich. Bonhoeffer was later found guilty in the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler and executed.


Contemporary Christianity


Second Vatican Council

On 11 October 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council, the 21st
ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote a ...
of the Catholic Church. The council was "pastoral" in nature, interpreting dogma in terms of its scriptural roots, revising liturgical practices, and providing guidance for articulating traditional Church teachings in contemporary times. The council is perhaps best known for its instructions that the Mass may be celebrated in the vernacular as well as in Latin.


Ecumenism

Ecumenism broadly refers to movements between Christian groups to establish a degree of unity through dialogue. Ecumenism is derived from Greek (''oikoumene''), which means "the inhabited world", but more figuratively something like "universal oneness." The movement can be distinguished into Catholic and Protestant movements, with the latter characterised by a redefined ecclesiology of "denominationalism" (which the Catholic Church, among others, rejects). Over the last century, moves have been made to reconcile the schism between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches. Although progress has been made, concerns over papal primacy and the independence of the smaller Orthodox churches has blocked a final resolution of the schism. On 30 November 1894, Pope Leo XIII published ''Orientalium Dignitas''. On 7 December 1965, a Joint Catholic-Orthodox Declaration of Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I was issued lifting the mutual excommunications of 1054. Some of the most difficult questions in relations with the ancient Eastern Churches concern some doctrine (i.e. ''Filioque'', scholasticism, functional purposes of asceticism, the Essence-Energies distinction, essence of God, Hesychasm,
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
, establishment of the
Latin Empire The Latin Empire, also referred to as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, was a feudal Crusader state The Crusader states were feudal polities created by the Latin Catholic leaders of the First Crusade through conquest and political ...

Latin Empire
, Eastern Catholic Churches, Uniatism to note but a few) as well as practical matters such as the concrete exercise of the claim to papal primacy and how to ensure that ecclesiastical union would not mean mere absorption of the smaller Churches by the Latin component of the much larger Catholic Church (the most numerous single religious denomination in the world) and the stifling or abandonment of their own rich theological, liturgical and cultural heritage. With respect to Catholic relations with Protestant communities, certain commissions were established to foster dialogue and documents have been produced aimed at identifying points of doctrinal unity, such as the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification produced with the Lutheran World Federation in 1999. Ecumenical movements within Protestantism have focused on determining a list of doctrines and practices essential to being Christian and thus extending to all groups which fulfill these basic criteria a (more or less) co-equal status, with perhaps one's own group still retaining a "first among equal" standing. This process involved a redefinition of the idea of "the Church" from traditional theology. This ecclesiology, known as denominationalism, contends that each group (which fulfills the essential criteria of "being Christian") is a sub-group of a greater "Christian Church", itself a purely abstract concept with no direct representation, i.e., no group, or "denomination", claims to be "the Church." This ecclesiology is at variance with other groups that indeed consider themselves to be "the Church." The "essential criteria" generally consist of belief in the Trinity, belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to bring forgiveness and Eternal life (Christianity), eternal life, and that Jesus died and rose again bodily.


Pentecostal movement

In reaction to these developments, Christian fundamentalism was a movement to reject the radical influences of philosophical humanism as this was affecting the Christian religion. Especially targeting critical approaches to the interpretation of the Bible, and trying to blockade the inroads made into their churches by atheistic scientific assumptions, the fundamentalists began to appear in various denominations as numerous independent movements of resistance to the drift away from historic Christianity. Over time, the Fundamentalist Evangelical movement has divided into two main wings, with the label Fundamentalist following one branch, while Evangelical has become the preferred banner of the more moderate movement. Although both movements primarily originated in the English-speaking world, the majority of Evangelicals now live elsewhere in the world.


See also

* Christian anarchism * Christianity and Paganism * Christianization * History of Christian theology * History of the Eastern Orthodox Church * History of Oriental Orthodoxy * History of Protestantism * History of the Catholic Church * Mandaeism * Rise of Christianity during the Fall of Rome * Role of the Christian Church in civilization * Timeline of Christian missions * Timeline of Christianity * Timeline of the Roman Catholic Church


References


Sources

*


Further reading

* John Bowden (theologian), Bowden, John. ''Encyclopedia of Christianity'' (2005), 1406 p
excerpt and text search
* * Philip Carrington, Carrington, Philip. ''The Early Christian Church'' (2 vol. 1957
vol 1online edition vol 2
* * ; * * * * Holt, Bradley P. ''Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Christian Spirituality'' (2nd ed. 2005) * Jacomb-Hood, Anthony. ''Rediscovering the New Testament Church''. CreateSpace (2014). . * Paul Johnson (writer), Johnson, Paul. ''A History of Christianity (Johnson book), A History of Christianity'' (1976
excerpt and text search
*
excerpt and text search and highly detailed table of contents
*
excerpt and text search
* Livingstone, E. A., ed. ''The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church'' (2nd ed. 2006
excerpt and text search
online a
Oxford Reference
* Diarmaid MacCulloch, MacCulloch, Diarmaid. ''A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years'' (2010) * McLeod, Hugh, and Werner Ustorf, eds. ''The Decline of Christendom in Western Europe, 1750–2000'' (2003) 13 essays by scholars
online edition
* John Anthony McGuckin, McGuckin, John Anthony. ''The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture'' (2010), 480p
excerpt and text search
* John Anthony McGuckin, McGuckin, John Anthony. ''The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity'' (2011), 872pp * Moore, Edward Caldwell
''The Spread of Christianity in the Modern World''
Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press, 1919. *Muraresku, Brian C. ''The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name.'' Macmillan USA. 2020. ISBN (identifier), ISBN Special:BookSources/978-1250207142, 978-1250207142 * * * * Rodney Stark, Stark, Rodney. ''The Rise of Christianity'' (1996) * Tomkins, Stephen. ''A Short History of Christianity'' (2006
excerpt and text search


External links

The following links give an overview of the history of Christianity:
History of Christianity Reading Room:
Extensive online resources for the study of global church history (Tyndale Seminary).
''Dictionary of the History of Ideas'':
Christianity in History
''Dictionary of the History of Ideas'':
Church as an Institution
Sketches of Church History
From AD 33 to the Reformation by Rev. J. C Robertson, M.A., Canon of Canterbury *
A History of Christianity in 15 Objects
online series in association with Faculty of Theology, Uni. of Oxford from September 2011 The following links provide quantitative data related to Christianity and other major religions, including rates of adherence at different points in time:
American Religion Data Archive



Theandros
a journal of Orthodox theology and philosophy, containing articles on early Christianity and patristic studies.

A timeline with references to the descendants of the early church.

A short timeline of the Protestant Reformation.
Fourth-Century Christianity
{{DEFAULTSORT:History Of Christianity History of Christianity,