The rise of christianity
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 8

The Rise of Christianity PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 116 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

The Rise of Christianity. Rodney A. Stark. Growth of Christianity. Question: how did Christians grow from a tiny percentage of the Roman empire population to its majority by the year 350? Factors Conversion through social networks “primary” and “secondary conversions Birth rates

Download Presentation

The Rise of Christianity

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


The rise of christianity

The Rise of Christianity

Rodney A. Stark


Growth of christianity

Growth of Christianity

  • Question: how did Christians grow from a tiny percentage of the Roman empire population to its majority by the year 350?

  • Factors

    • Conversion through social networks

      • “primary” and “secondary conversions

    • Birth rates

    • Urban networks

    • Epidemics

    • Role of women


Estimates of population roman empire 60 million people

Estimates of population (Roman empire = 60 million people)

From Stark, The Rise of Christianity, p. 7


The role of women in christian growth

The role of women in Christian growth

  • More women converted (primary)

    • Led husbands in secondary conversions

    • Could use their wealth (widows) for church

    • Christian women had higher status?

      • Women had more to gain in converting, men had more to lose?

  • Christians had higher fertility rates

    • Spoke out against infanticide; had more girls

    • Lower rate of (v. dangerous) abortions and use of birth control


What did early christians do

What did early Christians do?

  • Meetings

    • Originally met in synagogues

    • After 70CE, met in house churches

    • By 300s, met in basilicas

  • Liturgy (work of the people; worship)

    • Met on Sundays

    • Had readings, “agape” meal (eucharist)

    • Needed to be baptized to participate fully

      • Big deal

      • Long preparation

      • Elaborate ritual


Practice continued

Practice, continued

  • Ministries

    • Presbyters/priests

      • Some groups allowed female presiders, many did not

    • Deacons: servants

      • Helped in liturgies

      • Served needs of the community, especially poor and widows

      • Could be male or female

    • Bishops

      • Head of church in a city

      • Main cities: Rome, Jerusalem, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria

      • Public symbol of continuity of apostle’s teachings

    • Itinerant preachers

      • Careful: some were frauds and freeloaders

    • Prophets


Developments

Developments

  • Growth

  • Move from margins to mainstream

    • Church community starts looking more mainstream

      • Ex: limitation of women’s ministries as deacons: can only work with women

  • More resources: bigger church buildings


For next time

For next time

  • Life of Antony

    • Why does he convert?

    • How is his story similar to Perpetua and Thecla’s? How different?

    • Why is he so focused on demons?

  • Chidester

    • How does monasticism contribute to the growth of Christianity?


  • Login