Early Christian and Eastern Religions • Five major faiths developed in the Middle East during and after the collapse of the Roman Empire : • Judaism • Islam • Christianity • Mithraism • Gnosticism
Early Christian and Eastern Religions • These faiths all shared several things in common: • Claimed Exclusive Path to Paradise (heaven) • Claimed they were the Only True Faith • Placed Emphasis on Prophecy and Spiritually Revealed Truth • Offered hope of salvation to those who believed their truth • Honored a chief Prophet or Messiah • Believed that there was a struggle between good and evil for man’s soul • Practiced ritual purification or initiation with water • Believed that members should seek out new converts for their faith (except Judaism)
Early Christian and Eastern Religions • Only 3 of these 5 have survived although each one had periods of great success: Christianity, Islam and Judaism are the great survivors. • Mithraism almost became the official religion of the Roman Empire – only Constantine’s victory changed that • Gnosticism was a variant of Christianity that survived into the 1200s in France where it was eventually wiped out by Papal Christianity in a series of Crusades and the creation of the Inquisition.
Judaism • 2000 BCE – Abraham is called from Ur in Mesopotamia to Canaan by Yahweh • 1600 BCE – Hebrews leave Canaan for Egypt • 1250 BCE – Moses and Hebrews leave Egypt (Exodus) and return to Canaan • 1000 BCE – Israelites establish a monarchy under Saul – the 1st Hebrew King • 1000 – 961 BCE – David is King • 961 – 922 BCE – Solomon is King • 922 BCE – Kingdom splits into 2 – Israel and Judah • 722 BCE – Israel falls to the Assyrians • 600 BCE – Hebrew Torah and other Holy writings are compiled into their final form • 587 BCE – Judah falls to Chaldaeans under Nebuchadnezzar II and the Hebrews are enslaved and taken to Babylon (Babylonian Captivity)
Judaism/Christianity • 539 BCE – Persians conquer Chaldaeans and return Hebrews to homeland • 4 BCE – Birth of Jesus Christ • 26-29 CE – Public career of Jesus Christ • 29 CE – Crucifixion of Christ under Pontius Pilate • 34 CE – Stephen is the first Christian martyr – stoned to death • 200 CE – Rome becomes the center of the Christian faith
Christianity • 307 – 337 CE – Reign of Constantine the Great • 313 CE – Edict of Milan is issued by Constantine legalizing Christianity • 325 CE – Council of Nicea establishes Nicene Creed and Orthodox Christianity – all other forms of Christianity are made heresies. • 376 CE – Western Roman Empire is invaded by the Huns under Attila • 395 CE – The Edict of Theodosius is issued making Christianity the only legal religion in the Roman Empire - Roman Empire splits into east and west at Theodosius’ death • 395 CE – The beginning of the reliquary trade
Synagogue InteriorWall paintings of Old Testament scenes from Dura Europos, Syria ca. 245-256tempera on plaster Similar in style to Roman work Judaic Art
Ark of the Covenant in the Temple of Dagon Synagogue InteriorWall paintings of Old Testament scenes from Dura Europos, Syria ca. 245-256tempera on plaster Judaic Art
Judaica • Isaiah Scroll (Dead Sea Scrolls) • 1st century BCE • Qumran, Israel • This early version of the Book of Isaiah is exactly the same as modern ones
Jewish. Masada, the fortress of King Herod on the Dead Sea.Late first century CE.
A History of the Jewish People The Jewish sense of history begins with the stories recounted in the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh Jews hold the “five books of Moses” as the most sacred part of the scriptures – The Torah The theme of exile reappears continually in the Hebrew Bible, and in later Jewish history the people are rendered homeless again and again
Biblical History • Begins with the creation of the world by a supreme deity, or God • Progresses through: • the patriarchs and matriarchs • Moses who spoke with God and led the people according to God’s commandments • the prophets who heard God’s warnings to those who strayed from the commandments
Biblical History • After the Tanakh: • After the holy center of Judaism, the Temple of Jerusalem, was captured and destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, Jewish history is that of a dispersed people, finding unity in their evolving teachings and traditional practices, which were eventually codified in the great compendium of Jewish law and lore, the Talmud.
Biblical Stories • From creation to the God of Abraham • Hebrew scriptures begin with an account of the creation of heaven and earth by God in six days • Covenant • A unique belief introduced into Jewish theology was the idea of a special covenantal relationship between the Jewish people and God • Early Monotheism • Scholars disagree on whether pure monotheism was practiced by the early patriarchs
Biblical Stories • Israel’s Birth in Struggle • The story in which a human being struggles and finally is reborn at a higher level of spirituality has been taken as a metaphor for the spiritual evolution of the people of Israel • Egypt: Bondage and Exodus • According to the scriptural Book of Exodus, Moses was chosen by God to defy the pharaoh and lead the people out of bondage, out of Egypt
Biblical Stories • From the Wilderness to Canaan • Acceptance of the laws given to Moses at Mount Sinai brought a new dimension to the covenant between God and Israel • Carrying the ark representing this covenant, the Israelites had to wander for forty years through the desert before they could re-enter the promised land, fertile Canaan, which at that time belonged to other peoples
Biblical Stories • The First Temple of Jerusalem • David, the second king of Israel, is remembered as Israel’s greatest king • Under the reign of King Solomon (son of David), a great temple was built in Jerusalem • The temple became the central place for sacrifice in Judaism • In 586 BCE the great walls of Jerusalem were battered down and its buildings put to the torch by the Babylonians
Return to Jerusalem • After fifty years of exile in Babylon, a small group of devoted Jews returned to their holy city and land, now called Judaea. • King Cyrus authorized the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem, which was completed in 515 BCE. • The second temple became the central symbol to a scattered Jewish nation.
Three Sects Under the Hasmonean kings, three sects of Jews formed in Judaea: • Sadducees: priests and wealthy businesspeople, conservatives intent on preserving the letter of the law • Pharisees: more liberal citizens from all classes who sought to study the applications of the Torah to everyday life • A third general movement was uncompromising in its piety and its disgust with what it considered a corrupted priesthood
Revolts • Spurred by anti-Roman militias called Zealots, some Jews rose up in armed rebellion against Rome in 66 CE • The rebellion was suppressed, and the Jewish defenders were slaughtered in the holy walled city of Jerusalem In 70 CE • A second ultimately disastrous revolt followed in 132 CE • Judaea was renamed Palestine after the ancient Philistines. Judaism no longer had a physical heart or a geographic center
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbis and the messianic movement survived the destruction of Judaea • Rabbis: • inheritors of the Pharisee tradition • founders of rabbinic Judaism, which has defined the major forms of Jewish practice over the last 2,000 years • teachers, religious decision-makers, and creators of liturgical prayer • The messianic movement : there were many until one • formed around Jesus of Nazareth, later known as Christianity
Rabbis’ Work The rabbis: • thoroughly interpret Hebrew scriptures • apply the biblical teachings to their contemporary lives, in very different cultural circumstances from those of the ancients • interpret scripture in ways acceptable to contemporary values
Torah Jewish teachings are known as the Torah • The one God • Love for God • The sacredness of human life • Law • Suffering and Faith
Sacred Practices • scriptural study • remembering God in all aspects of life • ritual circumcision • what one eats is of cosmic significance • giving thanks continually • the Sabbath • Bar Mitzvah
Holy Days Judaism follows an ancient lunar calendar of annual holidays and memorials linked to special events in history: • Rosh Hashanah • Yom Kippur • Sukkot • Hanukkah • Purim • Passover • Holocaust Remembrance Day • Shavuot
CENTRAL BELIEFS • With the many historical forms of Judaism, they all share similar characteristics. • The most essential characteristic is the belief in one God who created the universe and continues to rule it. • The God who created the world revealed himself to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. • The content of that revelation makes up the Torah, God's will for humankind stated in his commandments. • A second major concept in Judaism is that of the covenant, or agreement, between God and the Jewish people. The Jews would acknowledge God, agreeing to obey his laws. God, in turn, would acknowledge Israel as his chosen people. • The Bible is the word of God
CENTRAL BELIEFS Jewish People believe that goodness and obedience will be rewarded and sin punished by God’s judgment after death. Then at the end of times, God will send his Messiah to redeem the Jews and deliver them to their Promised Land. Although all forms of Judaism come from the Hebrew bible, Judaism is mainly derived from the rabbinic movement during the first centuries of the Christian era. At the turn of the 3rd century, the rabbis, or Jewish sages, produced the Mishnah, the earliest document of rabbinic literature.
Some for fun Not to indulge in familiarities with relatives, such as kissing, embracing, winking, skipping, which may lead to incest (Lev. 18:6) Not to commit sodomy with one's father (Lev. 18:7) Not to have intercourse with a woman, in her menstrual period (Lev. 18:19) "When a woman has a discharge of blood, which is her regular discharge from her body, she shall be in her impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening." -- Leviticus 15:19-20 Not to castrate the male of any species; neither a man, nor a domestic or wild beast, nor a fowl (Lev. 22:24) Of them you may eat: the locust according to its kind." -- Leviticus 11:22 "When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand." -- Deuteronomy 25:11-12
Some more for fun • Not to eat flesh with milk (Ex. 34:26) • Not to eat the flesh of an ox that was condemned to be stoned (Ex. 21:28) • Not to compel the Hebrew servant to do the work of a slave (Lev. 25:39) • To keep the Canaanite slave forever (Lev. 25:46) • That the violator (of an unbetrothed virgin) shall marry her (Deut. 22:28-29) • Not to wear garments made of wool and linen mixed together (Deut. 22:11) • That a man, having a running issue, defiles (Lev. 15:1-15) • To exterminate the seven Canaanite nations from the land of Israel (Deut. 20:17)
Stoned 2 Stoning to death punishment for disobedient sons.21.21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, so that he die. So shalt thou put evil away from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear. Stoning to death punishment for non virgin women.22.20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel, (unmarried women)22.21 then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die, because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house; so shalt thou put evil away from among you. Death punishment for adultery.22.22 “If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman and the woman; so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. Stoning to death punishment for virgin women for adultery.22.23 If a damsel who is a virgin be betrothed unto a husband, and a man find her in the city and lie with her,22.24 then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones, that they die — the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city, and the man,because he hath humbled his neighbor’s wife; so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
Early Middle Ages - Eastern Religious Art • Mithras Slaying the Sacred Bull • 150 – 200 • Rome, Italy • The Mithraic cult focused on the sun, good vs. evil and Mithras – a god who was killed and rose again 3 days later and was born on December 25
Greco-Eyptian. Isis Lactans, Isis giving the breast to the infant Horus, from Antinoe, Egypt. Early third century CE.Height: 35".
CHRISTIANITY • 6-4 BC – BIRTH OF JESUS (COULD BE AS EARLY AS 10 BC) • 15-26 AD – VALERIUS GRATUS IS PREFECT OF JUDEA, UNDER TIBERIUS • 18-37 AD – CAIAPHAS IS APPOINTED HIGH PRIEST OF THE SANHEDRIN BY VALERIUS GRATUS • 24-26 AD – PUBLIC MINISTRY OF JESUS • 26-36 AD – PONTIUS PILATE IS PREFECT OF JUDEA, UNDER TIBERIAS • 27-29 AD – CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS FOR SEDITION • 27-29 AD – PENTECOST OCCURS AND THE CHURCH BEGINS • 34 AD – PHILIP CONVERTS FIRST PERSON, AN ETHIOPIAN JEW IN GAZA • 35 AD - SAUL OF TARSUS CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY, BECOMES PAUL • 39 AD – PETER PREACHES TO THE GENTILES FOR FIRST TIME
CHRISTIANITY • 42 – Mark goes to Egypt • 44 – James, the brother of Jesus, is stoned to death by the Jews for blasphemy • 49 - Jerusalem Council held on admitting Gentiles into the Church • 51-52 – First written accounts of Christianity – Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians • 52 - Apostle Thomas arrives in India and founds church that subsequently becomes Indian Orthodox Church (and its various descendants). • 59-62 - Paul journeys to Rome and is imprisoned • 60 – Andrew martyred in Greece by crucifixion under Romans for sedition; possible date for Gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew • 64 – Nero begins persecution of Christians for fire in Rome • 68 – Paul and Peter are killed under Nero
Christianity • 70 – Jerusalem and Judea invaded and destroyed by the Romans under Titus • 72 - Traditional date of the Apostle Thomas' martyrdom in India • 90-95 – John exiled to the island of Patmos (Gospel of John is written) • 95 – The Book of Revelations is written • 95-120 – All other new testament books and gospels are written • 202 – Christians persecuted under Septimus Severus • 211 – Christians tolerated under Caracalla • 222 – Christians favored under Alevander Severus • 230 – Origen defends Christianity with his books • 235 – Christians persecuted again under Maximum the Thracian • 238 – Christians tolerated under Gordian III
Christianity 244 – Christians favored under Philip the Arab 251 – Cyprian writes On the Unity of the Catholic Church 303 - Diocletian begins the Great Persecution – kills Christians, priests, bishops, popes and even churches and structures are destroyed. 312 – Constantine defeats Maxentius and becomes sole Roman Empereror 313 – Constantine issues the Edict of Milan – ordering the toleration of all religions (including Christianity) 325 – Council of Nicea is called and the dogma of the Christian faith is voted on by various bishops. Constantine is in charge of the proceedings. Christ’s divinity is voted on, as well as which books to call Gospels, etc.
Christianity 336 – Constantine converts to Christianity, then dies becoming first Christian emperor. 381 – First Council of Constantinople – called by Emperor Theodosius – it included a restatement of the Nicene Creed and fully established the concept of the Trinity as one. It outlawed Arianism (Jesus did not exist until his birth) as heresy. 395 – Edict of Theodosius – outlaws all religions except Christianity in the entire Roman Empire 400 – The Bible is translated into Latin from Greek by St. Jerome 418 – Council of Africa – led by Augustine- condemned Donatists (who claimed people who converted under persecution could not be priests) and the Pelagians (who claimed that sin could beavoided and we men were not born with original sin). Original sin becomes an official dogma as does repentance and forgiveness.
Christianity • 451 – Council of Chalcedon – called by Emperor Anatolius - called to condemn Nestorianism (claimed Christ was part human and part divine), Leads to doctrine that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man at the same time • 1054 – Great Schism between Eastern and Western Christianity (Catholic is only kind at this time). First break up of Catholic Church. Over a phrase in the Nicene creed and in clergy marriage. • 1122 – Concordat of Worms – separates the Church from local governments • 1123 – First Lateran Council - banned clerical marriage • 1139 – Second Lateran Council – banned nuns and monks from singing together in church • 1160-1180 – Purgatory becomes part of the Christian doctrine (a place between heaven and hell where one waits to be judged) • 1179 – Third Lateran Council – banned the Waldensian and Cathar heresy (earthly things are evil including the body). Only cardinals can now elect the Pope.
Christianity 1215 – Fourth Lateran Council – created dogma of Tran-substantiation (the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ) 1517 – Martin Luther nails his 99 Theses to the Church in Wittenburg, Germany – officially begin the Protestant Movement of Christianity. The Catholic Church would no longer be the only kind of Christianity 1534 – Henry VIII creates the Anglican Church (to get divorced) 1536 – John Calvin starts new Christian Church in Switzerland 1517-1600 – Protestant Reformation 1563-1648 – Catholic Counter-Reformation – reaction against Protestantism to return the Catholic Church to prestige; boom in church building and patronage of the arts; Jesuits are created to convert people back
Christianity • 1609 – The Baptist faith begins under John Smyth • 1611 – King James version of the Bible is printed in English • 1729 – The Methodist faith begins under John Wesley • 1730-1755 – First Great Awakening – Christ’s return is awaited, repent. Mainly occurs in British colonies. Focus on guilt for sin, repentance. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Churches develop alongside Dutch Reformed (Amish). • 1790-1840 – Second Great Awakening – Christ’s return is imminent, repent. People can be saved through religious revivals only, not through good works. Beginnings of evangelical Christianity. Mormon religion established by Joseph Smith. Only in the U.S. • 1850-1900 – Third Great Awakening – After cleaning up the world, then Christ will come. American Protestant Christians start social programs to reform the US, then the world. Proselytizing and evangelizing the US and the world will bring about Christ’s return. Church of Christ Scientists, Salvation Army, Pentecostals and the Jehovah’s Witnesses begin.
Christianity 1854 – The dogma of the Immaculate Conception (Mary was born without original sin, hence so was Jesus) is declared by Pope Pius 1868 – Vatican Council – declaration of Papal Infallibility (Pope is direct link to God and cannot be wring if issuing a Papal Bull) 1960-1980 – Fourth Great Awakening – Jesus is coming and boy is he pissed. Only took place in the U.S. Evangelical and fundamentalist movements push aside the more traditional churches and beliefs to enforce religion on society to bring back an angry Christ to seek vengeance on those who did not adhere to their faith 1962- 1965 – Second Vatican Council – declaration that Jews are not accursed people or to be blamed for Christ’s death; claims the Catholic Church is the true church, but there are other Truths to be found outside of it; permission granted to say mass in languages of the country rather than only Latin
Early Christian Art Characteristics • Decay in style • Religious themes are the focus • Substance over style • Basilica main form of church building • The subject matter and story are what’s important not the artist
Baptistery from Christian Community House Dura Europos, Syria ca. 240-256 Baptism was done in homes before churches developed
Church of the Holy Sepulchre • C. 330 CE • Constantine the Great • One of Holiest spots in Christendom • Contains the place of the crucifixion and the tomb of Christ under its domes.