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Christian Development. History up to the Schism. The early Christian church. Watch the video and answer the following: http :// Tour of orthodox church building http ://

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Christian development

Christian Development

History up to the Schism

The early christian church
The early Christian church

Watch the video and answer the following:

Tour of orthodox church building

Read page 161 up to the structure of the church
Read page 161 up to “The Structure of the Church”

  • In 313 CE, Roman Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan.

  • Allowed Christians to worship without interference.

  • Christianity became the official religion of the Empire.

  • The Roman Empire underwent great change:

  • By 330 CE, the capital had moved to Constantinople

  • In the West, the empire declined and the economy failed

  • Rome’s population decreased.

  • The Fall of the Roman Empire - Crash Course

Page 169 cont d
Page 169, cont’d

  • Islam developed, and the southern shore of the Mediterranean came under Islamic control.

  • Without a clear political and economic centre, a period of poverty began.

  • Christianity became the common bond that unified Western Europe.

Results of the struggles in rome
Results of the struggles in Rome

The title of Pope began to be given to the bishop of Rome – he was seen as the successor of St. Peter

The position of Pope kept Western Christianity stable

Study of scriptures helped to make Christian teachings more consistent

Theology (particularly work of St Augustine) helped Christians remain hopeful.

Monasteries became central to maintaining Christianity

The schism
The Schism

Because the empire was divided (Eastern and Western), differences developed

The East was stable politically, while the West was facing huge changes

The Eastern traditions lived in isolation, so the traditions remained constant

A key difference between East and West was (and is) the use of icons

Icon – a sacred image (e.g. painting) of Christ or the saints used in devotion and rituals


  • In early times, Christians decorated their worship spaces with paintings or mosaics of Jesus and saints.

  • In the East, people began using them in processions and praying to them for protection.

  • Some Christians agreed with the Jewish and Muslim prohibition on images of God.

  • This belief led to iconoclasm: the destruction of icons.

  • The controversy was settled in favour of icons and confirmed by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 CE.

  • The Western Church felt the East had gone too far in “worshipping” icons.

The creed and the schism
The Creed and the Schism

The second conflict that led to the schism was the adding of a short phrase to the creed.

The Eastern Church took issue with the fact that it was said that the Holy Spirit “proceeded from the Father and the Son”

A series of conflicts led to a split in 1054 between the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman Catholic) Churches

Conflicts continued for hundreds of years after

Orthodox christianity
Orthodox Christianity

  • Eastern Christianity developed its own structure of churches, liturgical traditions, and customs.

  • The Eastern Church does not have a leader in a position similar to the pope.

  • It has a number of self-governing churches.

  • For the Orthodox Church, Jesus is the head of the Church, and the Church is the body of Christ.

Orthodox traditions
Orthodox Traditions

Infant sacraments of initiation celebrated

Celibate and non-celibate priesthood

Liturgy in different form

Eucharist received always in both forms (bread and wine)

While looking at the pictures and videos:

Describe the architecture of Orthodox churches. What does the inside and outside look like?

Describe what the priests wear. How is it different than other Christian clergy?

Describe the Eucharist (communion). How does it differ from other Christian churches?

Describe the Divine Liturgy. How is it different the Mass or services in other Christian denominations?

Church architecture
Church architecture


Domes, orthodox cross, icon screen, sanctuary

Orthodox communion
Orthodox Communion

Note: both forms, on a spoon leavened bread, different altar vessels, young children receive

Divine liturgy
Divine Liturgy crowning first communion - Christmas liturgy - little entrance