Final Reaction Paper: The Crescent and the Cross
In this essay I will discuss the history of the Roman Catholic Church and its influence on Western Civilization. I will bring an understanding to the beginnings of the Church and bring us to modern day ideals. Along with the history of the Catholic Church, I will cover some significant events during the middle ages. To understand the beginnings of the Catholic Church, it is important to grasp concepts of the foundation of the Catholic religion. Christianity is based on the beliefs and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was born of Jewish origins in the city of Bethlehem, just south of what is today Jerusalem between 6 B.C. And A.D. 6. He did not believe in following Jewish law, but following moral ethics he established. Jewish culture of Jesus’ day was highly materialistic, and Jesus spoke against materialism and ultimately against aristocracy among Jewish faith. Jesus did not agree to worship emperors or multiple gods as the Romans did. He, like his Jewish origin, professed monotheism, which is the belief in one single god. Although Jesus gained few followers, his teachings were very influential in the formation of the Christian faith. On that note, the culmination of his followings would not have been possible without his followers. One of Jesus’ most influential and prominent apostles is Paul. Paul was a Jewish tent maker from Tarsus in Asia Minor. Paul’s work was influenced by Jesus’ teachings of the evils that follow material wealth and strict Jewish ideals. Paul is responsible for writing at least ten to fourteen of the stories in the New Testament. Paul was the first to preach the word of Jesus to non-Jewish people. Paul traveled thousands of miles spreading the miracles of Jesus and ultimately launching Christianity into the modern day. Paul focused his efforts on teaching about moral renewal and redemption from sin. He spoke of the freedoms that Christianity can bring and how it is for everyone, no matter their political or financial situations. His large effort to spread the word of Jesus has allowed him to become known as the co-founder of Christianity. The life of Jesus has been one of curiosity and obscurity to those who study his life. The most informative sources are from the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, who are evangelists and the authors of the Gospels. The Gospels were written between forty and seventy years after the crucifixion of Jesus. They were written to convert non-believers in the Messiah of God. The authors of the Gospels are known, but the historical accuracy of these stories are often times difficult to measure. Jesus was put to death for political and religious reasons, but officially for committing treason. The high priests felt as though he was a false messiah, pretending to be the Son of God in human form. Although he was persecuted for religious based infractions, the Jewish leaders feared that if he were to gain a large following within the Roman Empire, he would start a large repression, which would bring ruin to the Jewish Nation. With his death he preached his resurrection, and it is his resurrection that is truly the starting point of the Christian faith. According to the writings of Paul, Peter was the first to perform the first miracle and preach the first sermon of Jesus. The spread of Christianity evolved due to the necessity for religious revitalization under the Roman Empire. Jesus brought forth a sense of personal comfort in the spiritual world as apposed to political and religious factions. Jesus preached against the material world, faith in God, and compassion for fellow human beings. Jesus asked that before people serve their state or themselves, they serve God. Paul helped the spread of Christianity to non-Jews by offering it to everyone and anticipated an eternal life among God if they were to follow Jesus. Christianity allowed for the belief in one savior (God), the promise of salvation...
Bibliography: Bokenkotter, Thomas S. "Chapter 1 Jesus." A Concise History of the Catholic Church. New York: Doubleday, 2004. 7-15. Print.
Fiero, Gloria K. Humanistic Tradition/ MEDIEVAL EUROPE AND THE WORLD BEYOND. 5th ed. Vol. 2. New York: Mcgraw-Hill, 2006. Print.
The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross. A&E Networks, 2005. Youtube.com. Web. <http://youtu.be/zqK-RuntywY>.
Kung, Hans. "11." The Catholic Church: a Short History. New York: Modern Library, 2001. 94-101. Print.
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