Christianity in Late Antiquity

Topics: Christianity, Roman Empire, God / Pages: 13 (3114 words) / Published: Nov 10th, 2012
Christianity in Late Antiquity The period of Late Antiquity was roughly between 300 and 600 A.D. It was a period of change for the European world, change in politics, religion, economics, and much more. New ideas and ways were emerging while many of the old were starting to disappear. One of the most important and drastic changes during this time was the change in Christianity. Christianity was present before this period, but during Late Antiquity was when the Christian Church went from a persecuted religion to a desired and dominate faith. In this paper I will argue through the writings of Saint Augustine’s Confessions good Christians in Late Antiquity must be obedient and have a good sense of acceptance. Christianity really started to spread and expand in the third century. When the Roman Empire was declining in the third century Christianity was able to come in and take a place that was felt to be empty by the people. The economy was deteriorating with the decline in agriculture and food, leaving Christian Church to provide care for the poor, making Christianity appealing to the normal person. During the time of catastrophe such as the plague the Church was there to take care of the people; they managed burials for the dead, and during famine they organized food-supplies for the poor. The Church was the only form of a unified organization during times of upheaval making it alluring to people who felt they had been abandoned by the Roman Empire; the Church also gave the people something to live for in this lifetime.[1] Another appealing aspect of the Christian Church during Late Antiquity was the view of inwardness the Church held. An example would be the practice of giving alms. The alms collected from the Christian congregation were not given out liberally; it was taken in by the bishop and given to the Lord as a “sacrifice” from the community as a whole. The collected alms were then dispersed back to the community, to those who needed it, as a gift


Bibliography: Brown, Peter. 2000. Augustine of Hippo: A bibliography. Los Angeles: University of California Press. Brown, Peter. 1989. The world of late antiquity: A.D. 150-750. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Ltd. Burton, Douglas. 2005. Simplicity, or the terror of belief: the making and unmaking of the self in early Christian monasticism Chadwick, Henry. 2001. The church in ancient society: from Galilee to Gregory the Great. Mathisen, Ralph W. 1997. Barbarian bishops and the churches “in barbarics gentibus” during late antiquity [3] Emile Durkheim, Selected writings (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1972), pp219-222. [7] Ralph W. Mathisen, “Barbarian bishops and the churches “in barbarics gentibus” during late antiquity,” Speculum 72(3) (1997), pp664-697. [9] Saint Augustine, Confessiones (New York: Penguin Books, 1961), pp173. [11] Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A bibliography (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000), pp9. [24] Henry Chadwick, The church in ancient society: From Galilee to Gregory the Great (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp474-475. [26] Augustine, pp [27] Douglas Burton, “Simplicity, or the terror of belief: The making and unmaking of the self in early Christian monasticism,” Cistercian Studies Quarterly 40 (4) (2005), pp353-363.

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