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Encyclopedia > Christianization
St Francis Xavier converting the Paravas: a 19th-century image of the docile heathen
St Francis Xavier converting the Paravas: a 19th-century image of the docile heathen

The historical phenomenon of Christianization, the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once, also includes the practice of converting pagan practices, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar to Christian uses. In Antiquity, Christianization was effected only partly through laws against sacrifice and sorcery and official conversions of temples to Christian churches. It was effected also by the degradation of pagan gods into daimones and the Christianization of existing rites. Image File history File links Conversion_of_Paravas_by_Francis_Xavier_in_1542. ... Image File history File links Conversion_of_Paravas_by_Francis_Xavier_in_1542. ... Conversion of paravas by Francis Xavier, in a 19th-century colored lithograph Parava or Paravas, also known as Bharathar, Paravar is one of the oldest Tamil castes. ... Religious conversion is the adoption of new religious beliefs that differ from the converts previous beliefs; in some cultures (e. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Heathen redirects here. ... Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... Look up daimon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

In many cases, re-use of pre-Christian activities and beliefs was officially sanctioned; preserved in the Venerable Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum is a letter from Pope Gregory I to Mellitus, arguing that conversions were easier if people were allowed to retain the outward forms of their traditions, while claiming that the traditions were in honour of the Christian God, "to the end that, whilst some gratifications are outwardly permitted them, they may the more easily consent to the inward consolations of the grace of God". In essence, it was intended that the traditions and practices still existed, but that the reasoning behind them was forgotten. The existence of syncretism in Christian tradition has long been recognised by scholars, and in recent times many of the instances of syncretism have also been acknowledged by the Roman Catholic church. Bede (IPA: ) (also Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, or (from Latin) Beda (IPA: )), (ca. ... Folio 3v from Codex Beda Petersburgiensis (746) The Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (in English: Ecclesiastical History of the English People) is a work in Latin by the Venerable Bede on the history of the Church in England, and of England generally; its main focus is on the conflict between Roman... Saint Gregory redirects here. ... Saint Mellitus (d. ... Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ...



This practice of Christianization has at times been relatively peaceful and at times has been a very violent process, ranging from political conversions to adopt Christianity to military campaigns to force conversion onto native populances.

When Yale historian Ramsay MacMullen treated the Christianization of the Roman Empire, he divided his book in two sections, before and after the year 312, which marked the momentous conversion of Constantine. Constantine ended the persecution of Christianity (and other religions) with the Edict of Milan, so that the indigenous pagan religion of Ancient Rome was no longer the only acceptable religion by the state. Whether or not Constantine himself was a proponent of what was to follow is contested. Under Constantine's successors, Christianization of Roman society proceeded by fits and starts, as John Curran recently documented in detail (Curran 2000). “Yale” redirects here. ... Ramsay MacMullen is an Emeritus Professor of history at Yale University, where he taught from 1967 to his retirement in 1993 as Dunham Professor of History and Classics. ... Motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, c. ... Head of Constantines colossal statue at Musei Capitolini Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[1] (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic[2] Christians) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor, proclaimed Augustus by his troops on... The Edict of Milan (313) declared that the Roman Empire would be neutral with regard to religious worship, officially ending all government-sanctioned persecution, especially of Christianity. ... Heathen redirects here. ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... John Curran is the Chairman of ARIN and Chief Technical Officer of ServerVault, as well as former Chief Technical Officer of XO Communications and Chief Technical Officer of BBN Category: Business biography stubs ...

Constantine's sons, for example, banned official pagan sacrifices in 341, but did not close the temples. Although all temples in all cities were ordered shut in 356, there is evidence that traditional sacrifices continued. Under Julian, the temples were reopened and sacrifices legalized once more. When Gratian declined the position and title of Pontifex Maximus, his act effectively brought an end to the state religion; however, Gratian did not ban pagan practices by individuals. The temples remained open until Theodosius I made the ancient cults illegal, bringing an era of religious toleration decisively to an end. Flavius Claudius Iulianus (331–June 26, 363), was a Roman Emperor (361–363) of the Constantinian dynasty. ... A coin of Gratian. ... Alternate meanings: see Pontifex (disambiguation) In Ancient Rome, the Pontifex Maximus was the high priest of the collegium of the Pontifices, the most august position in Roman religion, open only to a patrician, until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. ... An engraving depicting what Theodosius may have looked like, ca. ...

After Rome was declared a Christian Empire by Theodosius in 389, laws were passed against pagan practices over the course of the following years. Those who continued to recognize pagan gods were often imprisoned, tortured, and put to death. Many of the ancient pagan temples were subsequently defiled, sacked, and destroyed, or converted into Christian sites. As such, the Christianization attributed to Constantine eventually became a very violent process under Theodosius.

Humanistic studies of Antiquity and the Reformation combined in the sixteenth century to produce works of scholarship marked by an agenda that was occupied with identifying Roman Catholic practices with paganism, and identifying the emerging Protestant churches with a purgative "re-Christianization" of society. The sober Lutheran scholar Philip Melanchthon produced his Apologia Confessionis Augustanae (1530) detailing the rites derived from pagan practices. Heinrich Bullinger, De origine erroris libris duo (1539) detailed the pagan "origins of (Catholic) errors". The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... Melancthon, in a portrait engraved by Albrecht Dürer, 1526 Philipp Melanchthon (February 16, 1497 - April 19, 1560) was a German theologian and writer of the Protestant Reformation and an associate of Martin Luther. ... Heinrich Bullinger Heinrich Bullinger (July 18, 1504 - September 17, 1575) was a Swiss reformer, the successor of Huldrych Zwingli as head of the Zurich church. ...

Isaac Casaubon, De rebus sacris et ecclesiasticus exercitationes (1614) makes a third familiar example, where sound scholarship was somewhat compromised by sectarian pleading. Thus such pagan precedents for Christian practice have tended to be downplayed or even sometimes dismissed by Christian apologists as a form of Protestant Apologetics. Isaac Casaubon (February 18, 1559 - July 1, 1614) was a classical scholar, first in France then later in England, regarded by many at the time as the most learned in Europe. ... Apologetics is the field of study concerned with the systematic defense of a position. ...

The 20th century saw more purely historical inquiries, free of sectarian bias; an early historicist classic in this field of study was Jean Seznec's The Survival of the Pagan Gods: the mythological tradition and its place in Renaissance humanism and the arts. (1972). Jean Seznec (March 19, 1905 - November 22, 1983) was a historian and mythographer whose most influential book, for English-speaking readers, has been The Survival of the Pagan Gods: Mythological Tradition in Renaissance Humanism and Art, published in 1953. ...

Christianization of Europe during the Middle Ages (6th-15th century)

Baptism of Clovis I

In 498 (497 or 499 are also possible) Clovis I, King of the Franks let himself be baptised in Reims.[1] With this act, the Frankish Kingdom became Christian, although it would take until the 7th century for the common people to abandon some of their pagan customs. [2] This was typical of the Christianization of Europe. Christian and pagan practices could effectively exist parallel. Especially in the polytheistic Germanic tradition it was even possible to worship Jesus next to the pagan gods like Odin and Thor. Before a battle, a pagan military leader might pray to Jesus for victory, instead of Odin, if he expected more help from the Christian God. Clovis had done that before a battle against one of the kings of the Alamanni, and had thus attributed his victory to Jesus. Such utilitarian thoughts were the basis of most conversions of rulers during this period. [3] The Christianization of the Franks lay the foundation for the further Christianization of the Germanic peoples. Events November 22 - After the death of Anastasius II, Symmachus is elected pope in the Lateran Palace, while Laurentius is elected pope in Santa Maria Maggiore. ... Events Aryabhata, an Indian astronomer and mathematician, calculates pi (π) as ≈ 62832/20000 = 3. ... Events March 1 - Pope Symmachus makes Antipope Laurentius bishop of Nocera in Campania. ... Clovis I (variously spelled Chlodowech or Chlodwig, giving modern French Louis and modern German Ludwig) (c. ... For other uses, see Franks (disambiguation). ... Reims (English traditionally Rheims) (pronounced in French) is a city of northern France, 144 km (89 miles) east-northeast of Paris. ... For other meanings of Odin, Woden or Wotan see Odin (disambiguation), Woden (disambiguation), Wotan (disambiguation). ... Thors battle against the giants, by MÃ¥rten Eskil Winge, 1872 Thor (Old Norse: Þórr) is the red-haired and bearded god of thunder in Norse Mythology and more generally Germanic mythology (Old English: Þunor, Old Dutch and Old High German: Donar, from Proto-Germanic *Þunraz). ... area settled by the Alamanni, and sites of Roman-Alamannic battles, 3rd to 6th century The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Main, land that is today part of Germany. ... In economics, utility is a measure of the relative happiness or satisfaction (gratification) gained by consuming different bundles of goods and services. ...

9th century depiction of Christ as a heroic warrior (Stuttgart Psalter, fol. ...

Irish Mission
Main article: Anglo-Saxon mission
Main article: Hiberno-Scottish mission

However, the next impulse did come from the edge of Europe. Although Ireland had never been part of the Roman Empire, Christianity had somehow come there and developed, largely independent, into Celtic Christianity. The Irish Monks had developed a Concept called Peregrinatio.[4] This essentially meant, that a monk would leave the monastery and his Christian Country to mission among the heathens, as self-chosen punishment for his sins. From 590 onwards Irish missionaries were active in Gaul, Scotland, Wales and England. Anglo-Saxon missionaries were instrumental in the spread of Germanic Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century, continuing the work of Hiberno-Scottish missionaries which had been spreading Celtic Christianity across the Frankish Empire as well as in Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England itself during the 6th century. ... It has been suggested that Schottenklöster be merged into this article or section. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Events September 3 - St. ...

Pope Gregory I
See also: Anglo-Saxon Christianity

During the reign of Ethelbert of Kent, Pope Gregory I decided regain the Island for Christianity. The history of Christianity in England from the Roman departure to the Norman Conquest is often told as one of conflict between the Celtic Christianity spread by the Irish mission, and Roman Catholic Christianity brought across by Augustine of Canterbury. ... Statue of Ethelbert. ... Saint Gregory redirects here. ...

Between the 6th and the 10th century, the mission of the Catholic Church and the Irish Mission christianized England.


The Saxon were converted by force. In the course of the Saxon Wars Charlemagne destroyed their Irminsul in 772, and in 782 he allegedly ordered the beheading of 4,500 Saxon nobles who were caught practicing paganism in spite of being baptized, the so-called Blood court of Verden. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Saxon Wars were the campaigns and insurrections of the more than thirty years from 772, when Charlemagne first entered Saxony with the intent to conquer, to 804, when the last rebellion of disaffected tribesmen was crushed. ... A portrait of Charlemagne by Albrecht Dürer that was painted several centuries after Charlemagnes death. ... Detail of the bent Irminsul on the Externsteine relief. ... Events Pope Adrian I succeeds Pope Stephen IV. Adrian I turns to Charlemagne for support against king Desiderius of the Lombards. ... Events Alcuin becomes teacher to Charlemagne and his court. ... The Bloody Verdict of Verden (from German Blutgericht) was an alleged massacre of Saxons in 782 near the present town of Verden in Lower Saxony (Germany), ordered by Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars. ...

Christianization of Bulgaria

After its establishment under Krum of Bulgaria, the of new Kingdom of Bulgaria found itself between the kingdom of the East Franks and the Byzantine Empire. Christianization then took place in the 9th century under Boris I of Bulgaria. The Bulgarians became Eastern Orthodox Christians and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was created. The Christianization of Bulgaria is the process of converting 9th-century medieval Bulgaria to Christianity. ... Krum (Bulgarian: ) (died April 13, 814) was ruler of Bulgaria, from after 796/ before 803 to 814. ... East Franks corresponds with what is now Germany. ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ... Boris I Michail or Boris I Michael (Bulgarian Борис I Михаил, known also as Bogoris)(died May 2, 907) was the khan from 852 to 889 and first Christian ruler of Bulgaria. ... The Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian body that views itself: as the historical continuation of the original Christian community established by Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles. ... The Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Bulgarian: , Bylgarska pravoslavna cyrkva) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church with some 6. ...

Christianization of Hungary

In the middle ages, the Kingdom of Hungary (which was larger than modern day Hungary) was christianized between 970 and 1038. This article deals with the history of the Kingdom of Hungary from the 10th century to c. ...

Christianization of Poland

Baptism of Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1888–89 (Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw)
Baptism of Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1888–89 (Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw)
See also: Pagan reaction in Poland

The "Baptism of Poland" (Polish: Chrzest Polski) in 966 refers to the baptism of Mieszko I, the first ruler of a united Polish state. His baptism was followed by the building of churches and the establishment of an ecclesiastical hierarchy. Mieszko saw baptism as a way of strengthening his hold on power, with the active support he could expect from the bishops, as well as a unifying force for the Polish people. Mieszko's action proved highly successful; by the 13th century, Roman Catholicism had become the dominant religion in Poland. Christianization of Poland by Jan Matejko This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Christianization of Poland by Jan Matejko This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Christianization of Poland in 966 by Jan Matejko The Baptism of Poland (Polish: Chrzest Polski) was the event in 966 that signified the beginning of the Christianization of Poland, commencing with the baptism of Mieszko I, who was the first ruler of the Polish state. ... Jan Matejko , self-portrait. ... Christianization of Poland in 965 by Jan Matejko The Baptism of Poland (Polish: Chrzest Polski) began with the baptism of Mieszko I, the first ruler of the Polish state, in 966. ... The Pagan reaction in Poland was a series of events in the Kingdom of Poland of the 1030s that culminated in a popular uprising. ... Events April 14 or April 30 - Mieszko I, first duke of Poland, baptised a Christian Births Fujiwara no Michinaga, Japanese regent Deaths King Dubh I of Scotland Categories: 966 ... Reign From c. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ...

Christianization of Kievan Rus'

Between the 8th and the 13th century the area of what now is Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine was settled by the Kievan Rus'. An attempt to christianize them had already been made in the 9th century, with the Christianization of the Rus' Khaganate. The efforts were finally successful in the 10th century, when about 980 Vladimir the Great was baptized at Chersonesos. The ruins of Korsun: the place where the Russian and Ukrainian church was born. ... Kievan Rus′ was an early, mostly East Slavic[1] state dominated by the city of Kiev from about 880 to the middle of the 12th century. ... Christians and Pagans, a painting by Sergei Ivanov The Christianization of the Rus Khaganate is supposed to have happened in the 860s and was the first stage in the process of Christianization of the East Slavs which continued well into the 11th century. ... Detail of the Millenium of Russia monument in Novgorod (1862) representing St Vladimir and his family. ... The remains of the city of Chersonesos Chersonesos (Greek: , Latin: , Ukrainian: , Russian: ; see also List of traditional Greek place names) also known as Chersonese, Chersonesos, Cherson, Khersones and Korsun was an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2500 years ago in the southwestern part of Crimea, known then as Taurica. ...

Christianization of Northern Europe

The Christianization of Northern Europe in the 11th century was accomplished with a significant amount of violence between pagan and Christian factions, qualifying as generic warfare rather than "persecution". The means of this conversion were chiefly Proselytism directed towards monarchs and chieftains whose people then followed by gradual conversion and then by force. Further worship of the indigenous gods was made punishable, but aspects of indigenous practices could remained. For the purposes of this article the Christianization of Scandinavia refers to the process of conversion to Christianity of the Scandinavian and Nordic peoples, starting in the 8th century with the arrival of missionaries in Denmark and ending in the 18th century with the conversion of the Inuits and the... Northern Europe is marked in dark blue Northern Europe is a name of the northern part of the European continent. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ... Proselytism is the practice of attempting to convert people to another opinion, usually another religion. ... Look up monarch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the leader. ...

This does not apply to Iceland. Violent clashes were avoided there by the decision of the Althing in AD 1000, that the country should convert to Christianity as a whole, while pagan worship in private would continue to be tolerated. [5] The Althing (Modern Icelandic Alþingi; Old Norse Alþing) is the national parliament: literally, the all-thing (or General Assembly) of Iceland. ... Europe in 1000 The year 1000 of the Gregorian Calendar was the last year of the 10th century as well as the last year of the first millennium. ...

Baltic Crusades

Main article: Northern Crusades

Crusades against the Wends, the present-day Baltic countries and Finland were also organized, although it is disputed how much these served a religious purpose or the power ambitions of kings, princes and noble bishops. The Teutonic knights in Pskov in 1240. ... This article is about the medieval crusades. ... Wends (German: Wenden, Latin: Venedi) is the English name for some Slavic people from north-central Europe. ... The three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania The terms Baltic countries, Baltic Sea countries, Baltic states, and Balticum refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea. ... The term prince, from the Latin root princeps, is used for the member of the highest aristocracy. ... Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ... This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ...

(Re-)Christianization of the Iberian Peninsula

Main article: Reconquista

Between 711–718 the Iberian peninsula had been conquered by Muslims in the Umayyad conquest of Hispania; Between 722 (see: Battle of Covadonga) and 1492 (see: the Conquest of Granada) the Christian Kingdoms that later would become Spain and Portugal reconquered it from the Moorish states of Al-Ándalus. The notorious Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition were not installed until 1478 and 1536 when the Reconquista was already (mostly) completed. Conquista redirects here. ... The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... The Umayyad conquest of Hispania (711–718) commenced when an army of the Umayyad Caliphate consisting largely of Moors, the Muslim inhabitants of North and West Africa, invaded Visigothic Christian Hispania (Portugal and Spain) in the year 711 CE. Under the authority of the Umayyad caliph at Damascus, and led... Events 3 January - Kinich Ahkal Mo Naab III takes throne of Maya state of Palenque Battle of Covadonga: First victory of a Christian army over a Muslim army in Spain (probable date) War between Wessex and Sussex Births Deaths Empress Gemmei of Japan Categories: 722 ... Combatants Kingdom of Asturias Andalusian Muslims of the Ummayad Commanders Pelayo of Asturias Munuza and Alqama Strength Possibly 300 Unknown Casualties Unknown Unknown The Battle of Covadonga was the first major victory by a Christian military force in Iberia following the Islamic Moors conquest of that region in 711. ... Not to be confused with 1492: Conquest of Paradise. ... The Conquest of Granada was a play written by John Dryden and acted in 1670. ... Moorish Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I of England The Moors were the medieval Muslim inhabitants of al-Andalus (the Iberian Peninsula including present day Gibraltar, Spain and Portugal) as well as the Maghreb and western Africa, whose culture is often called Moorish. ... Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given the Iberian Peninsula by its Muslim conquerors; it refers to both the Caliphate proper and the general period of Muslim rule (711–1492). ... The Spanish Inquisition was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and was under the direct control of the Spanish monarchy. ... An Inquisition - Auto-da-fe. ...

The Colonial Era (15th-19th century)

The expansion of the Catholic Portuguese Empire and Spanish Empire with a significant roled played by the Roman Catholic Church led to the christianization of the indigenous populations of the Americas such as the Aztecs and Incas. Later waves of colonial expansion such as the Scramble for Africa or the struggle for India, by the Dutch, England, France, Germany and Russia led to Christianization of other native populations across the globe such as the American Indians, South East Asians, Indians and Africans led to the expansion of Christianity eclipsing that of the Roman period and making it a truly global religion. Maximum extent of Portuguese colonial possessions in the 16th century. ... Military flag of the Spanish Empire from the 16th century up to 1843. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ... The Aztecs is a collective term used for all of the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples under the control of the Mexica, founders of Tenochtitlan, and their two principal allies, who built an extensive empire in the late Postclassic period in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries in Central Mexico. ... For other meanings of Inca, see Inca (disambiguation). ... Cecil Rhodes: Cape-Cairo railway project. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... A Sioux in traditional dress including war bonnet, about 1908 Native Americans â€“ also Indians, American Indians, First Nations, First Peoples, Indigenous Peoples of America, Aboriginal Peoples, Aboriginal Americans, Amerindians, Amerind, Native Canadians (or of other nations) â€“ are those peoples indigenous to the Americas, living there prior to European colonization and... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...

20th century Christianization

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Christianity in Korea. ...

See also

This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Territories in the Americas colonized or claimed by a European great power in 1750. ... St. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ... Missionaries in India The best known missionaries in India include William Carey Donald McGavran Roberto de Nobili St. ... Conquistador (Spanish: []) (meaning Conqueror in the Spanish language) is the term used to refer to the soldiers, explorers and adventurers who brought much of the Americas and Asia Pacific under Spanish colonial rule between the 15th and 17th centuries, starting with the 1492 settlement established in the modern-day Bahamas... Many followers of Ancient Greek religion have experienced persecution, mainly from Christians. ... Spanish Jews once constituted one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities under Muslim and Christian rule, before the Jews of Spain were expelled in 1492. ... Combatants Qing Empire Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Commanders Xianfeng Emperor, Tongzhi Emperor, Empress Dowager Cixi Hong Xiuquan The Taiping Rebellion (1851–1864) was perhaps the bloodiest civil war in human history, a clash between the forces of the Qing Empire in China and those inspired by a Hakka self-proclaimed mystic... The word evangelicalism usually refers to a broad collection of religious beliefs, practices, and traditions which are found among conservative Protestant Christians. ... The relationship between Constantine I and Christianity entails both the nature of the conversion of the emperor to Christianity, and his relations with the Christian Church. ... Christians have at times persecuted non-Christians on the basis of conflicts in their religious beliefs. ... Conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims made the persecution of both Muslims and non-Muslims a recurring phenomenon during the history of Islam. ... Many atheists have experienced persecution, mainly from Christians and Muslims. ... Many adherents of historical Germanic paganism and Germanic Neopaganism (Asatru, Odinism) have been persecuted, mainly by Christians. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... “Lukumi” redirects here. ...

Christianized sites

Main article: Christianised sites
Physical Christianization: he choir of San Salvatore, Spoleto, occupies the cella of a Roman temple.
Physical Christianization: he choir of San Salvatore, Spoleto, occupies the cella of a Roman temple.

Few Christian churches built in the first half millennium of the established Christian Church were not built upon sites already consecrated as pagan temples or mithraea, the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (literally Saint Mary above Minerva) in Rome being simply the most obvious example. Sulpicius Severus, in his Vita of Martin of Tours, a dedicated destroyer of temples and sacred trees, remarks "wherever he destroyed heathen temples, there he used immediately to build either churches or monasteries" (Vita, ch xiii), and when Benedict took possession of the site at Monte Cassino, he began by smashing the sculpture of Apollo and the altar that crowned the height. One aspect of Christianisation was the Christianisation of sites that had been pagan. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 449 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (995 × 1327 pixel, file size: 228 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Basilica di San Salvatore (Spoleto) Ldoc File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 449 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (995 × 1327 pixel, file size: 228 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Basilica di San Salvatore (Spoleto) Ldoc File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects... Spoleto (Latin: Spoletium), 42°44′ N 12°44′ E, an ancient town in the Italian province of Perugia in east central Umbria, at 385 meters (1391 ft) above sea-level on a foothill of the Apennines. ... A cella, in Ancient Greek and Roman temples was the central room that housed cult statues. ... Mithras and the Bull: This fresco from the mithraeum at Marino, Italy (third century) shows the tauroctony and the celestial lining of Mithras cape Mithraism was a mystery religion practiced throughout the Roman Empire. ... Facade of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. ... Head of Minerva by Elihu Vedder, 1896 A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Minerva was a Roman goddess of crafts and wisdom. ... Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban... Saint Sulpicius Severus (born around 360, died between 420 and 425), wrote the earliest biography of Saint Martin of Tours. ... Saint Martin of Tours (Latin: Martinus), (316/317 – November 11, 397 in Candes) was a bishop of Tours whose shrine became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. ... The restored Abbey. ...

The British Isles and other areas of northern Europe that were formerly druidic are still densely punctuated by holy wells and holy springs that are now attributed to some saint, often a highly local saint unknown elsewhere; in earlier times many of these were seen as guarded by supernatural forces such as the melusina, and many such pre-Christian holy wells appear to survive as baptistries[6]. Not all pre-Christian holy places were respected enough for them to survive, however, as most ancient European sacred groves, such as the great Irminsul (whose location is now lost, but was possibly located at Externsteine), were destroyed by Christianizing forces. Two druids, from an 1845 publication, based on a bas-relief found at Autun, France. ... Holiness means the state of being holy, that is, set apart for the worship or service of a god or gods. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... Melusines secret discovered, from One of sixteen paintings by Guillebert de Mets circa 1410. ... Sacred groves were a feature of the mythological landscape and the cult practice of Old Europe, of the most ancient levels of Scandinavian mythology, Greek mythology, Slavic mythology, Roman mythology, and in Druidic practice. ... Detail of the bent Irminsul on the Externsteine relief. ... Externsteine, Germany The Externsteine are a distinctive rock formation located in the Teutoburger Wald region of northwestern Germany, not far from the city of Detmold at Horn-Bad Meinberg. ...

Christianized Myths and Imagery

The historicity of several saints has often been treated sceptically by most academics, either because there is a paucity of historical evidence for them, or due to striking resemblances that they have to pre-Christian deities. In 1969 the Roman Catholic church officially decanonised some Christian Saints, demoted others, and pronounced the historicity of others to be dubious. Though highly popular in the Middle Ages, many of these such saints have since been largely forgotten since, and their names may now seem quite unfamiliar. The most prominent amongst these is Saint Eustace, who was extremely popular in earlier times, but scholars now see as a chimera composed from details of several other Saints. Many of these figures of dubious historicity appear to be based on figures from pre-Christian myth and legend, Saint Sarah, for example, also known as Sarah-la-Kali, is thought by scholars to be a Christianization of Kali, a Hindu deity. The historicity of several saints has often been treated skeptically by most academics, either because there is a paucity of historical evidence for them, or due to striking resemblances that they have to pre-Christian deities. ... Historicity refers to the historical authenticity of a person, event, or place. ... On a wing of the Paumgartner Altarpiece, Albrecht Dürer painted Lukas Paumgartner with the banner of his patron St Eustace, in the contemporary armor of a landsknecht. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the Hindu goddess Kali. ...

Other more obviously Christian figures, such as certain bishops whose existence are widely attested in historic literature, and central figures such as Mary, the mother of Jesus, Michael, the archangel, and Satan, are not however, without later legendary additions to their more historic narratives. Not only are there apocryphal writings such as the Home-going of the virgin Mary (about her death), but much iconography associated with certain figures, such as with Michael and with Mary, is suspected by several historians to be Christianization of earlier iconography that originally concerned other, non-Christian, figures. The similarity of Christian depictions of demons to several pre-Christian deities, and deity-related figures such as Satyrs, has lead several scholars to argue that the stereotypical Christian depiction of Satan, and of demons in general, was deliberate demonisation of benign figures from rival religions. Saint Mary and Saint Mary the Virgin both redirect here. ... Guido Renis archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Sta. ... For other uses, see Satan (disambiguation). ... In the process of determining the Biblical canon, a large number of works were excluded from the New Testament. ... Ancient Greek Satyr statuette In Greek mythology, satyrs (in Greek, Σάτυροι — Sátyroi) are young humans, possibly with horse ears, that roamed the woods and mountains, and were the companions of Pan and Dionysus. ...

The Christianized calendar

Several Christian feasts occupy moments in the year that were formerly devoted to pagan celebrations. Familiar examples are the Roman Saturnalia, converted to Christmas, the festivities of Yule in northern Europe, the name of Eostre converted to English "Easter" to identify the Paschal festival, the celebration of Midsummer Day as the birthday feast of John the Baptist, and the celebrations of the Feast of the Lemures and of Celtic Samhain combined and transferred to the eve of All Saints' Day a.k.a. Halloween. The term Christianised calendar refers to feast days which are Christianised survivals from pre-Christian times. ... Saturnalia is the feast at which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn, which took place on 17 December. ... Christmas is an annual holiday that marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. ... Yule is the winter solstice celebration of the Scandinavian Norse mythology and Germanic pagans. ... Eostre (Easter) and Ostara are the name of a putative Germanic goddess. ... Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection, the Sunday of the Resurrection, or Resurrection Day, is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year, observed between late March and late April (early April to early May in Eastern Christianity). ... Midsummer celebration, Åmmeberg, Sweden Midsummer, also referred to as Litha by some Wiccans and other Neopagans, refers to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice and the religious celebrations that accompany it. ... Icon depiction of Jesus baptism by the hand of John, Jordan River, Jordan The excavated remains of the baptism site in Bethany beyond the Jordan John the Baptist (Hebrew: יוחנן המטביל, Yohanan HaMatbil, also called John the Baptiser, or Yahya the Baptiser) was a 1st century Jewish preacher and ascetic regarded... In Roman religion, the Feast of the Lemures, called the Lemuralia or Lemuria, was a feast during which the ancient Romans performed rites to exorcise the malevolent and fearful ghosts of the dead from their homes. ... This article is about the Celtic holiday. ... All Saints in Poland The festival of All Saints, also sometimes known as All Hallows, or Hallowmas, is a feast celebrated in honour of all the saints and martyrs, known or unknown. ... Halloween or Halloween is a tradition celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting sweets, fruit, and other gifts. ...

Christians in authority frowned upon the riot and disorder of the pre-Christian festivals; in regard to Yule, the friend and biographer of Saint Eligius recorded that the bishop called the "Apostle to the Frisians" would caution his flock [Do not] make vetulas, (little figures of the Old Woman), little deer or iotticos or set tables at night (for the house-elf, compare Puck) or exchange New Year gifts or supply superfluous drinks. However, such pre-Christian activities proved hard to suppress, and several edicts were given that instruct missionaries to attempt to absorb earlier traditions into Christianity so as to distract people from their pre-Christian gods; All Souls' Day was for example accepted by Odilo (died 1048) in the Cluniac monasteries, and its observance spread through the Celtic north before it was introduced into Italy. Signature of St. ... See Puck (mythology), a nature spirit Puck (comics), a diminuitive superhero in Marvel Comics Puck (Shakespeare), from A Midsummer Nights Dream Hockey puck, the ball used to play ice hockey Puck (moon), a moon of Uranus Puck, Poland, a town in Poland Puck, a character in the Japanese anime... Odilo (d. ... Cluny nowadays The town of Cluny or Clugny lies in the modern-day département of Saône-et-Loire in the région of France, near Mâcon. ...

Christianized ritual

Main article: Christianised rituals

The obvious connection to Jewish rituals of Christian practices such as the Eucharist and Baptism, is often argued to be by design. Christian tradition places these Christian use of these activities as having originated in the life of Jesus, as attested by the Biblical narratives (e.g. the Baptism of Jesus for Baptism, and Last Supper for the Eucharist), and the Biblical incidents are said to be examples of Jewish ritual (e.g. Baptism as ritual cleansing, and the Last Supper as a passover seder). However, these practices are also present in several non-Christian, non-Jewish, ancient religions, a fact that made several church fathers uncomfortable. So similar were the practices of major rivals, such as Mithraism, and so obviously did they occur before the existence of Christianity, and unconnected to Judaism, that church fathers such as Tertullian and Justin Martyr argued that Satan himself had given the rituals to the rival religions, as a sort-of prophetic mockery. According to several secular scholars, the fact that even early Christian church fathers admitted that the other religions used these rituals, and that they admitted the other religions used them first, suggests that Christianity adopted them from these sources, and the biblical narrative was invented later to justify Christian usage. However, it could also be argued that the biblical narrative refers to the practices as they were known in Judaism, while the forms in traditional Christianity were taken from other religious sources. Christianised rituals were among the cultural features of the Mediterranean world that were adapted by the Early Christians, as part of the thorough-going Christianization of culture, which included the landscape (see Christianised sites) and the calendar (see Christianised calendar). ... For other uses, see Eucharist (disambiguation). ... Baptism in early Christian art. ... In the synoptic gospels, Jesus is baptised by John the Baptist. ... The Last Supper fresco in Milan (1498), by Leonardo da Vinci According to the Gospels, the Last Supper (also called Lords Supper) was the last meal Jesus shared with his apostles before his death. ... The Last Supper fresco in Milan (1498), by Leonardo da Vinci According to the Gospels, the Last Supper (also called Lords Supper) was the last meal Jesus shared with his apostles before his death. ... This article is about the Jewish holiday. ... Seder is a Hebrew word meaning order, and can have any of the following meanings: Seder - readings of the Torah according to the ancient Palestinian triennial cycle. ... The Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. ... Mithras and the Bull: This fresco from the mithraeum at Marino, Italy (third century) shows the tauroctony and the celestial lining of Mithras cape Mithraism was a mystery religion practiced throughout the Roman Empire. ... Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicized as Tertullian, (ca. ... Justin Martyr (Justin the Martyr, also known as Justin of Caesarea) (100 – 165) was an early Christian apologist. ...

Symbols and symbolism

Although the cross is currently the most common symbol of Christianity, and has been for many centuries, it only came to prominence during the fourth century, and was not particularly associated with christianity before that time. According to Christian tradition, the cross is a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus, and the crucifix is a more obvious, and some would say gruesome, version of such a reference. However, due to the highly ambiguous nature of the Greek terms used in the bible for his crucifixion, it may be the case that the correct translation actually points to Jesus having just been tied to a single stake of wood, rather than the cross shaped device in traditional depictions; though Christian translations into English often render these terms as nailed to a cross, they could equally mean nailed to a tree and nailed to a wooden pole, which was another common method of crucifixion in the Roman empire - the hands being tied above the head. Image File history File links Interior of St. ... Image File history File links Interior of St. ... Clandestine Christian communities existed in Kiev for decades before the official baptism. ... Self-portrait 1873 Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov (Виктор Михайлович Васнецов) (May 15 (N.S.), 1848—1926) was a Russian artist who specialized in mythological and historical subjects. ... The traditional form of the Western Christian cross, known as the Latin cross. ... The Passion is the theological term used for the suffering, both physical and mental, of Jesus in the hours prior to and including his trial and execution by crucifixion. ... A crucifix amidst the cornfields near Mureck in rural Styria, Austria A handheld crucifix A crucifix in front of the Holy Spirit Church in Košice, Slovakia A crucifix is a cross with a representation of Jesuss body, or corpus. ...

Crosses, however, were important symbols of several pre-Christian religions, including Hinduism where the Swastika was originally a prominent holy symbol and the religion of Ancient Egypt where the increasingly cross-shaped Ankh was regarded as a symbol of life itself. The main early christianity communities centred on Alexandria and Rome, and it is thought likely that the Alexandrian Christians adopted the Ankh, while the Rome-based Christians adopted the cross from influences such as depictions of Bacchus with his head covered by cross symbols. Those who see Jesus as simply a Jewish form of the Osiris-Dionysus mythology consider the use of the Ankh symbol as an obvious continuation, while other scholars consider that it was adopted due to Christianity valuing its metaphysical connotations. A right-facing Swastika in a decorative Hindu form In the Western world, since World War II, the swastika is usually associated with the flag of Nazi Germany and the Nazi Party. ... ↔--71. ... Ankh The ankh (pronunced // in English, symbol ) was the Egyptian hieroglyphic character that stood for the word , meaning life. ... Bacchus is the name of: The Greek god of wine and fertility, Dionysus, known also as Eleutherios (a. ...

The predecessor of the cross as the main Christian symbol was the labarum, a symbol formed by overlaying the first two letters of the Greek word for christ in the Greek alphabet. Constantine I is widely considered to have introduced the symbol into Christianity, but the symbol itself predates this, and was also used by the major religion of Sol Invictus, due to its prior use as a major symbol representing good fortune. Prior to Christianity, the symbol had become considered to represent auspiciousness since it was earlier the symbol of Chronos, the Greek deity of time itself, whose name it forms the monogram of, in much the same way as it monograms an epithet given by Christians to Jesus. The Labarum An image of the labarum, with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega inscribed. ... Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Emperor in 306 For other uses, see Constantine I (disambiguation). ... Coin of Emperor Probus, circa 280, with Sol Invictus riding a quadriga, with legend SOLI INVICTO, to the undefeated Sun. Note how the Emperor (on the left) wears a radiated solar crown, worn also by the god (to the right). ... For other uses, see Chronos (disambiguation). ... The Chi-Rho, a monogram of the first two letters in the Greek word for Christ E and L embroider for clothes and bedding, for a wife by the initials E L or L E A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or...

Although Christian tradition argues that Constantine chose the labarum because he had a vision that lead him to convert to Christianity, Constantine's supposed conversion is disputed by many historians since he continued using clearly Sol Invictus related symbolism and wording on his currency for his entire life, remained the Pontifex Maximus of Mithraism/Ancient Roman religion for his entire life, and was only baptised on his deathbed, and even that is disputed since the only witnesses were the same people that claimed that Constantine had been Christian for much longer. Most secular historians see Constantine's motive for choosing the labarum as political rather than supernatural or religious, with him deliberately making his banner one which could be interpreted as supporting either of the two major religions of the Roman Empire at the time; Constantine saw unity and conformity as the way to achieve political stability, and spent a great deal of time attempting to reduce division (for example by holding the Council of Nicea to settle the question of Arianism). Although many Christian groups treat the symbol as having always been exclusively Christian, certain Protestant groups, particularly Restorationists support the conclusions of secular scholars, and consequently regard the symbol as non-Christian, disowning it. The relationship between Constantine I and Christianity entails both the nature of the conversion of the emperor to Christianity, and his relations with the Christian Church. ... Alternate meanings: see Pontifex (disambiguation) In Ancient Rome, the Pontifex Maximus was the high priest of the collegium of the Pontifices, the most august position in Roman religion, open only to a patrician, until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... Council of Nicaea can refer to: First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 Second Council of Nicaea in AD 787 This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... This article is about theological views like those of Arius. ... For other usages, see Dispensationalism, Restoration Movement, and Restoration Restorationism refers to unaffiliated religious movements that attempted to circumvent Protestant denominationalism and orthodox Christian creeds to restore Christianity to their constructions of its original form. ...

Prior to the labarum, the main Christian symbol, and the earliest, was a fish-like symbol now known as Ichthys (the Greek word for fish); the Greek word ιχθυς is an acronym for the phrase transliterated as " Iesou Christos Theou hYios Soterion," that is, "Jesus Christ, God's Son, the Savior." There are several other connections with Christian tradition relating to this choice of symbol: that it was a reference to the feeding of the multitude; that it referred to some of the apostles having previously been fishermen; or that the word Christ was pronounced by Jews in a similar way to the Hebrew word for fish (though Nunah is the normal Hebrew word for fish, making this seem unlikely). The ichthys or fish symbol represents Christianity Ichthys (Greek: ; also transliterated and latinized as ichthys, icthus, ichthus or ikhthus; ichthus, spelled: Iota Chi Theta Upsilon Sigma), is the Ancient and Classical Greek word for fish. ... Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and IBM, that are formed using the initial letters of words or word parts in a phrase or name. ... “The Feeding of the 5000” redirects here. ... “Apostle” redirects here. ...


  • Curran, John 2000. Pagan City and Christian Capital. (Oxford) ISBN 0-19-815278-7. Reviewed by Fred S. Kleiner in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 20
  • Kaplan, Steven 1984 Monastic Holy Man and the Christianization of Early Solomonic Ethiopia (in series Studien zur Kulturkunde) ISBN 3-515-03934-1
  • Kerenyi, Karl, Dionysus: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life 1976.
  • MacMullen, Ramsay, Christianizing the Roman Empire, AD 100 – 400 Yale University Press (paperback, 1986 ISBN 0-300-03642-6 )
  • Fletcher, Richard, The Conversion of Europe. From Paganism to Christianity 371-1386 AD. London 1997.
  • Padberg, Lutz v., (1998): Die Christianisierung Europas im Mittelalter, Stuttgart, Reclam (German)
  • Trombley, Frank R., 1995. Hellenic Religion and Christianization c. 370-529 (in series Religions in the Graeco-Roman World) (Brill) ISBN 90-04-09691-4
  • Vesteinsson, Orri, 2000. The Christianization of Iceland: Priests, Power, and Social Change 1000-1300 (Oxford:Oxford University Press) ISBN 0-19-820799-9

One of the founders of modern studies in Greek mythology, Karl (Carl, Károly) Kerényi (January 19, 1897 - April 14, 1973) was born in Hungary but became a citizen of Switzerland in 1943. ...


  1. ^ Padberg, Lutz v. (1998), p.45-48, p.53
  2. ^ Grave goods, which of course are not a Christian practice, have been found until that time; see: Padberg, Lutz v. (1998), p.59
  3. ^ Padberg, Lutz v. (1998), p.48
  4. ^ Padberg, Lutz v. (1998), p.67
  5. ^ *Christianity, from a site on the Icelandic parliament.
  6. ^ paper read in 1999 by Samuel J. Barnish

In archaeology and anthropology grave goods are the items interred along with the body. ...

External links

  • Jorge Quiroga and Monica R. Lovelle, "Ciudades atlánticas en transición: La “ciudad” tardo-antigua y alto-medieval en el noroeste de la Península Ibérica (s.V-XI)" from Archeologia Medievale vol xxvii (1999), pp 257–268 Christianizing Late Antique Roman sites from the 6th century onwards.
  • Sceptical account of the remains under St Peter's Basilica
  • Catholic apologist account of the remains under St Peter's Basilica

See also

  Results from FactBites:
There are probably thousands of different definitions of the word "Christian." We have chosen the same inclusive definition as is used by public opinion pollsters and government census offices: A "Christian" includes any group or individual who seriously, devoutly, prayerfully describes themselves as Christian.
Many Christians are aware of their own denomination's current beliefs, but are unfamiliar with the history of those beliefs, or of the teachings of other denominations.
Christians will become a minority in in Canada about 2023 and in the U.S. about the year 2042.
Christianity. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05 (1098 words)
Christian ethics derive to a large extent from the Jewish tradition as presented in the Old Testament, particularly the Ten Commandments, but with some difference of interpretation based on the practice and teachings of Jesus.
Christianity may be further generally defined in terms of its practice of corporate worship and rites that usually include the use of sacraments and that are usually conducted by trained clergy within organized churches.
Christianity is in a direct sense an offshoot of Judaism, because Jesus and his immediate followers were Jews living in Palestine and Jesus was believed by his followers to have fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.
  More results at FactBites »



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