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In relating to the surrounding culture in a post-Christendom world, what lessons should the Church learn from the pre-Constanti
Religion and Theology
Pages 12 (3012 words)
In relating to the surrounding culture in a post-Christendom world, what lessons should the Church learn from the pre-Constantinian era? The Church in the twenty-first century is facing many challenges and one significant factor in this situation is the process of secularisation which has been at work over the last hundred years or more.
In the twenty-first century the broadly Christian basis of society has given way to something much more diffuse. In particular the absence of a Christian values to underpin governmental regimes is resulting in an increasing number of potential conflicts between Church and State, and suggests that the Church needs to find ways of adapting to a new role outside the main value system of the majority of people. This paper examines the situation of the pre-Constantinian early Church and the way it related to the cultures surrounding it. The Church’s early relationship with Jewish, Roman and Greek culture is examined, and experiences gathered in this pre-Constantinian period are applied to the contemporary situation of the Church, showing that in terms of identity, ethnic relations, attitudes to war, social customs and political engagement, the modern Church has much to learn from its own earlier history. In modern times, as in pre-Constantinian times, Christianity is not the accepted “norm”, and its doctrines are not perceived as the core values of society at large. ...
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