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Historical Roots of Christian Diversity - Essay Example

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Historical Roots of Christian Diversity

Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians agree with the teachings of the first seven councils as genuine interpretations of the gospel, but only Roman Catholics acknowledge decrees formulated after the nineteenth century. Tradition is a particular interpretation of scripture as described within the Christian community and affirmed by the church. Given that tradition originally permitted new interpretations to meet questions not particularly addressed in the scripture, it was meant to be fluid rather than fixed. When a group shows a tendency to canonize tradition making it appear unbending, tension might result. This development of tradition was not meant to lead to religious rigidity, but was instead developed specifically to recognize the dynamic interaction between, the concrete fixed authority of scripture, and the fluid developing authority of everyday practice. Since it is dynamic, tradition adds a little new thing to Christianity as it enlarges upon scripture. People usually expand a tangible communication beyond tradition’s original scope, as it is a factor of exercising human ingenuity in the development of tradition (Weaver and Brakke 64). The power of Rome At a time when the Roman mystique was at its peak, Jesus was born into the Mediterranean world ruled by Rome. The world had never experienced an empire so vast that when people thought of Rome, they envisioned a set of related ideas. Caesar, who presided over Rome, was a central ruling authority who stood close to divinity and symbolized in his person the glory of Rome. The glory of Rome dimmed and then seemed to be restored to some level by Constantine. It was normal to wonder whether the old Rome might reclaim the world’s attention. If Rome can be seen more as an idea than a place, then perhaps it can be understood why it was extremely powerful and attractive. Rome became a goal, and an idea to nature policy. As a fact, it is not surprising that that attracted Constantine and Christians in general. As the roman emperor, it was clear that Constantine had the best claim on the project. When he moved his capital from the city of Rome to a new site in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire, a political vacuum was left in the West which in turn invited rival claimants. Several groups were inspired to restore Roman glory in the West, and they included; old senatorial families, new barbarian families, and the bishops of Rome, who later are known as popes. The ancient forms of Christianity grew into separate churches generally because of extensively differing political experiences. The Orthodox Church was organized into two ways: at the local level and along the administrative lines of the Roman Empire. The patriarch of Constantinople understood that his position was tied to the emperor. Both the patriarch and the pope did consider themselves as Roman and as heirs of the greatest political empire in the world’s history. This led to a great schism between the two churches that lasted until the present day (Weaver and Brakke 78). The two Christian models The first Christian model is; Constantinople as the new Rome in the Greek Orthodox system. When the emperor reunited the fragments of the Roman Empire, he did so under the sign of the cross. Constantine’s bibliographer made a claim that Constantine was directly called by God to embrace Christianity. ...Show more
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Name Tutor Course Date Historical Roots of Christian Diversity Tradition as a religious authority The Bible is not the only source of religious authority for Christians though it is the most significant source. In ancient churches, the act of Christians applying the Bible to new situations generated religious authority…
Historical Roots of Christian Diversity
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