World Religions, Sixth Edition
Warren Matthews
Chapter Nine:
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Major Centers of Christianity in Europe
Judaism and the New Covenant
 Christians view Jewish history as part of their own
 Before Jesus’ birth, as the “Old Covenant”
 After Jesus’ resurrection, as the “New Covenant”
 View Jews as having rejected the Covenant by rejecting Jesus
 Christians are the ongoing inheritors of the promises of the Bible
The Holy Land of the New Testament
John the Baptist
 History of Jesus
 Prophet in Old Testament Jewish pattern
 Prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah (Christ)
 Preached repentance and nearness of God's Kingdom
 Condemned for doing wrong (breaking Ten
 Baptized for repentance and forgiveness of sins
 Introduced Jesus to people
 Baptized him
 Directed his disciples to Jesus
Life of Jesus
 History of Jesus
 Born as a descendant of David, thus rightful King of Israel
 Raised in the city of Nazareth, in the area of Galilee
 Preached across Palestine, inhabited by Jews
 Used parables (common life stories explaining religious truths)
 Argued that the righteous person goes beyond letter of law
 Stressed inward piety instead of outward shows of holiness
 Said God's Kingdom is here with His presence
The Baptism of Jesus
Life of Jesus
 History of Jesus
 Healed the sick
 Told the poor that God cared for them
 Offended rich and important religious leaders
 Said wealth was a barrier to being God's person
 Denounced hypocrisy of rabbis (religious teachers)
 Denounced misuse of temple grounds (for buying and selling)
Life of Jesus
 History of Jesus
 Condemned to die as a rebellious criminal
 Had Last Supper with his apostles
 Was executed by the Romans in a crucifixion
 Disciples abandoned him in despair
 They shared testimony of the reality of his death
 After the crucifixion, Jesus’ disciples reported experiencing him as
alive, having conquered death
 Appeared to multitudes during forty days after his resurrection
 He claimed to share this victory with his followers
Engraving of the Last Supper and the
First Eucharist
The Crucifixion of Jesus, and the
Women Who Were Witnesses
Christian History
 History of Jesus
 The New Testament is the record of Jesus’ life and the early
years of the church that followed his teachings
 The first four books are the eyewitness accounts of Jesus' life
(as codified by years of retelling them first)
 Other books include early church history and letters to foreign
 Concluded by a prophetic book, Revelations, describing the
last days of the world
Christian History
 New Testament Origins
 Traditional dating of the New Testament
 First three gospels and most epistles by 55 BCE
 John's Gospel and letters in the 90s BCE
 Liberal dating of the New Testament
 Pauline letters by 65 BCE
 Imitations of Pauline letters over the next twenty years
 Gospels written by 90s BCE
 Revelations in 95 BCE
Early Growth of the Church
 The early growth of Christianity
 Ten days after Jesus left the physical presence of Christians, God
proclaimed his continuing presence among the believers with an
event at the feast of Pentecost
 Signs included slips of fire over each person, the sound of wind
 Experiences empowered believers begin to share the message of
Jesus' life
 Crossing language barriers
 Willingness to ignore personal danger and persecution to talk
to others and spread the message
Early Growth of the Church
 The early growth of Christianity
 Many “regular” Jews joined these new teachings
 Many leaders rejected the teachings and the new followers
 Official leaders (priests and rabbis) tried to suppress Christians
 Saul of Tarsus was a leader in this violent suppression
 Suppression resulted in spreading of Christians away from
Jerusalem, moving through many areas populated by Jews
 Under God's direction, Christians began to admit non-Jews
 Christians do not insist upon keeping the Jewish rules of life
 The early growth of Christianity
 Saul of Tarsus (a Roman city in Turkey)
A Roman citizen, was called Paul among the Romans
A Jewish Pharisee and intellectual opponent to those Jews
who followed Jesus’ teachings
Met Jesus in a vision on the road to persecute Christians
Became as supportive of Jesus as he had been opposed
Spent years away from Jewish centers
Asked to serve congregation in Antioch as Pastor
The Conversion of St. Paul
 Saul of Tarsus
 Asked to serve as a “missionary” to non-Christians
Started a practice still prevalent in Christian communities
 Usually began in Jewish communities
Often ended by opposition within the community
 In Greece, started a change in the local religion
Presented Jesus as one crucified for the listener’s benefit
Stated that participation comes by trusting in Jesus
 The early growth of Christianity
 Jesus' disciples are thought to have traveled to many places:
Peter to Rome
Thomas to India
John to Ephesus
James stayed and preached in Jerusalem
 Everywhere the disciples and missionaries went, they established
and/or strengthened the Christian community
Roman Persecution
 The early growth of Christianity
 The early church ended with the Roman persecution under the
emperor Nero
Blamed Christians for the burning of Rome (probably falsely)
Executed the Christian leaders Peter and Paul in Rome
 Christians were persecuted at various times over next 200 years
 The end of the New Testament, “Revelations,” or “Apocalypse,”
was written around 95 CE during such persecutions, for the
encouragement of sufferers
Roman Persecution
 Christians refused to worship the emperor as God
 All other religions did so
 Jews were given an exemption
 Yet Christians were regarded as traitors to the emperor
 As traitors, the Christians were often subject to a policy of
 Christians accepted persecution as being treated like Jesus
 People who died faithfully (martyrs) were regarded as heroes
 Roman Emperor Constantine (307-336 CE) made Christianity legal
Developments in Christianity
 As Christians became the majority religion in the Roman Empire, the
empire began to insist on standardization of Christian teachings and
 Empire-wide councils were convened
 Led by the recognized Church communities
 Differences in understandings were debated and decided
 The nature of Jesus
 The relationship between Jesus’ divinity and humanity
 The relationship of Jesus to God
Developments in Christianity
 Christians debated and studied Greek philosophers
 Clement and Origen accepted some of the teachings of Plato
 Especially focused on the allegorical study of the Bible
 Ambrose and Augustine used some of Plato's ideas
 Thomas Aquinas used some of Aristotle's methods
Developments in Christianity
 Christians desiring further ways of living a life devoted to God
developed monasticism
 Monastery life was a way of living separated from the world and
devoting oneself to serving and worshiping God
 Some lived alone in the desert
 Some sought a mystical union with God
 Some formed communities of monks and nuns
St. Benedict’s rule
St. Francis’ rule
St. Dominic’s rule
St. Francis of Assisi
Developments in Christianity
 Early Christians in East and West
 Distributed sacraments as God given
 Copied Jewish synagogue worship patterns
 Organized under a bishop and helpers (elders and presbyters)
Cities were organizing units
 Cooperated in theology and practice
Developments in Christianity
 Christians in the East
 Greek speaking
 Center of Greek power was in Constantinople (later called
 Focused on the mystical union of believers with God
 Christians in the West
 Latin speaking, center of the Latin power was in Rome
 Focused on intellectual relationship of believers to God
 Others
 Coptic in Egypt
Main Altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome
Hagia Sophia (Saint Sophia), Christian
church from 532 C.E. Constantinople
Developments in Christianity
 Differences between East and West grew until 1054
 Different view of humans
 Different view of governance
 Some different expressions of devotion
 Split became permanent
 Each division excommunicated the other
 Tried to heal breach during Crusades
 This attempt failed due to military non-cooperation
A Greek Orthodox Service
on Good Friday
 Jews, Christians, and Muslims revered the Holy Land, Palestine, and
the city of Jerusalem
 Since the 600s, the Muslims controlled Jerusalem
 Pilgrims were being mistreated
 Muslim attacks on Byzantines were somewhat successful
 Pope Urban II encouraged military expeditions of Western Christians
to safeguard these important areas for pilgrimages
 Eight or more crusades were led between 1095-1270 CE
 For almost 200 years, the Crusades resulted in a Latin Kingdom
in the Holy Land
Later Christian Developments
 Christians in the East were under Muslim governance
 Their problems concerned survival under persecution
 Christians in the West were sick, angry, and fearful about the Church
 Corrupt priests
 Waste of revenue from local parishes
 Conflicts between princes of the world and officials of the church
Later Christian Developments
 Martin Luther
 Objected to indulgences as against God's will
 Translated the Bible into German for the people
 Taught that monastic vows were improper
 Taught that Christians are saved by faith, not the church
 Was excommunicated by the Pope
 Sparked an extensive Reformation in Europe
 Formed a Protestant sect known as “Lutherans”
 Catholic Church responded in the Council of Trent
Later Christian Developments
 John Calvin
 Began as a humanist
 Experienced God through reading the Bible
 Recognized as the leader of French Protestants
 Founded the Protestants known as “Reformed”
 John Knox led “Reformed” in Scotland as “Presbyterians”
Later Christian Developments
 Henry VIII
 King of England
 Separated the Church in England from Papal governance,
primarily for personal reasons (such as divorce)
 Church of England ended up between other Protestants and
Later Christian Developments
 Catholic Reformation
 Jesuits
 Founded by Ignatius of Loyola
 Scholarly, focused on mission
 Led counter-Reformation which Catholicized parts of Europe
 Xavier
 Founded Catholic missions to the New World and Asia
 Founded Christianity in Japan
Diversity in America
 Protestant proliferation
 Belief that the individual reads the Bible for him/herself
 Baptists practice baptism by immersion
 Quakers seek a quiet life
 Puritans, Lutherans, and others
 African-American church
 Church as center of life, service in the community
 Leaders included Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther
King Jr., and Andrew Young
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Diversity in America
 Christian Science (Mary Baker Eddy)
 Attempted to meld science and Christianity
 Deny the reality of evil, use only their own healers
 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Joseph Smith)
 Successfully established in Salt Lake City, Utah
 Initially practiced polygamy (since has been forbidden)
 Published the Book of Mormon, formed Mormon faith
Mormon Temple, Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Roman Catholic Revision
 Bishops pressured to recognize modern rationalism and materialism
 They revised Roman Catholic teachings during two Vatican Councils
held in 1869-70 and 1963-65
 Confirmations of beliefs and new understandings included:
 God as personal, natural, and supernatural
 Papal infallibility in matters of doctrine, prominent role of bishops
 Local vernacular languages for scripture and in rituals
 Openness to all baptized Christians
 Reconciliation with Eastern Church
 Jews were no more responsible for Christ’s death than Christians
Worldview: Christianity
 Absolute
 God is one (a complex trinity)
 Jesus is the revelation of God's love and salvation
 Jesus lived as a human, died, and rose (conquering death)
 The World
 God created the world as good, but humanity invited evil in
 Humans
 Captured by sin
 Rescued by God's intervention
 Capable of good activities if helped by God
Worldview: Christianity
 Problem and solution
 People are enslaved to evil
 God's intervention enables escape
 Community and ethics
 Christians live in Jesus through his ways
 All Christians are brothers and sisters
 Christians try to better the world in which they live
Worldview: Christianity
 History
 All history is subject to God
 Jesus is the central point of history
 There will be an end
 God will destroy the present world and make a new one
Worldview: Christianity
 Rituals and symbols
 The cross, recognized universally as Christian
 Baptism, the entrance to Christianity
 Weekly worship together, often with the Lord's Supper
 Easter and Christmas as festival celebrations
 Lent as a preparation for Easter
Worldview: Christianity
 Life after death
 A resurrection to life for Christians
 A dismissal to hell for non-Christians
 Other religions
 Christianity holds that all people should be considered children of
God so they ought to become Christians
 Christianity has sought converts among all peoples
 The Second Vatican Council addressed tolerance for other
religions and brotherly attitudes toward all people
Worldview: Christianity
 Baptism and communion are common rituals for most Christians
 Some Christians enact a wide range of other ritual practices
 Forms of authority and accountability regarding teaching, ritual,
religious life, and ethics vary widely among Christians
 They continue to see all history in terms of before and after Christ
 They believe He continues to reveal himself through the Holy Spirit

Chapter 2 Victimization and Criminal Behavior