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History of Christianity

Index of Christian History, Events, and People

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Christianity has a history. This seems like such a simple and straightforward declaration - and it isn't something which anyone can plausibly deny. Yet, despite this, most Christians appear to forget the fact that their faith has a long and diverse history.

They take on the attitude that what they believe, right here and right now, encompasses all that Christianity is, was, and ever need be. It is a peculiar trait of many Christians that they assert for themselves such an extreme exclusivity that they deny the validity of any dissent. I cannot begin to count the times I have seen Christians assert that those who have even small differences of belief are not "really" Christians themselves.

Christianity cannot be fully understood without some knowledge of Christian history - how churches have responded to reform movements, how churches have responded to other churches, and how churches have responded to the challenges posed by political leaders.

Historically, there have been a variety of Christian sects who diverged from what was at the time "orthodox" teachings - Arians, Manicheans, Donatists and Gnostics to name just a few. Then there are the more recent Christian sects, who generally feel that they are in possession of the correct doctrine: Seventh-Day Adventists, Mormons, Christian Scientists, Christadelphians, etc.

All of these groups completely ignore the profound differences which have existed among Christians since the very beginning. Even in the epistles of Paul we can see that early Christians disagreed on many matters. The Church Fathers held beliefs which were considered heretical by medieval standards, and people today hold beliefs which would have bewildered Paul and made them quite eligible for burning in Rome or Calvin's Geneva. There may, in fact, be a greater variety of beliefs in the history of Christianity than in any other large religion.


Timelines of Christian History
When was the Gospel of Matthew written? When were the Salem Witch Trials? When did Constantine convert to Christianity? comprehensive timelines of Christian history cover people, places and events from the earliest years down through today. These chronologies include links for more detailed information on specific topics, people, and events as well as listing of other important historical events to provide context.

Highlights:
•  New Testament
•  Early Christianity
•  Medieval Christianity: 1300 - 1500
•  Inquisition
•  Christian Councils

General Articles

Pelagian Heresy
Are we capable of choosing to do good on our own, or are we born hopelessly corrupt? A debate as old as Christianity, it is still relevant today.

Christian Relics
Why is it that, throughout history, Christians have venerated bones and various other odd bits of other dead Christians?

Christian History: A Few Questions
Exploration of the diverse beliefs which Christians have held throughout history. There are enough conflicts and contradictions to throw doubt on any attempt to argue that there is a single, true Christian faith.

Crime, Christianity & Early America
Some people argue that crime in contemporary America has increased due to a people not having enough religion - especially Christianity - in their lives. But what was it like when Christianity was closely involved with American criminal justice?

Early Christianity

Intertestamental Period

Christian Persecution

Lapsed Christians

Constantine

Nicea, Council of

Christianity in the Middle Ages

Merovingian Dynasty

Pepin the Short

Donation of Constantine

Carolingian Dynasty

Cluniastic Reforms

Iconoclastic Controversy

Great Schism

Crusades

Inquisition

Investiture Conflict

Black Death

Renaissance & Reformation Christianity

Reformation

English Reformation

Elizabethan Settlement

Council of Trent

Counter-Reformation

Modern Christianity

Salem Witch Trials

Camp Meetings

Great Awakening

Manifest Destiny

Social Gospel

Moral Majority

Quest for the Historical Jesus

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