Christian Cults In Roman Religion

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According to ancient sources as well as contemporary academic researches, Christianity was significantly influenced by Hellenistic and Roman religion and Greek philosophy. Christianity in particular adopted many pagan features in its structure, terminology, cult and theology. In order, though to conceive of how Christianity triumphed over paganism, one should at first take a closer look at pagan cults and practices. This essay attempts to adduce the main characteristics of pagan cults, according to John North’s book Roman Religion, remark the major differences between pagan and Christian cults and, finally, produce several reasons about how paganism conduced to the rise and victory of Christianity. To begin with, in order to comprehend the…show more content…
Taking the Roman religion as a norm, one is able to cite this ‘religious flexibility’. For a very long time, Roman religion was animistic, but due to Etruscan influences Romans embraced anthropomorphism. What is more, the names of Roman gods have Indo-European roots . Later on, there is a slow decline in belief in the old deities as Rome was transformed from an agricultural community into an increasingly urbanized and sophisticated one . Yet, all the old public performances and rituals continued, but became colder and formal. Pagan religion, as seen in the Roman society, was affected by other social matters and major changes, especially political. To illustrate, while in the Republican era, religious institutions were under the command of a monarchic order. Religion and politics often went together and in fact they were both ways of systematically structuring power in a community. Remarkable it is that during the Late Republican period religion loses its prestige and its importance in society begins to fade as the Roman Emperors became members of all priesthood colleges and via the title Pontifex Maximus gained superior power…show more content…
They would express any kind of view for their gods, without having to adhere to a certain cult. Due to that fact, pagans could accept a new worship without changing or forgetting their old once . Christians, on the other hand, had a structured religion and because it was monotheistic, they would not accept any other heretic religion. To clarify, pagan gods never demanded exclusive faith, but the Christian God asks for it. Also, pagans cannot prove that there is a hereafter life; but Christians have the faith and the courage that there is an afterlife, much happier and fruitful for those who will enter Heaven and will be next to God. Finally, pagan cults were connected to a specific locality, as an illustration the Eleusinian mysteries were limited to a specific and irreplaceable site and required initiation. In contrast, Christianity knows no geographical boundaries and ties, and through baptism, one would experience a moral rebirth and would leave his past sinful life

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