How Much Do You Know About the History of Christianity?



9 Questions

What was the goal of the Christian establishment during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages?

Which Roman Emperor made Trinitarian Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire?

What was the goal of the Mendicant orders, commonly known as 'friars'?

What was the Investiture controversy?

What was the main goal of the European Christian colonists and settlers during the colonization and Christianization of the Americas?

What was the Carolingian Renaissance?

What was the goal of the Crusades?

What was the main goal of the Medieval Inquisition?

What was the goal of the Cluniac spirit?


Historical Development of Christianity

  • Christianity originated from the ministry of Jesus, a Jewish teacher and healer who was crucified in Jerusalem in the Roman province of Judea in AD 30-33.

  • The earliest followers of Jesus were Jewish Christians, and the inclusion of Gentiles caused the separation of early Christianity from Judaism during the first two centuries of the Christian era.

  • In AD 313, the Roman Emperor Constantine I issued the Edict of Milan legalizing Christian worship, and in AD 380, the Roman Empire officially adopted Trinitarian Christianity as its state religion.

  • Various Christological debates about the human and divine nature of Jesus consumed the Christian Church for three centuries, and seven ecumenical councils were called to resolve these debates.

  • In the Early Middle Ages, Christianity spread through missionary activities to the west, north, east, Middle East, Eastern Africa, Central Asia, China, and India.

  • During the High Middle Ages, Eastern and Western Christianity grew apart, leading to the East-West Schism of 1054.

  • Criticism of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical structure and its corruption led to the Protestant Reformation and its related reform movements in the 15th and 16th centuries.

  • The European wars of religion set off the split of Western Christianity, and since the Renaissance era, Christianity has expanded throughout the world.

  • Today, there are more than two billion Christians worldwide, and Christianity has become the world's largest religion.

  • Early Christianity is generally reckoned by church historians to begin with the ministry of Jesus and end with the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325.

  • The Apostolic Age is named after the Apostles and their missionary activities, and the Ante-Nicene period was the period following the Apostolic Age down to the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325.

  • During the Ante-Nicene period, there was a rise of a great number of Christian sects, cults, and movements with strong unifying characteristics which were lacking in the apostolic period.

  • Constantine supported the Christian Church financially, built various basilicas, granted privileges to clergy, promoted Christians to high offices, and returned confiscated property.Overview of Christianity in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages

  • The main goal of the Christian establishment was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity.

  • Julian, the successor of Constantine's son, renounced Christianity and embraced a Neoplatonic and mystical form of Greco-Roman Paganism, attempting to revive it in the Roman Empire.

  • Arianism, a Nontrinitarian Christological doctrine, spread throughout the Roman Empire from the 4th century onwards.

  • The state church of the Roman Empire condemned Arianism as heresy, but it remained popular underground for some time.

  • Ulfilas, a Roman Arian bishop, spread Arian Christianity among the Goths, firmly establishing the faith among many of the Germanic tribes.

  • The Church adopted the same organizational boundaries as the Empire: geographical provinces called dioceses.

  • Theodosius I decreed that others not believing in the preserved "faithful tradition" were to be considered practitioners of illegal heresy.

  • The Roman Emperor Theodosius I made Trinitarian Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire in 380.

  • The School of Edessa taught a Christological perspective stating that Christ's divine and human nature were distinct persons, causing a major schism.

  • Monasticism, a form of asceticism, began early in the Christian Church, with notable figures including St. Anthony the Great, St. Mary of Egypt, and St. Simeon Stylites.

  • The decline of the Western Roman Empire coincided with early missionary efforts into areas not controlled by the empire.

  • Christians under Muslim rule were subjected to the status of dhimmi, which was inferior to the status of Muslims, and they faced religious discrimination and persecution.Christian-Muslim Relations Summary

  • Christians under Islamic rule were allowed to practice their religion with some limitations stemming from the apocryphal Pact of Umar.

  • Christian populations in the lands invaded by Arab Muslim armies between the 7th and 10th centuries AD suffered religious persecution, religious violence, and martyrdom multiple times at the hands of Arab Muslim officials and rulers.

  • The Umayyad Caliphate persecuted many Berber Christians in the 7th and 8th centuries AD, who slowly converted to Islam.

  • The Abbasid Caliphate was less tolerant of Christianity than the Umayyad caliphs, and Christian officials continued to be employed in the government.

  • The Carolingian Renaissance was a period of intellectual and cultural revival of literature, arts, and scriptural studies during the late 8th and 9th centuries under the rule of the Carolingian dynasty.

  • Tensions in Christian unity started to become evident in the 4th century over the nature of the primacy of the bishop of Rome and the theological implications of adding a clause to the Nicene Creed, known as the filioque clause.

  • The East-West Schism separated the Church into Western (Latin) and Eastern (Greek) branches, i.e., Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

  • The Cluniac spirit was a revitalizing influence on the Norman Church, at its height from the second half of the 10th century through the early 12th century.

  • The Cistercian movement was a return to a literal observance of the Benedictine rule, rejecting the developments of the Benedictines.

  • The Mendicant orders, commonly known as "friars", were founded in the 13th century as a response to the growing medieval urbanization and decay of monastic life.

  • Christian scientists and scholars of the medieval Islamic world contributed to the Arab Islamic civilization during the reign of the Umayyad and the Abbasid, by translating works of Greek philosophers to Syriac and afterwards, to Arabic.

  • Iconoclasm emerged within the provinces of the Byzantine Empire in the early 8th century, destroying much of the Christian Church's early artistic history.Overview of the History of Christianity

  • Christianity had a significant impact on the development of Western civilization and culture.

  • The Franciscan and Dominican orders were instituted in the 12th century, emphasizing preaching, missionary activity, and education.

  • Medieval universities began as cathedral schools and were considered clerical institutions.

  • The Investiture controversy was a significant conflict between secular and religious powers that took place in medieval Europe over the appointment of bishops.

  • The Crusades were European Christian campaigns sponsored by the Papacy against Muslims in the Holy Land, Southern Spain, Southern Italy, and islands of Cyprus, Malta, and Sicily.

  • The Medieval Inquisition was a series of inquisitions from around 1184 established in response to Christian movements considered apostate or heretical to Western Catholicism.

  • Christianity spread to Scandinavia through Anglo-Saxon missionaries and to the Slavs through Byzantine churchmen.

  • The Renaissance was a period of great artistic patronage and architectural magnificence, often commissioned by the Church.

  • Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, leading to the literary renaissance in the West and the Ottoman government's persecution of Christians.

  • European Christian colonists and settlers systematically perpetrated religious discrimination, persecution, and violence toward the Indigenous peoples' native religions during the colonization and Christianization of the Americas.


Do you know the historical development of Christianity? Take this quiz to test your knowledge on the origins of Christianity, the rise of different sects and movements, the impact of the Roman Empire, the separation of the Eastern and Western branches, and the Crusades. From the ministry of Jesus to the European colonization of the Americas, this quiz covers the major events, figures, and controversies that shaped the history of Christianity. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about one of the world's largest religions.

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