Questions tagged [christianity]

Christianity is one of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions along with Islam and Judaism. Christianity is the largest religion of the world, and the predominant religion in those countries considered part of the "Western" world. Adherents of Christianity are known as Christians.

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73
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12answers
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Why weren't Indians converted en masse to Islam or Christianity?

India was ruled by Muslims from around the 12th century until 1857, and then by the British till 1947. However, India still has a large number of Hindus. Countries like Indonesia, Afghanistan, ...
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Why was the Council of Nicea held in Nicea rather than Rome or Constantinople?

The title sums it up quite nicely. At school, we refer to the 5 centres of the Christian world as being Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria. I'm only wondering if there is any ...
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Has the United States ever had a non-Christian President?

If Bernie Sanders wins the 2020 election, he would be the first Jewish POTUS in American history (regardless of how 'cultural' his Judaism may be). Given this, would him being the first Jewish POTUS ...
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What is the pre-schism Christian church called today?

I've come upon numerous instances where a pre-11th century person or artifact is associated with either the Orthodox or Catholic church. The most recent example is in Francis Fukuyama's "The Origins ...
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What was the status of Arab Christians during the crusades?

Did Arab Christians take an active role in the crusades in the Holy Land or at any point on their trip to the Holy Land. Or were they victims of the crusaders? Did the crusaders typically ...
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Who believed the earth was flat?

Christians are sometimes mocked for having once believed the earth was flat. However, the only references I can find are Lactantius in the beginning of the 4th century, and Copernicus, who says ...
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Why didn’t Christianity spread southwards from Ethiopia in the Middle Ages?

Christianity, having begun in 1st Century Roman Palestine, in the next few centuries spread rapidly across the Roman Empire and beyond, including beyond the southern boundary of Roman Egypt, via the ...
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What was the scale of eroticism in Byzantine theater?

When reading the texts of saint John the Chrysostome i found a very severe criticism of theater because of 'nude harlots' that could be seen there. I have also read some fragments of Procopius' Secret ...
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What is the last historical mention of people worshipping the Roman gods?

Today, there are many polytheists and neopagans who worship the ancient Roman gods. They are, however, a very new development, and not the descendants of an unbroken line stretching back to the Roman ...
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What strategic value did Christianity hold for Constantine that made him convert to Christianity?

Christianity started off as a cult religion before becoming a major religion today. The major event that put Christianity on the road to world domination was the conversion of Emperor Constantine into ...
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Was Hagia Sophia built over a pagan temple?

According to Britannica's online article on Hagia Sophia: The original church on the site of the Hagia Sophia is said to have been built by Constantine I in 325 on the foundations of a pagan temple. ...
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Pre-Christian use of the Greek Septuagint

I'm interested in the pre-Christian use of the Septuagint, as well as the Greek language, within Jewish everyday life in Israel and in the synagogues of Israel. Is there evidence that the LXX or ...
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How did Christianity replace Roman Paganism and other ancient religions?

Christianity seems to have been the first world religion that was interested in and successful with establishing itself as not only the state religion of but practically the only in an empire - namely,...
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What factors permitted Buddhism to be successful in Japan but Christianity less so?

From reading The Samurai and the Sacred, it looks like Buddhism achieved acceptance into Japanese culture due to its willingness to assimilate with the (already present) Shinto religion. Conversely, ...
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Did the Roman Empire have penal colonies?

I've been searching for an answer for a question on Christianity Stack Exchange about the fate of St. John the Apostle. Tradition says he found himself exiled to a Roman penal colony on Patmos. ...
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What motivated Germanic tribes to accept Christianity?

I have read histories that tell of St. Boniface and other Anglo-Saxon and Irish monks working in the Rhine valley among Germanic tribes converting them to Christianity. I understand that this work ...
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Is every major culture in the same year?

In the Western world the current year is 2014, which is the number of years since the birth of the Christian messiah. Given that Christianity is not the dominant religion in every part of the world, I ...
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What caused the imposition of strict celibacy for Catholic priests during the 11th century?

At the Second Lateran Council in 1139, the Catholic Church implemented a rule requiring all priests to remain celibate. Although the Church has already talked about being celibate for the previous ...
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Why did Christianity disappear in North-Western Africa?

During Roman times North-Western Africa had a thriving Christian community, giving birth to Saint Augustine and a long lasting heresy. This is similar to many Christian communities of the time, from ...
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Why did people die for their religion in the 400s CE (or even now)?

Before the institution of Christianity and the evolution of Buddhism into Mahayana Buddhism, people never felt quite so strongly about religion. Suddenly, people feel ready to die for it and die ...
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Did the biblical apostle James visit Ireland?

I remember reading in a magazine that the biblical apostle James the Greater visited Ireland 400 years before Saint Patrick. Is it true that he went on a mission to Northern Ireland? Forgive me if I ...
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Are these remarks by Napoleon on Jesus genuine?

The German edition of Wikiquote contains the following alleged words of Napoleon (in translation): I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person ...
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Was it ever deemed illegal to translate the Qu'ran?

In England it was illegal to translate the Bible from Latin into English until the 14C when when John Wycliffe campaigned to have this situation changed. I have often heard that the Qu'ran is ...
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What is the origin of the subdivisions of Heaven and Hell?

Isra and Mi'raj is the name of the journey of the prophet Muhammad, where he witnessed heaven and hell, describing their structure as well as the punishment and rewards that lay beyond. Hell and ...
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Why couldn't Heraclius and Yazdegerd coordinate?

When Muslims had almost reached Aleppo in 635, Heraclius and Yazdegerd (III) sought an alliance and Heraclius married off his [grand?] daughter to Yazdegerd and they both were set to mount a ...
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What historical evidence is there for the existence of Jesus Christ? What do we know about him?

How do historians study the events of Jesus' life, and the person he was? I read a book on the topic, and it held the position that the gospels were revised to appease the Romans - especially the ...
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What sort of Cardinals were Richelieu and Mazarin?

Cardinals can belong to one of three orders: Cardinal-deacon Cardinal-bishop Cardinal-priest. What were the ranks of Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin?
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Constantine the Great created the Chi-Rho from the Greek word for “Christ”. Why choose Greek over Latin, even though he was Roman?

Upon emerging victorious after the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine the Great created the Chi-Rho from the first two letters of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ meaning "Christ". Given that ...
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Did Christians ever use crucifixion as punishment?

I've been watching the show Vikings on the History Channel and on the latest episode Christians capture an alleged apostate. As punishment they decide to crucify him. Of course this is just a show ...
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Why was ancient Christianity more successful than the Roman pantheon and Judaism in gaining followers?

Around the 1st century AD, the three biggest religions in the Roman empire were the Roman pantheon, Judaism, and Christianity. Why was Christianity so much more successful in gaining and keeping ...
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Did Gandhi ever make a comment about Islam?

Gandhi famously said about Christians: I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. I realise that in his time the Indian subcontinent was being ...
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When and why was Seleucia ultimately abandoned?

The ancient Seleucia was founded along the Tigris river around the year 305 BC, and abandoned in 165 AD, due to the river mutating its course (Wikipedia). However in 780 AD the Catholicos (=Patriarch)...
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It wasn't thought that Jesus was Jewish until the Renaissance?

Anthony Grafton claims that "the Christian discovery of a Jewish Jesus began not in the 19th century but in the Renaissance"; elsewhere, "Sixteenth and seventeenth-century scholars came to see, as ...
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How did the South USA become more overtly Christian than the North?

What historical factors led to a more overt and rooted Christian culture in the southern USA compared to the northern states? The Bible Belt is an informal region in the southeastern and south-...
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Was the Church of St Simeon the Elder at Aleppo built while Simeon was still alive or decades after his death?

I recently read in Diarmaid MacCullochs 'A History of Christianity' that the pillar dweller and hermit, Simeon had a church built around him, almost like a "living exhibit in a Christian zoo". However ...
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Do historians support the existence of brothers to Jesus?

Jesus does not have a brother in some Christian traditions, his mother Mary is a perpetual virgin. For instance the Catholic church holds this theory as a theologoumenon, namely a theological ...
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Why did Martin Luther hate the Jews?

Some suggested that Martin Luther hated the Jews because the Jews didn't believe him. Yet, some Christians think that Martin Luther is a libertarian and state that he didn't think beliefs should be ...
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1answer
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How widespread was practice of fusion of Graeco-Roman and barbarian names?

There are some instances when barbarian names were romanized in order to be similar to already existing Roman or Greek names. Just some examples that come to mind: Hebrew Martha -> Marta ("of Mars") ...
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What do “roses” represent in the history of Protestant vs Catholic conflict?

My history is a little rough, but I am aware that Ireland's past, particularly that of North Ireland, is wrought with conflict. I know there are multiple causes, but that -- whether as cause or excuse ...
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Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.?

We know that the Roman Empire became a Christian state. Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.? What punishment was prescribed (if it was illegal)? If it was punishable, who could ...
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Why does some Califate money feature crosses?

Why does some Muslim money feature crosses? Like the following ones: Was the cross an early Muslim symbol?
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What does this spear & carpentry square symbol mean?

What does this symbol (placed on the shield being held by an angel figure) mean? Is there any historical explanation for what it represents?
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Why were Arians outnumbered on the First Council of Nicaea?

Constantine was baptized by an Arian bishop a few years after the Council of Nicaea. His sons were Arians. At least the leadership of the Visigoths that sacked Rome where Arians. That was in 410, only ...
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Orphism's alleged influence on Christianity

I've read in Nils Johan Ringdal's delightful but ill-footnoted Love For Sale: A World History of Prostitution that the apostle Paul was influenced by Orphism when he set out to weaken women's roles in ...
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What happened to the Polish Calvinists?

According to the Wikipedia article on Calvinism: Although much of Calvin's work was in Geneva, his publications spread his ideas of a "correctly" reformed church to many parts of Europe. [...] It ...
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What are the origins of this pendant?

I'm trying to identify the origins of a metal pendant that features some engravings and red semitransparent stones or glass. The pendant appears Christian in its symbology and came into my possession ...
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1answer
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Was Saint Patrick an abolitionist?

Wikipedia's article titled Catholic Church and slavery says Saint Patrick advocated abolition of slavery in the fifth century, and cites Life in Medieval Times by Marjorie Rowling. I've read that same ...
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Is this true that the requirement to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged?

Is this true that the requirement to worship and to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged? I just encountered a statement that this requirement was put ...
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Historical examples and numbers for the value of ‘Jizya’ levied by Muslim states

Context From the early Islamic conquests in the seventh and eighth centuries, down to the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, under Sharia law, Muslim rulers generally allowed non-Muslim ...
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Did the Bar Kokhba revolt happen before or after Jerusalem's name was changed to Aelia?

There are conflicting views with respect to this on the net. Wikipedia's summary of the names of Jerusalem asserts that the name was changed before the Bar Kokhba revolt, and that was one of the ...