Summary Christmas, of course, is to honor the birth of a humble itinerant rabbi from the ancient world. Emperors and governors have come and gone, but it is this man Jesus whose birth we still celebrate years later. We hope everyone can enjoy this account in the delightful spirit of Christmas.
This is most definitely true in regards to the living out of the Christian faith by many Catholics throughout the centuries. Whether it was through their countercultural ways of living such as extraordinary acts of charity which stood in contrast to the ancient pagan world, or whether it was through intellectual achievements such as in the use of both faith and reason, ad in the development of education and the university.
Here are seven specific ways in which Christianity changed the world. Dignity of human life Christianity and specifically the Catholic Church did a very great deal for the cause of human dignity and especially that of the overall dignity and sacredness of human life.
In this section I will list several examples of how Christianity and the Catholic Church contributed to this regard. The first major contribution that Christianity helped in terms of the sacredness of human life was in terms of putting an end to pagan infanticide.
Infanticide child murder is the killing of an infant before or after birth. In English it has been used for the deprivation of life from the moment of conception abortion to the killing of infants from the ages of two to three years old.
Economic reasons more than anything had led to the killing of infants before or after birth and had contributed to extort a great influence even up to the modern world. There How christianity changed the world christian many ways in which infanticide was practiced in the ancient world all the way up to the Early Church.
These children were often killed or thrown and abandoned in public dumps. The Church and the Early Christians were essentially the first to be completely opposed to these practices. It was not uncommon for individual Christians and missionary groups to perform heroic acts of charity by scrolling the streets at night and early at dawn in which they gathered all the abandoned children which literally amounted upon thousands and thousands, and they would take and raise them as their own.
These children would be raised by the Christians and would be brought up in the Christian faith and would receive the sacraments. Legislation against infanticide and these practices were also taken by these Early Catholics.
D directed against child murder which are still found in the Theodosian Code. Great questions about human value and dignity have circulated ever since the ancient world, to the time of the Early Church and even all the way to our modern age.
For example the Roman Empire during the time of Christ based citizenship and to some extent human value on economic status. It was the amount of money that you had that defined citizenship and local political influence. The Catholic Church on the other hand stated that all humans are equal in dignity and value in as much as they are all created by the same loving and almighty God.
Under Roman rule citizenship was directly based on economic status: In the new religious society, rich and poor, bond and free, Roman citizen and foreigner all met on an absolutely equal footing. Not only were these earthly distinctions overlooked, they were almost inverted, and it was the poor who were privileged and the rich who were humbled.
This world was for the rich, but the new world- the only world that mattered- was above all the inheritance of the poor. Catholic Charity Not only did the Catholic Church put an end to infanticide and thus bring forth a new understanding of the complete sacredness of human life which has been mentioned, but this also brought forth a new type of charity which reached its perfection in Christianity.
In the ancient world it was unheard of to do charitable acts or what are known as good deeds for the mere sake of helping thy neighbor. Almost in every ancient society and culture there were self-seeking motives for doing these charitable or good acts.
These included for example seeking social and political advancement or simply seeking some sort of repayment from the person in the future. The Stoics on the other hand seemed at face value to have a better understanding of charity and the task of doing good unto others in the community as a social duty.
However stoicism taught that the wise men was someone who was completely detached from any emotion.
Seneca a Roman stoic philosopher stated: He will feel not pity. He will succor, he will do good, for he is born to assist his fellows, to labor for the good of mankind, and to offer each one his part… His countenance and his soul will betray no emotion as he looks upon the withered legs, the tattered rags, the bend and emaciated frame of the beggar.
But he will help those who are worthy, and like the gods, his leaning will be towards the wretched… It is only diseased eyes that grow moist in beholding tears in other eyes. That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another. Nevertheless it was Christianity and specifically the popes who were the largest force against the common practice of chattel slavery as was practiced in the United States and elsewhere.
When the Catholic Church found about the enslavement of natives in the Age of Exploration, the pope whom at the time was Pope Eugen IV, was quick to act.
He wrote a papal bull by the name of Sicut Dudum on January 13, in which he condemned the enslavement of the Guanchos and other peoples of the Canary Islands. A greater example of papal actions against slavery was however based on the actions and papal bulls of Pope Paul III.
These papal bulls by Pope Paul III explained that chattel slavery was a new and unjust form of slavery in all situations, influenced both the Laws of and the fair treatment of the natives in Mexico, showed that the natives of the New World were not subhuman as various individuals erroneously believed, and lastly further applied an excommunication to those who would engage in this slavery.
There are many other examples of prominent ecclesial officials and specifically that of the popes against slavery.
For an even more in depth view of papal actions against slavery you are advised to read The Popes against Slavery Sex Marriage and the Family Christianity also had a great impact on the nature of sex, marriage, and the family.Largest Religions in the United States Unlike some countries, the United States does not include a question about religion in its census, and has not done so for over fifty years.
Religious adherent statistics in the U.S. are obtained from surveys and organizational reporting. Christianity Today provides thoughtful, biblical perspectives on theology, church, ministry, and culture on the official site of Christianity Today Magazine.
In fact, “Christian hospitals were the world’s first voluntary charitable institutions”. Care for the mentally ill was also a Christian initiative. Nursing also sprang from Christian concerns for the sick, and many Christians have given their lives to such tasks. Grounded in solid research and written in a popular style, this book is both a helpful apologetic tool in talking with unbelievers and a source of evidence for why Christianity deserves credit for many of the humane, social, scientific, and cultural advances in the Western world in the last two thousand years.
The religion that was changing the world may have been called “Christianity,” but it was not truly the religion founded by Jesus Christ. Impact on Modern World Still, the impact of that religion continues to be visible in Western civilization today.
Roman Catholicism and abortion access Pagan & Christian beliefs BCE CE.
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