Hey shadowdancer! It’s nice to hear from you again!
because there are examples of the church not only "hijacking" the religious symbols
That was not just something that Christianity did. That was the way of the world. In other words, anytime a conquering people came "through town” and took over a culture, they had to, to a certain extent, absorb some of the cultural uniqueness. In 300 bce that is how Alexander the Great hellenized the world. He brought Greek culture to the world, but in the process, every major “intersection” had to absorb some of the conquered culture. That is why there are varying degrees of differences between major metropolises. They were all Hellenized, but each one had their own “brand” of Hellenism. It was no different for the Romans and Christianity.
it was a collaberation between constantine and the jews!!
No, by the 300's, centuries had passed, and a solid split had already occurred between the Jews and the Christians. It was the Christians and the Romans.
some information that i have come across is that many many of the semitic peoples within Rome at the time of constantine's rule were very learned people!
Jewish people were always (and still are) very learned people. Education is a big part of Judaism. That is what, in great part, separated them from the rest of the people, especially the Romans--but as it applies here, that was much earlier. (The Greeks were very learned too.)The entire Bible, both the Hebrew scriptures and the NT, were written by very learned people with a literary genius that is absolutely amazing. I am in total awe of the genius of scripture. The bishops at Nicaea were also very learned, but by that time they were not Jews--they were Christians.
the persecution of early christians is pretty marginal...[but]well past and now the christians were doing it to others in turn
Yes. You are correct.
and many of the local magistrates and judges… were in those places, as jews.
Not to my knowledge. I know there were Christians in these high places. I could be wrong about this, but I think the Jews had pretty much been dispersed during this time. The Temple had been their consolidating point, and the Temple had not been rebuilt after its destruction in 70 ce. The Jews had scattered all over the Near East and into Europe. If I am not mistaken, it would not be for several hundred more years that they would join forces again and re-unite Judaism as a whole. As far as I know, the Jews were relatively quiet during this time.
because they had preserved culturally a tremendous source of power=the ability to read and write.
It was not the Jews, but the Christians that now held that power--for the new Roman Empire anyway. Before long, the Church would be totally in charge of “the education system.” Many clergymen would also act as tutors. Eventually, the Catholic Church became the founder of the “University.” And they sponsored and ran numerous universities for centuries. They were in charge of “knowledge.” What they taught is what people learned. The Catholic Church eventually became the primary source for just about everything. Their political and economic clout was tremendous. They held the future generations in their hands. That is how the religion became so pervasive.
...wasnt constantine's wife famous in her own right? if this is true, then the christianity/women=alluring to constantine could either be supported or angled against. surely the presence of such a self-possessed, aware and powerful female who had express interest in state policy, would have surely influenced constantine on the issue of selecting a cult to elevate to the status of national religion.
Constantine was not a Christian. And did not become a Christian until his deathbed. But his wife most definitely was. Ms. Constantine was a “collector” of sorts. She sent out “scouts” to bring back Christian relics from Jerusalem and surrounding areas. I think I read somewhere that she even thought she possessed the actual cross that Jesus had been crucified on. Many of these relics were then placed in various churches that Constantine built for Christianity. This is where the whole idea of having the bones or ashes of the Saints became a tradition for Christian churches.
surely the presence of such a self-possessed, aware and powerful female who had express interest in state policy, would have surely influenced constantine on the issue of selecting a cult to elevate to the status of national religion. and if so, what were her views?
I am sorry shadowdancer, but I have to laugh at this one. For years I cried, but now I laugh. We really have NO IDEA what her or any other women's views were. As far as I know, she left no memoirs, and whatever we do know about her was written by men. Now there may be some new discoveries that I am unaware of. Women's Studies have come a long way just in the last 2 decades. So if this is known for sure, then it is "new" news to me. For centuries, men wrote all of the history until just recently. We really do not have that much to account for what women felt. But, Christianity always seemed to include women. That was one of the problems it had when it was just a Jewish sect. Including women to the point that Christianity did, in the public realm, went against traditional Judaism. Women could be educated, but not with the men, and not out in public. Women were invited into the renegade sect of Judaism that eventually became Christianity--and that was a big problem for other Jews. As a matter fact, we do know, that without the help of women, the Jewish sect that eventually became Christianity might not have survived through the first century.
that it was the Roman State itself that was the most tolerant of the idea of women exercising personal power in the arenas of state policy??
nooo…..I do not think so! It was Christianity that made that possible. Not the Romans. (I could be wrong on this, but I don't think so!) Ms. Constantine might have been a powerhouse in her Roman Household, but women in general definately were NOT.
one more question on this note...if the early romanized church(300ad or so and all)was liberal in its policies regarding women...what happened?
lol……well that is a very good question. Bad luck? lol…. I can’t say for sure (remember, we don’t have "their voice" in the history books) except to say that the “older” Christianity became, the farther removed it became from its original form. And, the whole “original sin” thing took off like wildfire. When Christianity began to convert the pagans in the Middle Ages, just being a woman made you suspect of witchery. Unless of course, you were modest, pious and kept to yourself. The whole “women should be kept silent in the church thing” also took off like wildfire, and eventually women lost their original place within the Church. (See my post on the "masculine and feminine" and I will write a most specific post about this soon.)
in a nutshell, and yes, i think that within that philosophical premise it is a veritable playground of possible subtle permutations of linguistic paths to different interpretations of meaning
LOL…WELL PUT!!! BUT...after translation, these are not necessarily so subtle.
to begin(sometimes i feel so stuffy..[^]
LOL…me too! We need to watch that![^]
i dont really resonate at all with the "altruistic protector" view of these men...Augustine was an educated man regarding these cults as a CIA agent might be today educated about various potential threats to the policies of the USA,
LOL…well, perhaps this is my way of giving them the benefit of the doubt. Since they are not here to speak for themselves, I guess I just try to smooth any contentious slandering of them (BUT HEY…I guess at least here on AP, I am taking some of the heat for them huh?[B)] lol… "Hey Augustine--have you reincarnated yet--if so--log-on!![
]) I do believe however, that the “survival of the religion” was their top priority. Whatever it took.
lastly, the philosophical belief that you project that these men potentially held, thus a justification, or at the very best a rationalization? for the actions taken at nicea.
Yes, I could be justifying and rationalizing. And yes--you could certainly be right. I really can’t say for sure. Like I said, I guess “I WANT TO BELIEVE” that there were at least SOME honest bishops at the table.
have you read any books by michael baigent and richard leigh??? or lynn picknett and clive prince?? ps-please dont dismiss me or my perspectives because i cite those authors...the are not very respected in the US
Are they the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail
? If so, yes I did read that. Very interesting!!! I want to go to Provence, France one day and check some of that stuff out myself. If you liked that book, have you read Woman with the Alabaster Jar
by Margaret Starbird? Good read, as is her other book, The Goddess in the Gospels
. She has a very interesting spiritual journey that she shares, where she, as a Roman Catholic was “outraged” by Holy Blood, Holy Grail
and set out to prove them WRONG. What she found however, was that they were more right than she EVER imagined. Both books are really good reads.
"It has been said, quite accurately, that a psychotic person is drowning in the very same things that a mystic swims in." -- Pema Chodron
I like that!
Thanks for the constuctive discussion![