Tag Archives: Tertullian

#377 – A History of the Catholic Church – Brides of Christ

The rise of the ascetical movement brought with it the rise of the debate over the relative virtue of marriage versus celibacy. This debate became even more intense as the number of ascetics rapidly expanded in the fourth century and Virgins move to occupy an important position in the life of the Church.

Links:
Saint Piamun and her mother in an Egyptian village by Charles-Antoine Coypel

Tertullian On Exhortation to Chastity

Cyprian of Carthage On the Dress of Virgins

Gregory of Nyssa On Virginity

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#377 – A History of the Catholic Church – Brides of Christ

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#376 – A History of the Catholic Church – Be Fruitful and Multiply

This week we begin a series of episodes on marriage and virginity. While the Christian understanding of marriage is rooted in the Old Testament and Jewish tradition, it is also influenced by the encounter with Greek and Roman Culture as it strives to promote the importance of unity between husband and wife and the the procreation of children. Moreover, the goodness of marriage in the Christian tradition is connected with the belief in the goodness of everything God created.

Links:
Gold-Glass “Medalion” of a Christian couple being crowned by Jesus. The Latin reads “Sweetheart, may you live [long]”

Jewish Seven Blessings
Tertullian’s Ad Uxorem
Gregory Nazianzen on the marriage ritual in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire

Paulinus of Nola’s Ode on Marriage can be found in Documents of the Marriage Liturgy, Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1992, pp. 30-39.

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#376 – A History of the Catholic Church – Be Fruitful and Multiply

#330 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Thundering Legion

thunderinglegion

The ascension of Diocletian as Emperor brought with it significant changes in the political structure of the Roman Empire – changes that would affect the nature and structure of the Church as well. Christians will wrestle over whether service in the Roman Army is acceptable.

Links:

Image: Image of the Thundering Legion from the Column of Marcus Aurelius by Cristiano64

Eusebius on the Thundering Legion

John Helgeland, “Christians and the Roman Army A.D. 173-337”, Church History, Vol. 43, No. 2, June 1974, pp. 149-163

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#330 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Thundering Legion

#329 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Manifestation Of Our Lord

solinvictus

The History of Religions and the Chronology Theory attempt to explain why Christians in the Roman Empire began to celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th and whether there is a relationship between the celebration of the birth of Christ and the pagan celebration of the birth of Sol Invictus. The origins of Christmas and Epiphany are somewhat murky, but do shed light on the life of early Christians.

Links:

Image: Image of the Adoration of the Magi from 4th century sarcophagus

History of Religions Theory presented by Joseph F. Kelly in “The Birth of Christmas”

The Calculation Theory presented by Andrew McGowan in “How December 25 Became Christmas”.

Pope Benedict presents his support of the Calculation Theory in “The Spirit of the Liturgy” pp. 107-109.

Kurt Simmons in The Origins of Christmas and the Date of Christ’s Birth argues against both the History of Religions and Calculation theories – instead asserting that Biblical and historical evidence show likelihood of 25th of December date for Christ’s birth.

Susan K. Roll, “Towards the Origins of Christmas”, 1995.

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#329 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Manifestation of our Lord

#328 – A History of the Catholic Church – Sol Invictus

solinvictus

As Christianity expanded and developed in the Roman Empire it would use pagan images and symbols to express Christian theology – Christ as the Good Shepherd, Christ as the Philosopher, Christ as the Unconquered Sun. But the Christians did not simply adopt these images, they gave to them particularly Christian meanings to show how the message of Christ was different that anything that had ever happened before.

Links:

Image: Image of Christ as Sol Invictus in the Tomb of the Julii

Via Saleria Sarcophagus showing Christ as the Philosopher and as the Good Shepherd

Sarcophagus showing Jesus Christ as philosopher raising Lazarus from the dead

Coin of Vespasian with image of Sol

Coin of Caracalla with image of Sol Invictus

Coin of Aurelian with image of Sol Invictus

Coin of Probus with image of Sol Invictus

Image of Apollo riding chariot at Orbe Bosceaz, Switzerland

More information about the Tomb of the Julii/Mausoleum M and Saint Peter’s Basilica – including map of the necropolis

Sarcophagus of La Gayole

Steven Hijmans – “Christ or Sol in Mausoleum M of the Vatican Necropolis?”

Robin M Jensen, “Towards a Christian Material Culture”, The Cambridge History of Christianity: Origins to Constantine, Vol 1, New York: Cambridge, 2006, pp. 568-589.

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#328 – A History of the Catholic Church – Sol Invictus

#327 – A History of the Catholic Church – Holding Festival In Our Whole Life

oxyrhynchushymn

Music occupied an important place in the life of the Early Church. Good music moved the Christian closer to God, whereas bad music led the Christian astray. Some musical instruments were praised, others were condemned. There was no part of the Christian life that music did not touch.

Links:

Image: Section of the Oxyrhynchus Hymn

An example of ancient Greek music in a Chromatic scale

A presentation on ancient Greek music in the Enharmonic scale and Dorian mode

An example of ancient Greek music in an Enharmonic scale

An example of the Greek Aulos/Auloi instrument

The Oxyrhynchus Hymn as it might have sounded

The Phos Hilaron Hymn

W. J. Holleman, “The Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1786 and the Relationship Between Ancient Greek and Early Christian Music”, Vigiliae Christianae 26, 1972, 1-17.

Christopher Page, The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years, Yale University Press, Yale, 2010.

Kristen L. Southworth, Music in Early Christianity and Its Cultural-Historical Context

Calvin R. Stapert, A New Song for an Old World: Musical Thought in the Early Church, William , Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, 2007.

David VanBrugge, An Analysis of the Ancient Church Fathers on Instrumental Music

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#327 – A History of the Catholic Church – Holding Festival In Our Whole Life

#322 – The History of the Catholic Church – With Hearts Laid Open to God

dionysiusofalexandria

Pope Dionysius the Great of Alexandria was known for his erudition and pastoral care. But it will take all his skill to deal with the problem of millenarianism in his church and how to best understand the Book of Revelation.

Links:

Image: Pope Dionysius the Great of Alexandria

Stephen Broyles – The Scribes and the Book of Revelation

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#322 – A History of the Catholic Church – With Hearts Laid Open To God

#320 – A History of the Catholic Church – How Man Should Become Godly

teacherandstudents

As Christians move to play a greater part of the Greco-Roman culture, they not only sought to demonstrate that the Christian faith was compatible with the best of human reason, but to show Christ as the source and fulfillment of the quest for wisdom.

Links:

Image: Teacher and pupils from Catacomb of Saint Priscilla

Willem H. Oliver “The Catechetical School in Alexandria” and “The Heads of the Catechetical School in Alexandria”

Willem H. Oliver and Mokhele J. S. Madise “The Formation of Christian Theology in Alexandria”

Tadros Y. Malaty “The School of Alexandria: Before Origen” and “The School of Alexandria: Origen”

Frances M. Young. (2006). Towards a Christian paideia. In: Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young (eds.) The Cambridge History of Christianity. pp. 484-500. [Online]. Cambridge History of Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps Podcast

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#320 – A History of the Catholic Church – How A Man Should Become Godly

#306 – A History of the Catholic Church – Jesus Christ, Our God

trinity

Trying to find the right words and theology to describe the relationship of the Father and the Son was one of the most difficult and most important theological issues of the Early Church. Was the Son the same as the Father or different? Was the Son equal to or lesser than the Father? Could one present a theology that described what the Christian Church believed about Jesus and also remained faithful to the Tradition and Scripture?

In this episode, we look at several different ways that influential figures in the Early Church presented their views of this relationship: Adoptionism, Modalism, Logos Christology and the Trinitarian theology of Tertullian to see how different theologians wrestled with these problems and how they will influence the Church’s understanding of God.

Links:

Image: the earliest known depiction of the Trinity from the Dogmatic Sarcophagus 350 AD

Handy brief guides to the heresies we have been discussing and will be discussing in the future can be found here and here.

Examples from the Early Church Fathers describing Jesus as God

Justin Martyr’s First Apology that presents his theology of the Son. Note especially sections 6, 12, 13, 46

A good article on Tertullian’s Trinitarian theology – Against Praxaes – How Far Did Tertullian Advance The Doctrine Of The Trinity?

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podcasticon#306 – A History of the Catholic Church – Jesus Christ, Our God