World Religions Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Essay Paper: #38467373 Related Topics: World Religions, Prophet Muhammad, Persian Empire, Eastern Religion
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Byzantine and the Islamic Empires

The decline of the Roman Empire gave birth to new political formations that had a tremendous impact upon the world at large. Out of this disintegration emerged three new political formations, such as the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic empires. These different regimes had steady economic and intellectual contact with one another and both the Byzantine and Islamic empires impacted the west and western culture.

The Byzantine Empire bore its name from the surviving eastern half of the Roman Empire and the people among it considered themselves Roman. However, Greek remained an incredibly strong influence on the Byzantine Empire as did Christianity. Christianity continued to wage a massive influence on this empire, one which was readily apparent in the artwork of the period (Cunningham & Reich, 166). Religion had a massive influence on Byzantine life as all Byzantine holidays were religious festivals, many races began with the singing of hymns and all trade contracts could be marked with the sign of the cross (Cunningham & Reich, 166). Religious questions were often burning and pondered by all parts of society, not just the educated and the elite but also by the poor. Leaders in the church in the Byzantine empire were not distant figures but were friends and protectors to whom people confidently turned for help, demonstrating that Christianity really did have a massive influence on this empire (Cunningham & Reich, 188).. Thus, Christianity wasn't the only tradition which influenced this empire, but it was a major one which had a strong influence on the oriental culture of this essentially Persian Empire.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there are both similarities and differences between Coptic Christianity, Orthodox Christianity and Syriac Christinaity. Coptic Christianity is a form of Egyptian Christianity and is different from all other forms of Christianity in that it rejects that Christ had two natures, embracing instead...

...

This arena of Christianity also accepted monasticism, which had an influence on both their liturgy and their visual culture.

On the other hand, Christians who identified themselves as Syriac were ones who traced their heritage back to Saint Peter. The Syriac bible is based on the Hebrew Bible, and this particular Church decided to more closely follow the teachings of Saint Cyril rather than the notion put forth by the council of Calcedon that Christ had two natures, one human and the other divine: thus, as a result, the Syriac Church became more and more autonomous from the authority of the Church of Constantinople (metmuseum.org).

While the official religion on the Byzantine Empire was Christianity, efforts to push a higher level of loyalty to the Orthodox faith was met with fierce debates: central to these debates was the issue of the "…acceptance or the rejection of the official definition of the person of Christ as having two natures -- human and divine -- as formulated at the Council of Chalcedon in 451" (metmuseum.org). All efforts to promote compromise only furthered these debates, making them more aggravated. Thus, one can see that among these various forms of Christianity, while there were some areas of overlap, there were also great differences in how the Christ figure was viewed and that this was a tremendous source of contention.

According to the Metropolitan Museum, one of the aspects which were notable about Judaism is the fact that the jewish communities were some of the religious groups which were actually indigenous to the Byzantine Empire. This was a religion that had a more diverse following, as the "Inscriptions from these sites and texts written for Jewish use in Latin, Greek, Jewish Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic provide evidence of the diversity of the region and its Jewish and Samaritan (another Abrahamic community) populations" (metmuseum.org). When Judaism was alive and well under Islamic authority there were less restrictions placed on Jewish communities, which made their lives more livable and flexible (metmuseum.org).

During this…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Cunningham, L.S. And J.J. Reich. Culture And Values: A Survey of the Humanities. New York: Wadsworth, 2005.

Metmuseum.org. Byzantium and Islam: An Age of Transition. 14 March 2012. 2014

<http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2012/byzantium-and-islam>.

NYTimes.com. 'Byzantium and Islam'. 2012. July 2014


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