Study Guide

A History of Western Philosophy - Book 2: Chapter 2, Christianity During the First Four Centuries Summary & Analysis

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Book 2: Chapter 2, Christianity During the First Four Centuries Summary and Analysis

Christianity was reformed Judaism and preached to the Jews by the Jews. Saint Paul admitted gentiles without demanding circumcision or adhering to the Mosaic Law. Judaism proved attractive at the time of dissolving faiths, but circumcision proved to be an obstacle. The Jews remained the Chosen people although Greek and Gnostics disagreed with such view. Gnosticism presented a pathway between paganism and Christianity while Manicheasm combined Christian and Zoroastrian elements, claiming that evil was part of matter while good was part of spirit. Sex was condemned and Greek men could be converted.

Gnosticism and Manicheasm was popular before the government became Christian. They then concealed their beliefs although retained some influence. Mahomet adopted certain Gnostic doctrines, such as that Jesus was a mere man abandoned by God...

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