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Cultural Diffusion of Christianity

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Cassidy Anderson

on 9 December 2013

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Transcript of Cultural Diffusion of Christianity

Cultural Diffusion of

How does it occur?
What is it?
Cultural diffusion is the spread of ideas, beliefs, or traits from their place of origin to other regions, groups, or nations.
Cultural diffusion starts out from a main point, or a culture hearth. Depending on the different cultures or what trait is spreading, there are different hearths. In this case, Christianity's cultural hearth is the Middle East, specifically Jerusalem, or present day Israel.
The 4 ways
There are 4 types of cultural diffusion:
1. Relocation Diffusion- The spread of an idea through people and their movement from one place to another. This type contributes to a lot of diversity in culture.
2. Hierarchical Diffusion- The spread of an idea from one point of power to another. This is generally done using communication tools.
3. Contagious Diffusion- widespread diffusion of a trait throughout a population. Diseases are usually associated with this.
4. Stimulus- The spread of an underlying principle. This type of diffusion, in many cases, shows how new ideas replace old ones.
The spread of Christianity is relocation diffusion. Relocation diffusion best describes Christianity because by definition its the spread through peoples movement from place to place. The rise of Christianity was based on people moving and sharing their belief system and ideas.
The places it spread:
Christianity began as a sect. Very little people knew about it or believed in it. Eventually, it became more 'popular' and well-known. More people began sharing it's ideas. A big contribution to this were the European explorers. As they traveled the world and the seas for trade, they took Christian beliefs with them.
This map shows the routes that Christianity took as it spread.
This shows the routes of European explorers; You can see the spread of the religion took almost exactly the same course as the explorers, showing that the explorers played a huge part in using relocation diffusion to spread Christianity.
Cassidy Anderson & Nicole Perez
Where it All Began
Jesus Christ, the Christian God, was killed in the Holy Land, Jerusalem, in the Middle East. This was in 29 or 30 A.D.. Several days later he was recorded to have risen from the dead, and as the New Testament states, the Holy Spirit then fell upon the apostles, or people of Jerusalem. During this time Nero was the Roman emperor, and he declared that anyone who preached or practiced Christianity was committing heresy and were to be punished by exile or death. This forced the apostles to have secret church sermons, which continued for
a few hundred years.
Examples of diffused idea:
Branches and evolution of Christianity
Infant baptism into the Christian faith
Bible- Book of Christian scriptures
Judgement day is a belief belonging to Christians that after death, you arrive at a door determining if you go to either Heaven or Hell.
Soon there after, in 313 A.D., there was a new ruler, Emperor Constantine. He did something no one could have predicted, converted to Christianity. After doing so, he made it a Licit Religion and no longer a sect. Thousands of his followers converted and even more with time. As more people learned of Christianity it grew and spread throughout the Constantine Empire. From there it spread all across Rome and then followed trade routes across Asia and Turkey. Not stopping there, Christianity followed European explorers paths and made it all across the world.
With its spread, the rules and practices were altered or changed, forming different branches of Christianity. For example, one major branch that formed was Baptism, as baptists spread their ideas, some people didn't like it so they changed a rule to prohibit infant baptisms and called themselves Anabaptists, creating a new branch of Christianity called Anabatism.
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
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