Topic- Christianity
Essential Questions
  • What was the appeal of early Christian teachings?
  • Why did Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean world?

Common Core Standards
  • WHST.9-10.9. Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • RH.9-10.9. Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources

Suggested Student Objectives
  • Describing the lives of Jesus and Paul and explaining the fundamental teachings of Christianity.
  • Analyzing how Christianity spread widely in the Roman Empire.
  • Tracing the extent and consequences of Christian expansion in Asia, Africa, and Europe to the 4th century.

Activities
  • Explain the impact of Christianity on the Roman Empire. Why did the Romans attempt to destroy Christianity? How did Christians respond to the persecutions? What was the significance of Constantine's conversion to Christianity? of Theodosius's antipagan legislation in the late 4th century?
  • Examine illustrations of early Christian religious art and explain the impact of these mosaics and paintings. Compare to religious art of other ancient civilizations. What are the stories told in these art works? What values do they express?
  • Analyze the similarties and differences between Judaism and Christianity in their respective beliefs concerning the Deity: Judaism's basic belief in ethical monomtheism; Christianity's continuity with Judaism and its view of the ongoing story of God's relationship with humankind in the Persons of the Father Creator, the Son Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, always present, supporting, and sustaining.
  • Compile a listing of the fundamental teachings of Christianity. Which of these teachings is distinctive to Christianiy and no other faiths? In which way has the development of Christianity been affected by Hebrew, Greek, Persian, or other influences?
  • Map the areas in which there were recorded Christian communities by the end of the 1st century CE, and the areas that were predominantly Christian by the end of the 4th century CE. Who were the people, and what were the events and circumstances that helped the spread of the Christian religion from its location of origin to other parts of Asia and to Africa and Europe during this period?

Resource Links


GALE Student Resources in Context (login required) Search: Christianity
Three Monotheistic Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam from the University of California at Berkeley


Suggested Additional Readings

Holy Bible: English Standard Version.
Holy Bible: English Standard Version.


Assessments

Complete the following Thematic Essay-
Historical Context: Throughout world history, religion has played a major role in the lives of various people. Through religion people have held beliefs that have guided them in their daily living. From the earliest river valley civilizations to the recent Iranian revolution in 1979, religion has been a prominent feature in humankind’s culture. Religion has also been a source of conflict and change in world history.

In a well-written essay that includes an introduction, with a thesis statement, and a closing paragraph, complete the following two tasks:
- CHOOSE THREE RELIGIONS/BELIEF SYSTEMS AND EXPLAIN TWO MAJOR BELIEFS OF THE RELIGION
- CHOOSE THREE EXAMPLES IN WORLD HISTORY THAT SHOW HOW RELIGION HAS CAUSED CHANGE OR CONFLICT AND EXPLAIN HOW THEY HAVE CAUSED CONFLICT OR CHANGE
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