Views on Christianity as one of the world’s major religions are largely shaped by the experience of generations and those laws that are considered inviolable and eternal. Nevertheless, some opinions can be considered settled due to the fact that they are influenced by people’s certain worldviews, and particular ideas are conditioned by established stereotypes. In order to analyze the views on Christianity, it is necessary to consider this world religion from the point of view of people’s bias and their entrenched norms of thinking. It is supposed that existing religious dogmas have a close connection with the stereotypes of society, and their change will cause resonance.
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Opinions about the History of Christianity
Due to the fact that religion is an integral part of society and is closely connected with people’s worldviews, some of the provisions of Christianity might be treated differently if supporters of this religion learned new facts. Thus, for example, the topic of racism is actively discussed today at the world level. If it were that the Afro-American origin of such famous Christian philosophers as Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine was announced, it would surely change the attitude of many people towards these individuals.
According to Oppy et al., all social prejudices necessarily find reflection in all the spheres of life, including religion (87). Also, as Wilder claims, bias does not have any framework, including religion (10). Therefore, opinions concerning the works of well-known authors could change if the resonant facts of their origin would be known.
Discourse on the History of Christianity
The history of Christianity, as it is known, originates in Israel, the Holy Land. However, I believe that if all the described events would have taken place in Africa, it might partially change people’s perceptions of this continent. Moreover, as Day remarks, there are some prerequisites for the long development of Christianity in Africa, but this fact is not a condition for changing the public attitude in favor of local residents (347). I suppose that many racial inequality advocates deliberately use a religious theme to find reasons for their personal beliefs. Nevertheless, today, a large number of African regions support Christianity as the main religion, and these people are no different from others (Morgan 106). Therefore, prejudices, in this case, are unfounded even though they are encountered.
The Impact of Historical Figures on the Impression Concerning Christianity
In my opinion, the influence of historical figures on the formation of the impression regarding Christianity is significant. Thus, for instance, in different epochs, rulers used their position and changed the course of events, which certainly affected religion. According to Grzymała-Busse, the historical interpretation of some Christian aspects helps to better understand the features of the formation of this religious trend (24).
When considering the Crusades, when the word of God was associated with bloody wars, the opinion about this religion may be ambiguous. However, as Bozeman remarks, in the era of modern times, in a civilized society, attitude toward Christianity has changed significantly over the past centuries (71). A large number of world leaders pay attention to the development of the church. It seems to me that it is due to a change not only in the political but also in the cultural worldview, and the current trends provide for a close connection between public and religious life.
Existing religious trends are closely connected with social stereotypes. If people suddenly found out any resonant facts from Christianity, it could change their attitude to church dogma. Over the past centuries, the process of the formation of this religion has undergone significant changes. A great role in it was played by the actions of world leaders who used religion as one of the elements of social management.
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Bozeman, Adda B. Politics and Culture in International History: From the Ancient Near East to the Opening of the Modern Age. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2017.
Day, Juliette. “Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of its Practices and Beliefs.” Irish Theological Quarterly, vol. 80, no. 4, 2015, pp. 346-348.
Grzymała-Busse, Anna. Nations under God: How Churches Use Moral Authority to Influence Policy. Princeton University Press, 2015.
Morgan, David. The Forge of Vision: A Visual History of Modern Christianity. University of California Press, 2015.
Oppy, Graham, et al. Four Views on Christianity and Philosophy. Zondervan, 2016.
Wilder, Amos N. Early Christian Rhetoric: The Language of the Gospel. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014.