Saturday, April 19, 2008

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the approach of blending "pagan" and Christian elements into art and theology?

Synagogue mural paintings at Dura-Europos astonished excavators for many reasons. The mix of paganism, Jews of the Roman Empire and Christian beliefs were represented. The third and fourth century art style merged with second century artistic symbols, also. These murals were consistent with a major artistic trend in pagan, Jewish and Christian art through and during the Late Roman Empire. Tolerance was an advantage for the population because this diverse mix awarded each to enjoy their own art and method of worship. Although much was blended, more followers would own that part of the belief.

Another advantage came about in the prayers and metifores that represented Christ as a good shepherd and people were flocks. The pagan groups could agree with the relationship blending of nature to the Christian God.

The Roman Empire advantage was to tolerate all of these religious groups, which prevented turmoil or war. The places of worship were second hand buildings. Doctrine was poorly preserved in murals and art. All ceremonies and reference was allowed in public places. This added another advantage to the Roman control because none of the religions could arise powerfully without full recognition. None of the religions received official approval and the Roman Emperor had no fear of any religion overpowering Roman authority until 312.

Disadvantages for the Roman Empire control comes when people are able to have underground growth. Persecution of Christians ended when Constantine believed that the Christian God was a source of his power. Elaboration was permitted in establishing the Christian religion in doctrine, buildings and public worship.

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