[From Greek christos: anointed.]

  1. (religion) Christianity is the name given to the religion and (later) theology that arose among those who considered Jesus of Nazareth (c. 3 BCE - 26 CE) to be the "Lord's Anointed" (messiah) of Second Temple Judaism. Its signature ideas include the redemptive power of belief in Jesus as the Christ, original sin caused by human knowledge of good and evil, the intrinsic worth of all individuals, and altruistic love (agape). Although in its early centuries Christianity experienced its share of doctrinal disputes, it started out mainly as a religious community with its own set of practices and beliefs, not as an explicitly philosophical theology. The development of early Christian theology owes much to the neo-Platonism of Augustine (354-430 CE), including powerful strains of transcendentalism, metaphysical dualism, and a kind of tempered mysticism. In the late Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274 CE) turned Christian theology more towards Aristotelianism; however, the secularism, rationalism, and holism of the Aristotelian world-view are fundamentally at odds with Christianity (although attempts to combine the two persist until today and are often called neo-Aristotelianism).

The Ism Book by Peter Saint-Andre

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