Early Christianity Quotes

Quotes tagged as "early-christianity" (showing 1-17 of 17)
Thomas Henry Huxley
“The science, the art, the jurisprudence, the chief political and social theories, of the modern world have grown out of Greece and Rome—not by favour of, but in the teeth of, the fundamental teachings of early Christianity, to which science, art, and any serious occupation with the things of this world were alike despicable.”
Thomas H. Huxley, Agnosticism and Christianity and Other Essays

Ignatius of Antioch
“Pray without ceasing on behalf of other men...For cannot he that falls rise again?”
Ignatius of Antioch

Edward Gibbon
“A generous intercourse of charity united the most distant provinces, and the smaller congregations were cheerfully assisted by the alms of their more opulent brethren. Such an institution, which paid less regard to the merit than to the distress of the object, very materially conduced to the progress of Christianity. The Pagans, who were actuated by a sense of humanity, while they derided the doctrines, acknowledged the benevolence of the new sect. The prospect of immediate relief and of future protection allured into its hospitable bosom many of those unhappy persons whom the neglect of the world would have abandonned to the miseries of want, of sickness, and of old age. There is some reason likewise to believe, that great numbers of infants, who, according to the inhuman practice of the times, had been exposed by their parents, were frequently rescued from death, baptised, educated, and maintained by the piety of the Christians, and at the expense of the public treasure.”
Edward Gibbon, The Christians and the Fall of Rome

Edward Gibbon
“The public highways, which had been constructed for the use of the legions, opened an easy passage for the Christians missionaries from Damascus to Corinth, and from Italy to the extremity of Spain or Britain; nor did those spiritual conquerors encounter any of the obstacles which usually retard or prevent the introduction of a foreign religion into a distant country.”
Edward Gibbon, The Christians and the Fall of Rome

Edward Gibbon
“According to the maxims of universal toleration, the Romans protected a superstition which they despised.”
Edward Gibbon, The Christians and the Fall of Rome

“Modern Christians who find Matthew's preoccupation with [Judaism] tedious and even distasteful, should realise that they live in a very different world from that of early Christians, for whom the 'Jewishness' of Jesus and his church was not just a matter of historical interest but an existential concern crying out for answers, answers which Matthew's gospel offered to provide.”
R.T. France

Kate  Cooper
“Even if three centuries of outsider status and intermittent persecution had tested the endurance of individuals and communities, coping with the patronage of a newly Christian emperor posed a challenge. The challenge was all the more threatening for its moral complexity. Was it right for the churches to accept the Emperor's favour, knowing full well that if they did so, they also tacitly accepted his right, so evident in all other aspects of life in the Roman Empire, to call the shots?”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“The instinctive attraction of the daughters of high society to noble ideals was probably reinforced by an idea that, in dedicating themselves to the Church, they could escape the sometimes grim realities of marriage. It was not only the problem of volatile husbands raised in a society that prized aggressive masculinity and constant pregnancy; there was also the painful fact that only a few of the numerous babies would survive to adulthood. Against these harsh realities, the new monastic communities offered an appealing alternative, a rigid but somehow delicious atmosphere similar to that of a girls' boarding school. To a virgin, this must have seemed attractive, and to a teenage Roman widow weighing the dangers of a second marriage, it must have seemed positively utopian. And, of course, there was the chance to do good work. We should not underestimate the delight that these women found in being able to pool their resources in trying to better the lot of the city's poor.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“Mary is no theologian in an academic sense. But as Luke tells the story, she and Elizabeth are the first theologians of a new faith. Their gift is an intrepid willingness to look for God's purpose in their own and one another's lives. If they are blood kin, they are also kindred spirits, helping to build up one another's strength and courage.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“In many early Christian sources, if a man behaves stupidly it is because he is a fool, while if a woman does so it is seen as typical of her sex. Many readers will wonder why women were so passionate in working for a cause that seems often, on the face of it, to have taken an unnecessarily demeaning tone in speaking of women.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“The new ideal of virginity and widowhood opened up a new era of sympathetic collaboration between men and women, and for male-female friendship. By establishing a category of women who were understood to be off-limits with respect to romantic entanglements, writers like Gregory were able to support and even celebrate a feminine version of Christianity without being afraid to seem as if they had fallen under the influence of feminine charms.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“For the first three centuries, affiliation with the Christian movement had been against the law, even if the authorities were often prepared to turn a blind eye. Yet adversity can sometimes bring out the best in people. During this period, the Christian leaders had been comparatively humble individuals, who knew it was not in their interest to attract unnecessary attention, but who could be counted on to exhibit fortitude in the face of trials.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“The end of the persecutions was, paradoxically, a source of disappointment for many Christians. In the new climate of imperial favour, bishops were increasingly at war with their congregations and with one another, arguing about matters ranging from the mundane to the mystical. Money was often at the root of the problem, and this was distressing.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“It is an axiom of modern social psychology that the stories that tend to get repeated are the ones that somehow have the potential to strengthen the communities in which they are told, or to enhance the relationship between the teller and the hearer. This principle seems to be reflected in the stories that were handed down from the community around Jesus. Again and again, early Christian stories suggest that virtue is not enough. The lives of families and communities can only really flourish where virtue takes second place to love.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“[T]he new interest in asceticism came at a time when many Christians were reassessing their relationship to the institutional Church. Whether by becoming an ascetic or by showing support for the ascetic movement, ordinary Christians could take a stand against the greed and corruption that threatened to erode the values of the Church in its new, privileged, circumstances.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

Kate  Cooper
“When Eugenia turns the experiences of Thecla over in her heart, we know she is thinking about how Thecla's experience measures against her own. And of course our writer is reaching out to his or her own reader here: just as Eugenia was changed by Thecla's story, so the reader's own life should be somehow changed by Eugenia's.”
Kate Cooper, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

“No wild beasts are so deadly to humans as most Christians are to each other.”
Ammianus Marcellinus, The Later Roman Empire