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Divine Inspiration: Christianity's Role in Shaping Literature

Written by Arda Kızılkaya


Christianity is a monotheistic mosaic religion created in the year 0 in the Western secular calendar and was based on the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ. Today Christianity has 2.4 billion followers which makes it the largest religion in the world.

At first, Christianity had one group: Roman Catholic Christianity. In the ninth century, Orthodox Christianity was created by the Byzantine Empire’s church missionaries. Throughout the Dark Ages, Roman Catholic Christianity became corrupted because of selfish acts from the church like supposedly selling land from heaven, and not allowing brilliant minds to express their thoughts freely because it didn’t agree with their ideals, etc. So on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther published the Disputation on the Power of Indulgences in Germany, Wittenberg which sparked the Protestant Reformation which added the third group in Christianity, Protestant Christianity.


After the Protestant Reformation, Christianity became less corrupt since now they allowed free speech, and they did not use religion to exploit money. The Industrial Revolution marked the rapid rise of Christianity since machines were now used to make products, and it was much faster than human-made products, they started to pump out more goods but there was a problem, they didn’t have the resources to make more goods. The era of Imperialism began when the powers of Europe colonized parts of the world, and to make them more integrated, they spread their religion across the world, and that is how Christianity became the largest religion in the world.



The History of Literature:


Literature is a way for people to express their beliefs and feelings, it’s also used to give people artistic pleasure. Literature can be classified by a variety of systems, such as language, the place of writing, the historical period, genre, and subject matter. It’s predicted to be first found around 3400 BC in Mesopotamia. When it was created in ancient Mesopotamia it was found in clay tablets. But it wasn’t used like it is in modern literature, it was mostly used for simple purposes such as accounting in 105 AD the Chinese invented paper, which made writing a lot easier and faster because now they didn’t have to wait for the clay to dry out, they didn’t have to use a stylus, which is from a stick or a reed.


Medieval Western literature was in 300 AD when the Byzantine Empire for medieval Greek literature, whilst for medieval Latin it was in 476 AD when the Roman Empire fell. However, in the Middle Ages, European literature plummeted because of the suppression from the church. However, during the Renaissance, the spirits of a new intellectual and artistic inquiry awakened, thanks to the arrival of new minds, who had a humanist look into literature, in the Western Hemisphere. With the invention of the modern printing press, the number of books skyrocketed. Which helped literature expand within the borders of Europe.


How Christianity and Literature Affect Each Other:


Christianity's holy book is The Holy Bible, which is a part of literature, and opened up a bunch of new ideas for books, paintings, and so on. Thanks to the Bible new books were being created like Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy’s “What Does a Human Live With” which made some people interested in literature, and sometimes they ended up writing books themselves. Christianity not only affects literature but sometimes Christianity gets affected by literature. For example, in Martin Luther's writing, which is Disputation on the Power of Indulgences, Protestant Reformism movements began, which added a third group into Christianity called Protestants.



References:

  1. Literature | Definition, characteristics, genres, types, & facts. (August 23). Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/art/literature

  2. Western literature - Medieval, epic, romance. (July 20). Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/art/Western-literature/Medieval-literature

  3. Christianity. (July 28). Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christianity





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