View Poll Results: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

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Thread: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

  1. #21
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    Was it really Christianity that spread religion by the sword? Or the Roman Empire using religion as an excuse to conquer lands? It was Roman practice to conquer people and convert them to believing in the Roman gods. I would say the blame is with the Roman Empire and not Christianity. The early Christians were heavily persecuted and murdered for their faith, they didn't spread their faith by the sword until the state adopted Christianity as its religion (and thus corrupting it theologically). Muhammad spread Islam by the sword while he was living and such practices still go on today. The Crusades didn't reflect Biblical principals, but rather the will of the Roman Empire.
    But how much expansion did the Roman Empire do after Christianity was adopted as the official religion in the mid-4th century?
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  2. #22
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    But how much expansion did the Roman Empire do after Christianity was adopted as the official religion in the mid-4th century?
    Quoting to you and the post within yours:

    The Holy Roman Empire WROTE the Bible.

    They didn't just receive it from somewhere and then learn from it and apply it's teachings - they crafted the entire thing beginning to end - carefully organizing it, interpreting it losely, applying it losely, and overall instilling theirs values and beliefs IN IT.

    They compiled a large collection of various books/letters that different subjugated and widely diverse groups/sects of believers had in their precious posession - and worked it into the book.

    They also took many books and decided not to include them, as well - thus - the Lost Books of the Bible.

    So - yeah they used it as a means to see to their political agendas, expand on their desires and centralize their power, grow their strength and spread worldwide - that's the whole point of the entire thing being in existence.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 01-10-11 at 10:08 PM.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    Was it really Christianity that spread religion by the sword? Or the Roman Empire using religion as an excuse to conquer lands? It was Roman practice to conquer people and convert them to believing in the Roman gods. I would say the blame is with the Roman Empire and not Christianity. The early Christians were heavily persecuted and murdered for their faith, they didn't spread their faith by the sword until the state adopted Christianity as its religion (and thus corrupting it theologically). Muhammad spread Islam by the sword while he was living and such practices still go on today. The Crusades didn't reflect Biblical principals, but rather the will of the Roman Empire.
    But can the same not be said of the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (which was caused by a feud in the Visigoth royal family, with one side inviting the Moors for help), and the spread of Islam through Asia (which was spread by the Mongols who conquered the Middle East, and then took it back to Asia)?

    Some things people seem to forget, is that at that time, and up to WW2, everyone was out to carve an empire, and the reasons were rarely purely religious, we don't look upon the Visigoth invasion of Rome as a Christian invasion, despite the fact that the Visigoths were Arian Christians, whereas the Romans, at the time, were Orthodox Christians, same with the Visigoth invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, another conquest by Christians. So as Digsbe said, the reasons for invasion rarely had anything to do with the conquerer religion of choice, and a lot more to do with whatever socio-economic-dynastical powers were at play at the time.
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  4. #24
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post

    The Holy Roman Empire WROTE the Bible.

    .

    No ma'am. The Old Testament was written by various persons descended from Abraham (ie Jews), mostly before Rome existed as a nation. The books of the New Testament were written by 1st Century apostles and disciples and followers of Christ. Rome did not accept Christianity as the state religion until IIRC about the 3rd or 4th century AD. Rome did not "write" the Bible. They did compile a VERSION of the Bible... but not the only version by any means.

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  5. #25
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    The Holy Roman Empire WROTE the Bible.

    They didn't just receive it from somewhere and then learn from it and apply it's teachings - they crafted the entire thing beginning to end - carefully organizing it, interpreting it losely, applying it losely, and overall instilling theirs values and beliefs IN IT.

    They compiled a large collection of various books/letters that different subjugated and widely diverse groups/sects of believers had in their precious posession - and worked it into the book.
    First, are you talking about the actual late Roman Empire or the Holy Roman Empire? They are not the same, and there is no political or social continuity between them. (aside from the religion itself, of course)

    From the context of your post I'll assume you were discussing the late Roman Empire. Either way, such "top-down" alterations and synods were not a driving force behind the spread of christianity in the Roman Empire. Both the Council of Nicaea and St. Jerome's Vulgate (latin translation), for instance, were written after the religion had already been implanted throughout the empire.

    Such top-down councils and decrees were responses to the widespread adoption and popularity of a religion already in place and already splintering into many separate factions and already generating a plethora of new scripture. Christianity spread through rome, not by the sword, but as an underground popular movement, which the Roman aristocracy had begun to accept (at least nominally) long before it was even an official state religion.

    They also took many books and decided not to include them, as well - thus - the Lost Books of the Bible.
    This has nothing to do with how christianity was spread for the first three centuries of its existence. The official canon was not decided until nearly three centuries after the religion had spread.

    So - yeah they used it as a means to see to their political agendas, expand on their desires and centralize their power, grow their strength and spread worldwide - that's the whole point of the entire thing being in existence.
    In the earliest years of the spread of christianity, it was not politically popular at all. It was, at best, political suicide for any aristocrat who adopted it-- and more often than not maybe actual suicide. After centuries of its growing popularity with the non-aristocratic elements in society that changed, however, this was long after it had already spread and gained a strong foothold throughout the empire.

    Alternatively, early Islam was spread by the sword and involved in the political suppression of other faiths... at least until it grew so large that its own internal divisions halted its advance into Europe, Asia, and Africa.
    Last edited by other; 01-10-11 at 10:55 PM.

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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    But can the same not be said of the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (which was caused by a feud in the Visigoth royal family, with one side inviting the Moors for help),
    I agree that the invasion of spain by the moors was less about spreading Islam and more of a political power play.

    and the spread of Islam through Asia (which was spread by the Mongols who conquered the Middle East, and then took it back to Asia)?
    Islam had reached india long before the Mongols swept through the middle east in the 1200s.

    Some things people seem to forget, is that at that time, and up to WW2, everyone was out to carve an empire, and the reasons were rarely purely religious, we don't look upon the Visigoth invasion of Rome as a Christian invasion, despite the fact that the Visigoths were Arian Christians, whereas the Romans, at the time, were Orthodox Christians, same with the Visigoth invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, another conquest by Christians. So as Digsbe said, the reasons for invasion rarely had anything to do with the conquerer religion of choice, and a lot more to do with whatever socio-economic-dynastical powers were at play at the time.
    The visigoths didn't overtly cloak their sacking of Rome within any overtly religious context--and neither the Islamic conquest of spain--I agree with you. The early islamic conquests of arabia, the byzantine levant, and north africa, however, did.

  7. #27
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Why do so many forget that the Crusades were a RESPONSE to centuries of Islamic aggression?
    ...and I would also argue that the medieval crusades had much more of a lasting impact on europe than the middle east. Frankish powers held jerusalem for about a century and a few major levantine coastal cities about another century. It wasn't some grand conquest and much of the military action was never successful. By the 1300s the egyptian mamluks had extirpated them entirely from the region.

    Overall effect, europe--especially the Italians-- got great access to trade and eastern and old western concepts that they had lost. The middle east actually ended up more unified after the crusades. The mongols were actually considered much more of a threat to the Islamic states than the latin chrisitians in the 1200s--that's why some Islamic rulers initially reached out to the christians for military help against them.
    Last edited by other; 01-10-11 at 11:22 PM.

  8. #28
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    No ma'am. The Old Testament was written by various persons descended from Abraham (ie Jews), mostly before Rome existed as a nation. The books of the New Testament were written by 1st Century apostles and disciples and followers of Christ. Rome did not accept Christianity as the state religion until IIRC about the 3rd or 4th century AD. Rome did not "write" the Bible. They did compile a VERSION of the Bible... but not the only version by any means.
    It compiled - that's what I said:

    They compiled a large collection of various books/letters that different subjugated and widely diverse groups/sects of believers had in their precious posession - and worked it into the book.
    I should have re-read my post and edited for clarity - but you get my point.
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  9. #29
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    I agree that the invasion of spain by the moors was less about spreading Islam and more of a political power play.



    Islam had reached india long before the Mongols swept through the middle east in the 1200s.
    Oh, I didn't know that, thanks.


    The visigoths didn't overtly cloak their sacking of Rome within any overtly religious context--and neither the Islamic conquest of spain--I agree with you. The early islamic conquests of arabia, the byzantine levant, and north africa, however, did.
    I don't doubt that Islam took an overt part in the conquest of Arabia, however, I can't find any sources on the reasons behind the conquest of North Africa, and the conquest of Levant seemed to me to be a war of opportunity, as the Muslims had just united after fighting the War of Apostasy, and Levant was not yet back under firm Roman control due to the last Persian (or should that be Zoroastrianist) invasion, and the main defences of the region were built to protect against more Persian aggression, rather than an invasion from the south.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Which Religion is more "pushy?" Christianity or Islam?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    I don't doubt that Islam took an overt part in the conquest of Arabia, however, I can't find any sources on the reasons behind the conquest of North Africa, and the conquest of Levant seemed to me to be a war of opportunity, as the Muslims had just united after fighting the War of Apostasy, and Levant was not yet back under firm Roman control due to the last Persian (or should that be Zoroastrianist) invasion, and the main defences of the region were built to protect against more Persian aggression, rather than an invasion from the south.
    Yes, the success of the early Islamic military campaigns against the Byzantines was probably due to their exhausting wars against the persian sassanids, but for the "motivation" look to the fact that the Islamic armies were effectively separate tribes united, socially and politically, by Islam under a single caliph--who was the "successor to muhammad." They took advantage of social and political weakness to militarily bring in new population/tribes/cities under the caliph--a religious leader. But you're right. I wouldn't say, that they took territory because the territories were not muslim, and they didn't forcibly convert all their subjects--at least not militarily. But they were politically theocratic and militarily expansionist.

    Medieval Europe, on the other hand, while being incredibly religious throughout, was not a theocracy. Rulers jostled for religious authority to justify their rule, but actual ultimate religious authority in the Church was, more often than not, witheld from lay rulers. That's why you see the investiture contraversy between Henry IV and Pope Gregory the VII--Henry was accepted as the "Roman Emperor" but since Charlemagne the emperors had been anointed by the pope--and were seen by the pope as subordinate. Meanwhile, nearly all of the church's secular--especially military--power was dervied from alliances with (not political authority over) secular powers. Islamic states, early on, did not have such distinctions between secular and clerical authority--they were effectively the same.
    Last edited by other; 01-10-11 at 11:47 PM.

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