Modulo - The Big Picture
Giving Life Meaning
Logo, Pile of Cubes
Module 4 - Authority's Response
(Click on any Title in blue to go to that Module)
Print this pagePicture, Printer
Module 4/0 - Introduction
Picture, Early Church Building
Module 0: provided a Firm Foundation for those new to Christianity or who would like a revision, before starting Module 1.
Module 1: explored how God made himself known to humanity, gave us Laws for living together in society, and how humanity finds it impossible to keep those Laws well enough.

Module 2: revealed what God did to help us understand and apply his Laws (he came himself in the form of Jesus Christ) and how he put right our relationship with him that's spoilt by our disobedience, and so save us from being separated from him.

Module 3: revealed how his disciples then spread Jesus' teaching out into the world and began the Christian Church.

This Module 4: now explores the development of the Church after the Apostles died, by exploring some of the people and events that developed the church into what it is today.
(Return to top)
  • Module 4 Index
    4/0: Introduction (this page)
    4/1: The Church Created
    4/2: The Church Expands
    4/3: Christianity ...In Europe
    4/4: ...In Britain and Ireland
    4/5: Control, Renewal, Reform
    4/6: Political and Religious Turmoil
    4/7: The Modern Age
    4/8: The Present Age

  • (Some Module have an optional Appendix giving greater detail for those who would like it).

    (Return to Big Picture Menu)

    (Return to the Modulo Main Menu)
Module 4/1 - The Church Created
Picture, EArly Church Gathering
After the small beginnings begun by the Apostles the Christian Church they'd created had to stand on its own, but following early persecution, it was adopted as the Roman State religion.
(Return to top)
  • After nearly 400 years of scholarly thinking, the 'Church Fathers' defined what it all means in 'The Nicene Creed'.
    (Return to top)
Module 4/2 - The Church Expands
Picture, Hagia Sophia Church
As the church developed, Ecumenical Councils defined false belief (heresy). The Roman Empire split into two, the East flourishing whilst the west Declines and Falls. As a result, political re-alignment brought expansion and further growth but also an increase in State control of church affairs. (Return to top)
  • In the meantime, a deeply spiritual man in Saudi Arabia (Mohammed) had 'revelations' leading to the creation of an alternative faith, Islam, that would threaten Christianity.
    (Return to top)
Module 4/3 - Christianity Europe
Picture, Charlemagne
The 'Holy Roman Empire' united much of Europe in both politics and religion, but the church in the West and East now split ('The Great Schism'). The church's influence grew, but was threatened by Islam moving into Europe - countered by 'Crusades'.
(Return to top)
  • The church and politics become even further inter-related and moved some way away from the teaching of Jesus' - some even argued it had become corrupt.
    (Return to top)
Module 4/4 - ...In Britain And Ireland
Clip Art, Viking Invasion Map
Some Christianity had existed during the Roman occupation, but Christianity largely disappeared when the Romans left. It was re-established by monks and saints, but then threaten by the invasion of Vikings. (Return to top)
  • To a greater or lesser extent, Christian principles guided the kings over the next 1,000 years as the kingdom developed.(Return to top)
Module 4/5 - Control, Renewal and Reform
Picture, Bayeaux Tapestry
The leaders of both the State and the Church developed ways of forcing their will on people. Islam defeated the Eastern Empire, causing Greek scholars to flee to the west, bringing knowledge and ancient items which produced renewal of ideas.
(Return to top)
  • People began protesting at the church's corruption and non-Biblical teaching, which resulted in Reform and a split into 'Catholic' and 'Protestant'.
    (Return to top)
Module 4/6 - Political and Religious Turmoil
Picture, Henry VIII
In England, King Henry VIII fell out with the Pope over divorce and separated the church in England from Rome, creating himself 'Head of the church in England', and allowing his Archbishop, Thomas Cranmer, to introduce some of the Protestant reforms.

After Henry (and a short reign by his Protestant son Edward VI), his daughter Mary I became queen, persecuting Protestants and reintroducing Roman Catholic practices, but she died after 5 years and was succeeded by her sister Elizabeth I who changed back to Protestant ways again.

Following Elizabeth came James I, who had an authorised version of the Bible and Prayer Book produced in English. He was followed by Charles I, whose policies so upset the Scots, the Church, and Parliament that he was removed from the throne and beheaded as a 'traitor against the people'.
(Return to top)
  • Henry VIII initially wrote a paper against Martin Luther, so was praised by the Pope as 'Defender of the Faith'; but after his divorce, the Pope banned him from the Roman church.

  • Although he allowed some Protestant reforms, Henry remained a Roman Catholic all his life.

  • Charles I was replaced by Oliver Cromwell and a non-monarchy 'Commonwealth' managed by Parliament, with strict 'Puritan' ways of practicing religion.
    (Return to top)
Module 4/7 - The Modern Age
Picture, Bach Choir
The inter-relationship between Church and State was reduced as independent 'Protestant' groups developed, but different groups often didn't recognise each other's members, even banning or persecuting them.

Other philosophies developed based around humanity and not God; some even denying the existence of God, whilst yet others developed Evangelism (outreach) in an attempt to convert people to Christianity and spread the Gospel message
(Return to top)
  • Meanwhile, a long series of monarchs led Britain, sometimes causing struggles between Monarch and State by ignoring the will of their nobles, then later ignoring parliament and passing various laws themselves that affected both the State and the Church too. (Return to top)
Module 4/8 - The Current Age
Picture, Modern congregation
By the reign of Queen Victoria in 1837, England had become a 'Constitutional Monarchy' with power lying largely with Parliament, which removed the basis for many of the previous Monarch/Parliament struggles for control.

Scientific and industrial revolutions improved the lifestyle of ordinary people beyond earlier imagination, but the inter-relationship between State and Church was further reduced with a serious decline in Christian belief and church membership. The established church took back much management of its own affairs from the State and sought ways to stem the decline - not yet with much success.
(Return to top)
  • Queen Victoria and her successors continued to express their view and influence Parliament in both State and Church affairs.

  • Church membership in England initially remained high but a reduction in belief and membership accelerated in the Western nations, although belief grew well in Africa and parts of Asia.
    (Return to top)