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Christianity's Mission

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Christian missionaries that set out to convert the Germanic tribes had to face good and difficult times through their efforts to change a distinct culture, using logical or brutal force when necessary. As shown in a primary source written by the monk Venerable Bede; a letter from the Pope Gregory I to one of his highly respected missionaries shows how intelligence played a role in the way missionaries preached in the Germanic lands. A passage from Bede's history also includes a council meeting held by King Edwin to seek approval for the switch to Christianity. Another interesting source I will be analyzing will come from the passage that Bishop Daniel of Winchester writes to Saint Boniface concerning the methods of converting the Germanic peoples. Although all of this information is very useful so far, I will now begin my analysis on how I was able to conjugate these theories about what life was like during the times of Christianity's expansion throughout Germanic territory.
It is apparent that the Christians of the new Western Roman Empire had a huge task that waited before them. Their attempts to convert many of the various tribes that existed throughout what is now current Europe, called for serious thought on how they were to accomplish this mission. It is easy to see this when examining a letter written by Pope Gregory I to a missionary leader, Augustine of Canterbury. In one section of the letter, the Pope states, 'For it is certainly impossible to eradicate all errors from obstinate minds at one stroke, and whoever wishes to climb to a mountain top climbs gradually step by step, and not in one leap.' (Pope Gregory I, 202). Here we are able to observe that the leaders at the time of these missions to Germanic Peoples are very logical thinkers concerning their situation that they reside in. Logical in that they are proficient enough in the understanding of these foreign outside tribes. The Pope says himself that it is a step by step process and in order for the Christian faith to be integrated into Germanic culture there has to be a common perseverance in the missionaries that will be spreading the word of Jesus' teachings. The only limitations presented in this letter written by the Pope Gregory I is the fact that we have no knowledge of how each missionary incorporated their method of preaching towards the Germanic cultures. Did the many other missionaries at the time become impatient and not try to think of their work as a step by step process? Unfortunately the knowledge to answer that question can not be proved within the readings of Pope Gregory I or the historical observations of Bede due to the lack of specific information for concrete conclusions.
In some cases throughout history, the missionaries would come upon generous and word abiding Germanic tribes. An example of a fortunate situation deals with a passage written by Bede about King Edwin of Northumbria. 'He summoned a council of the wise men, and asked each in turn his opinion of this new faith and new God being proclaimed.' (King Edwin, 202) Here we see living evidence that the King of Edwin is a peaceful leader and will take into ...

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Keywords: christianity missionary, christianity mission, christianity missions training corps, christian missionary alliance, christian missionaries in india, christian missionary crossword clue, christian mission enterprise al, christian missionaries in many lands

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