Roman Patriotism and Christian Religion

Socio-Political Processes 6 (2-3):251-267 (2017)
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Ideology is an important part of the political mechanism that helps to ensure the loyalty of citizens to the state and give it a moral basis and justification. Roman patriotism was deeply religious. The community was the subject of faith, but also faith was a state duty, a testimony of trustworthiness. Personal religiosity was res privata, but loyalty to the state cult was res publica. Roman ideology was based on respect for ancestors, respect for the institution of the family and the promotion of fertility, the Christian community initially opposed all this paganism, offering a completely different paradigm. From the concept of the race as the sacred connection of generations follows the cult of ancestors, especially the cult of the leaders of the family, its “patriarchs”. The latter have always been to some extent political leaders, and political leaders, in turn, turned out to be the leaders of the race. The deification of the emperor after death was based on the cult of ancestors, which had a great significance for the Romans. A person feels comfortable in the ancestral world, where he clearly represents his place in the connection of generations, honoring his ancestors and the land of his ancestors. The clan religion quite organically fits into this paradigm, being its ideological justification. Paganism unites “us”, opposing them “alien” on the basis of belonging to the race, contact with the land. Christianity was formed as a non–ethnic religion, rejecting the cult of ancestors as such. Everything that is important to the state turns out to be devoid of meaning for a person who takes the teaching of Christ seriously and considers it as a guide to action. But such extreme forms of religiosity, being the choice of individuals, can not act as a social standard; there can not be a state if all its members abandon their worldly affairs and will search for the Kingdom of Heaven. Early Christians had a plan to fight the world, but there was no plan for its reorganization. When this new power won, it became obvious that without cardinal rebirth, it is doomed, because Christianity in its original sense could not become the basis of any state. It had to adapt to the tasks of state building, but at the cost of this was a complete transformation, distorting the original message beyond recognition. With the establishment of Christianity as a state religion, the conditions for the transformation of Christianity into a civilizational factor began to take shape. The foundations of Christian civilization were laid by the first Christians, but Christian civilization was created by the “second” who were able to reconcile two sworn enemies – the state and the church.
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