Post by krwordgazer on Oct 12, 2010 0:54:29 GMT -5
I'm glad you like it so far.
From what I've been reading, hierarchy as a way of thinking about human relations was so entrenched in ancient Greco-Roman thought that the early Church fathers, who were of course Greek and Roman, were largely unaware of the New Testament's implications that all individuals are equal before God. The philosophy of a "great chain of being" from great to small, was rooted in Platonic and Aristotelian thought, and the rediscovery of the Greek philosophers in the Middle Ages served to imbue medieval Christianity with the same ideas, resulting in such doctrines as the "divine right of kings." But there is evidence that the earliest expressions of Christianity were counter-culturally egalitarian-- which is one of the things that caused their persecution by authorities who feared the implied threat to the power structures of the ruling cultures. By the time of Constantine this trend in Christianity had almost entirely disappeared.
The historical information I've been gathering is really very fascinating. Some of this is touched on briefly in the next sections of the FAQ.