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Chronology of Christianity

The following chronological table was originally prepared to accompany David Chidester's book, Christianity: A Global History, but it has been modified and amplified in subsequent years based on a wide ranger of sources. Dates BC are given as negative numbers. For a slightly obsolete printer-friendly pdf version, click here (66K, 18pp).

-960 -950 First Temple constructed by Solomon
-587 First Temple destroyed by Babylonians
-587 -539 Babylonian Exile
-516 Second Temple constructed
-168 -164 Maccabean revolt and foundation of dynasty
-99 -1 Ist CENTURY BC
-73 -4 Life of Herod the Great, king of the Roman province of Judea
-63 Pompey captures Palestine
-27 14 Reign of Augustus
-10 45 Life of Philo of Alexandria, Jewish philosopher
-4± 30± Life of Jesus
3 62 Life of Paul
6 Judas of Galilee argues against paying taxes to Rome
35± Stephen stoned to death, the first martyr (sometimes called proto-martyr) at Jerusalem gate under gaze of pre-conversion Paul
33 Pentecost (Gift of Tongues)
37 100 Life of Josephus, author of History of the Jewish War
42 Paul discusses circumcision with Jerusalem church
49 Council in Jerusalem, overseen by James, establishes precedent to resolve church disputes by council.
50± 70± Gospel of Q composed
50± 150± Gospel of Thomas composed
50± Apostle Thomas arrives on Malabar coast and forms churches
52± 54± Paul's letter to Galatians composed
54 68 Reign of Nero
56 120 Life of Tacitus, Roman historian
62 James, brother of Jesus, executed by stoning
63 Great Fire in Nero's Rome blamed on Christians
64± Apostle Paul executed in Rome
65± Nero begins persecution of Christians; Peter crucified in Rome
66 70 Jewish War (rebellion of Zealots against Rome)
69 155 Life of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, burned alive (pp. 77-78); famed as one of earliest well documented martyrs
69 Ignatius made bishop in Antioch
70 80 Pharisees finally emerge as dominant in Palestinian Judaism
70 Jerusalem Temple Destroyed under Emperor Titus
72± Gospel of Mark composed
73 Last Zealots perish at Masada
79 81 Reign of Titus
80 90 Gospels of Matthew & Luke composed
80± 140 Life of Basilides, major founder of Alexandrian Gnosticism
85± 160 Life of Marcion, from Pontus in Asia Minor, whose heresy stimulated the creation of the Apostles' Creed
90 100 Gospel of John composed
90 Johanan ben Zakkai et al. at Yavneh reformulate post-Temple Judaism
95 Probable date for Book of Revelation
97 117 Reign of Trajan
100 199 IInd CENTURY
100± 165 Life of Justin Martyr from Samaria; theory of logos; evil due to fallen angels
100± 175 Life of Valentinus the Gnostic of Alexandria
100± 300± "Hermetic" texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus believed to embody secret Egyptian wisdom
107 Ignatius of Antioch arrested under Trajan's ban; devoured in the arena; left cheerful letters en route to Rome
107 Christianity outlawed by Trajan
107± Ignatius of Antioch devoured in Roman arena; left cheerful letters along the road (may be AD 98, 107, 117)
110 Book of Revelation composed
112 Pliny writes to Trajan about Christians
115 150 Life of Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon; opposed Gnosticism; Martyred
117 138 Reign of Hadrian
120± Basilides of Alexandria argues martyrdom was unnecessary suicide (p. 83)
130 150 Marcion moves to Rome; theory of 2 gods, clumsy and vindictive creator god and redeemer god
132 Simon bar Kozibah changes name to Bar Kochbah (son of the star)
132± 135 Jewish Revolt ends in Hadrian banishing Jews from Jerusalem (p. 57)
135 Jerusalem reconstructed as Aelia Capitolina
140 Valentinus moves to Rome
144 Church rejects teachings of Marcion
150 135 Works of Justin Martyr composed describing liturgy of centered on the Eucharist
150 217 Life of Clement of Alexandria, skeptic about motives of martyrs (pp. 83f)
150± 215± Life of Clement of Alexandria, teacher of Origen; opposed pleasure
155 Martyrdom of Polycarp (p. 155)
156 Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrnia, burned alive
160± 220± Life of Tertullian, North-African Christian leader
170 Athenagoras condems sex except for procreation
170± 235± Life of Hippolytus, Rome, Eucharistic prayer (pp. 68ff.); opposed Gnostics
177 Platonic philosopher Celsus argues against Jesus as mere magician
181 203 Life of Vibia Perpetua, martyred after visions in prison (pp. 78-82)
185 254 Origen of Alxandria, author of Exhortation to Martyrdom
185± 254± Life or Origen
200 299 IIIrd CENTURY
200 258 Cyprian martyred in Carthage after hiding
200 258 Novation, anti-Pope; advocates excommunicating backsliders from martyrdom
200 Pope Calistus permits women "just concubinage"
200± 300± Paul of Samosata argues for "adoptionism": a human Jesus adopted by God to be divine (a heresy)
200± 300± Sabellius argues for crypto-Unitarianism: Father & Son as windows on the same reality (a heresy)
205 270 Life or Plotinus, influential neo-Paltonist arguing ideal forms are in the mind of God
216± 276± Life of Mani, dualist founder of Manicheans
235 238 Reign of Maximinus (much political disorder)
235 Christians martyred at Caeserea
240± 320± Life of Lactantius, who argued for purifying fire before the final judgment
246 248 Origin writes "Against Celsus," a pagan
248 328 Life of Helena, mother of Constantine, finder of monuments
249 251 Emperor Decius requires universal participation in sacrifices; orders persecutions
250 260 Pionius, bishop of Smyrna, martyred
250± 336 Life of Arius, who argued Father superior to Son, founding the Arian Heresy
253 260 Reign of Valerian; persecutions
260 339 Life of Eusebius, bishop of Caeserea, historian, pro-Constantine
273 337 Life of Constantine
284 305 Reign of Diocletian (East) & persecutions (pp. 87f)
292 346 Life of Pachomius, founder of monasticism
293± 373 Life of Athanasius of Alexandria, defender of chastity
297 Diocletion order destruction of Egyptian Manicheans
300 399 IVth CENTURY
300± 310± Council of Elvira (Spain) endorses chastity
303 Alphaeus beheaded at Caesarea for disrupting pagan sacrifices
303 Romanus martyred at Antioch for disrupting pagan sacrifices
304 Euplus begs to be martyred in Sicily
306 337 Reign of Constantine (306-324 west only)
311 Emperor Galerius excuses Christians from worship of Roman gods, removing a source of martyrdom
312 Constantine has vision the night before October 28 battle at Milvian Bridge
312 Constantine makes self emperor of the west
313 Edict of Milan ends official persecution of Christians
315 387 Life of Cyril of Jerusalem
316 397 Martin of Tours, founder of first western Pachovian monastery (in Gaul)
316 Carthage Controversy: Donatus requires apostate rebaptism; Caeolianus favors leniancy
316 Donatists outlawed & become underground church
320 Pachomius establishes monastery near Nile, widely imitated
324 Constantine becomes sole emperor; Byzantium renamed Constantinople
325 Council of Nicea (first of 7 church-wide councils) unites Father & Son; condemns Arianism; controls ordination, excommunication; St Athanasius defends the eternal existence of the Son of God
329± 379 Life of Basil of Caesarea
329± 391± Life of Gregory of Nazianzus
335± 395± Life of Gregory of Nyssa
337 Constantine baptized on deathbed
339 Basilica of the Nativity dedicated
339± 397 Life of Ambrose of Milan, opponant of Arianism; teacher of Ausustine; made Theodosius repent; one of 4 Doctors of the Church
342± 420± Life of Jerome, Bible tanslator; one of 4 Doctors of the Church
354 430 Life of Augustine, bishop of Hippo (N. Africa), opposed Manichaeans, Donatists, Arians, Pelagians
354 Legal protection provided for the virginity of nuns (p. 114)
360± 420± Life of Pelagius, who argued guilt for the sin of Adam limited to Adam, a heresy
361 363 Reign of Julian, who revives paganism
376 444 Life of Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria
379 395 Reign of Theodosius
381 384 Pilgrimage of Egeria from Spain to the Holy Land
381 Council of Constantinople
381 Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople reaffirms Nicene Crede
381 Theodosius outlaws all other religions
386 391 Augustine in contemplation at Cassiciacum
391 Augustine made bishop
395 Jovinan attacked for declaring marriage as good as chastity
400 499 Vth CENTURY
400± 440± Life of Nestorius of Antioch, condemned for heresy of saying Christ had separate human and divine natures
410 Alaric (an Arian Goth) sacks Rome
412 426 Augustine writes City of God
431 Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus, condemns Nestorius
436 Nestorius exiled
440± Possible approximate date of the Athanasian Creed ("Quicumque Vult")
451 Council of Chalcedon states definitive trinitarian formula, condemns Eutyches & other heretics
480 547 Life of Benedict of Nursia, author of a system of monastic discipline
496 Baptism of Clovis, king of the Franks
500 599 VIth CENTURY
500± 578 Jacob Bradeus of Nisibis, founder of Syrian monasteries
521 Birth of St. Columba, founder of Scottish and Irish monasteries
527 565 Reign of Justinian
532 537 Building of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople
540± 604 Life of Gregory the Great; first monk made pope; reorganized church, sent mission to England; one of the 4 Doctors of the Church
543± 651 Life of Columbanus(Ireland), Director of missions to Europe
553 Council of Constantinople condemns those who doubt hell
553 Fifth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, condemns position that suffering in hell is not eternal
567 754 Life of Boniface, sent as apostle to Germany
570 632 Life of Muhammad
580 662 Maximus "the Confessor" of Turin denounces Monothelites
589 Synot in Toledo adds the "filioque" to the Nicene Creed, asserting that the Holy Spirig proceeds from both the Father "and the Son," a position rejected by the eastern church
589 Visigoths of Spain give up Arianism, come under Roman church
590 604 Papacy of Gregory I (the Great)
596 Gregory I sends mission to convert the English
600 699 VIIth CENTURY
610± 640± Leontius of Neapolis, defender of icons and sacred objects
614 Persians capture and sack Jerusalem
628 Heraclius recaptures Jerusalem from Persians
638 Arabs capture Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria; Jews permitted to return to Jerusalem
638 Jerusalem capture by Muslims
653 Maximus of Turin exiled
673± 735 Life of the Venerable Bede, historian of Christianity in England ("Venerable" was a priestly title at the time.)
675± 749 Life of John of Damascus, advocate of icons, critic of excessive Marianism; viewed Islam as Christian heresy
681 Sixth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople
700 799 VIIIth CENTURY
700± Approximate date of the present text of the Apostles' Creed
717 741 Reign of Byzantine Emperor Leo III, iconclast
726 Emperor Leo III moves against icons
741 775 Reign of Byzantine emperor Constantine V, iconoclast
745 Rome council condemns Aldebert's compromises with paganism (pp. 168f)
750± 825± Life of Theodore abu Qurra, defender of icons
754 Council at Nicaea condemns icons as doubly blasphemous
754 Second Council of Nicaea (against icons) (p. 207)
768 814 Life of Charlemagne, king of the Franks
787 Seventh Church Council, Second at Nicaea, restores icons
800 899 IXth CENTURY
800 Council in Carthage decides to destroy altars lacking relics
800 Crowning of Charlemagne as monarch of the Holy roman Empire
815 843 Second campaign against icons
815 Iconoclasm revived
827 869 Life of Cyril the Missionary, brother of Methodius
832 Latin translation of Dionysius the Areopagite''s Vith Cent fake scriptures; describes sacred order
843 Iconoclasmends
847± 877± Irish theologian John Scoitus Eriugena, follower of Dionysius the Areopagite
880 The Photian Schism
900 999 Xth CENTURY
949 1022 Life of Symeon, who developed theology of mystic visions of God; creator of hesychasm meditation
960± 970± Aelfric endorses 3-class system: laboratores, bellatores, oratores
980 1037 Life of Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Muslim theologian influential among Christians
988 Conversion of Russia ("Rus'") begins
1000 1099 XIth CENTURY
1007 1072 Peter Damian founds communistic sect of preachers
1033 1109 Life of Anselm of Canterbury (Benedictine), rationalizes Christian beliefs
1050± 1115± Life of Peter the Hermit, French preacher of the First Crusade
1054 Break between Roman and Constantinople churches
1054 East-West schism divides Roman from Constantinople (Orthodox) Christianity due to Roman claim to higher authority and Roman inclusion of the filioque clause (see 589); Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria remain in communion with Constantinople
1066 Norman conquest of Britain (and replacement of any dissenting clergy with others loyal to Rome)
1075± 1129 Life of Rupert of Deutz, male erotic visionary
1077 Anselm defines God as great beyond our understanding; ignores Satan; orients future theology
1079 1142 Life of Peter Abélard; challenges myth of consensus of ancient writers
1087 Body of St. Nicholas translated from Myra (Syria) to Bari (Italy)
1090 1153 Life of Bernard de Clairvaux, monastic leader, supporter of crusades, reformer of Knights Templar; theologian of love
1095 Council of Clermont
1095 First Crusade organized; Urban III offers plenary indulgence to crusaders
1096 1099 First Crusade captures Jerusalem
1096± 1141 Hugh of St. Victor founds mystical school of Victorines
1098 1179 Life of Hildegard of Bingen, mystic and visionary
1099 Anselm becomes archbishop of Canterbury
1100 1199 XIIth CENTURY
1119 Knights Templar founded
1126 1198 Life of Averroës (Ibn Rushd), Muslim theologian influential among Christians
1135 1202 Life of Joachim of Fiore (Italy), millennial prophet
1135± 1204 Life of Moses Maimonides (Mosheh ben Maimon), Jewis theologian influential among Christians
1140 1200 Life of Hugh of Lincoln, who saw a child in the host, advocated host-worship
1141 Abélard condemned for heresy & general cleverness
1147 Synod of Trieri; Hildegard permitted to publish her visions
1150 Peter Lomgard creates university textbook in theology, "Sentences"
1150± 1250± Cathars (Albigensians), Christian dualists, flourished in Spain & Italy; branded heretics by Rome
1170 1221 Life of Dominic de Guzman, founder of Friars Preachers, a teaching order (Dominicans)
1170 Thomas Becket murdered at Canterbury
1172 Cathar church council at Toulouse attracts Bogomil leader Nicetas from Constantinople
1175 Peter Waldo (Valdes) embraces poverty
1179 Alexander III refuses Valdes right to preach
1180± 1262 Life of Stephen of Bourbon, official inquisitor
1181 1226 Life of Francis of Assisi (Francesco Bernardone), founder of Franciscans, a contemplative mendicant order
1184 Waldensianism listed as heretical sect, driven from Lyons
1185± 1243 Life of Alexander of Hales (Franciscan), who claimed alien were races deformed because of their sin
1200 1299 XIIIth CENTURY
1200± 1250± Life of Hadewijch of Antwerp, producer of Beguine texts on erotic visions
1200± 1280 Life of Albert the Great (Dominican), scholastic philosopher, who argued Pygmies are not actually human
1200± 1550± Cult of Anne important in Europe
1201 1204 Fourth Crusade
1201 Pope Innocene III grants Francis of Assisi charter for Friors Minor
1204 Constantinople sacked in Fourth Crusade
1205 Francis of Assisi vows poverty
1206 Diego de Osma
1207 1294 Life of Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beguine with erotic visions
1208 Crusade against Albergensians (French Cathars)
1208 Crusade against Albigensians
1210 Franciscans founded
1212 Founding of Poor Clares (female Franciscans)
1214 Apparition of Mary to Dominic (according to 1470 account, probably false)
1215 Fourth Lateran Council prohibits founding new orders; requires ritual penance
1215 Fourth Lateran Council rules Christ physically present in eucharist (transubstantiation); prohibits removal from church
1215 Physical presence in host; penance mandatory; new orders prohibited
1216 Beguine movement receives papal endorsement
1217± 1274 Life of Bonaventure, mystical theologian, successor to Francis of Assisi
1225 1275 Life of Thomas Aquinas, major theologian, author of Summa Theologica
1230± 1879± Folk cult of St. Guinefort, a dog, persists in France despite church opposition
1233 Francis of Assisi canonized (sainted)
1233 Inquisition established
1235 Stephen of Bourbon becomes inquisitor
1240 1380 Russia ruled by Tatars
1240 Center of Russian orthodoxy moved from Kiev to Moscow
1244 Two hundred Albigensians burned at storming of Foix Albigensian fort; movement effectively extinct
1252 Gregory IX approves torture to gain Inquisition confessions
1260 1327 Life of Meister Eckhart, German Dominican mystic, condemned for heresy
1264 King Louis IX founds house for Beguines in Paris
1265 1321 Life of Dante Alighieri, poet, author of influential Divine Comedy
1274 Council of Lyons unsuccessfully bans Beguines in France
1280 1349 Life of William of Ockham, English mystic (but creator of Ockham's razor for theorizing about worldly things)
1285± 1310 Life of Marguerite Porete, Beguine mystic, burned at the stake for calling Rome "Lesser Church" & declaring mystics free spirits
1290± 1350 Life of Barlaam the Calabrian, campaigner against heysychasm ("navel gazing")
1291 Fall of Latin Jerusalem, Acre, etc.
1296 1359 Life of Gregory Palmas, monk of Mt. Athos, defender of hesychasm meditation
1300 1399 XIVth CENTURY
1300 1366 Life of Henry Suso, flagellator & disciple of Meister Eckhart
1300 Plenary indulgences granted for Jubilee Year pilgrimage to Rome as substitute for Jerusalem
1303± 1109 Life of Anselm of Canterbury, arged that Mary was second in importance to God
1303± 1373 Life of Bridget of Sweden, visionary of the virgin birth
1304 1374 Life of Petrarch (Francesco Petrarch), Romophile humanist writer; scholar and poet
1307 Knights Templar accused of devil worship
1309 1378 Avignon exile of the papacy
1313 1325 Inquisition targets Beguines in France (Some still survive in Benelux.)
1313 1371 Life of Giovanni Boccacio, poet, essayist, and theologian
1313 1392 Life of Sergii of Radnezh, ascetic abbot of St. Sergius Trinity Monastery
1314 Knights Templar dissolved; leaders burned as witches
1323 Belief in Jesus' absolute poverty declared heresy by John XXII
1333 St. Gregory Palmas defends the Eastern practice of hesychasm (mystical prayer) and the use of the "Jesus Prayer"
1336 1339 Judenschläger of Bavaria attack Jews for slaying Jesus
1340 1384 Life of Gerhard Groote, founder of the Brothers & Sisters of the Common Life, including lay eucharist devotees & devotio moderna
1342± 1416± Life of Julian of Norwich, female erotic visionary
1347 1351 Black Death (bubonic plague) kills one third to one half of European population
1350 1420 Life of Pierre d'Ailly, predicted end of the world for 1492
1356± John Mandeville (Johan Maudeville) writes fraduluent but influential "Travels," stimulating pilgrimage/tourism
1360± 1452 Life of Gemistus Pletho, Byzantine Platonist
1371 1415 Life of Jan Huss, Bohemian priest turned Protestant, burned for heresy (launching 19-year civil war)
1378 1417 Double papacy (Rome and Avignon)
1379 1471 Life of Thomas à Kempis, author of "Imitation of Christ
1381 1447 Life of Colette of Corbie, reformer of Poor Clares (Colettine Convents)
1389 Corpus Christi declared equal to Easter (p. 213)
1389 Urban VI declares Corpus Christi equal to Xmas, Easter, Pentecost, Assumption
1395 1485 Life of George Trebizond, Byzantine Aristotelian
1400 1499 XVth CENTURY
1403± 1472 Life of Bessarion, Bishop of Nicaea, Byzantine Platonist
1407 1457 Life of Lorenza Valla, unmasker of Dionysius the Aeropagite as non-Biblical
1415 Council of Constance divides Europe into blocks of states
1425 Second Council of Arles condemns bishops who fail to suppress paganism
1427 1486 Italian & German witch hunts
1433 1499 Life of Marsilio Ficino, translator of Greek texts; advocates meditating on Venus; discovers proto-Christianity
1436 Pope Eugenius authorizes Portuguese conquest of Canary Island "savages"
1438 1439 Council of Ferrara & Florence; Orthodox church accepts "filioque" without including it; Byzantine Catholic Church created
1438 1439 E-W dialog & the term "filioque" (p. 297)
1438 Council of Basel: Immaculate Conception of Mary declared doctrine (See 1854.)
1439 Bishop Isidore deposed in Moscow by King Vasili II for supporting Council of Florence agreement on "filioque"
1439 Reunion of E and W churches declared to little effect
1444 1510 Life of Sandro Boticelli, painter
1448 Jonas installed in Moscow
1449 1492 Life of Lorenzo de Medici, Florentine ruler and patron of the arts
1451 1506 Life of Christopher Columbus, explorer
1452 1498 Life of Giolamo Savonarola, fanatic Dominican, dictator in Florence, excommunicated, hanged by a mob
1453 Constantinople falls to Sultan Muhammad II; Pius II argues only Europeans are real Christians anyway
1463 1494 Life of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, student of Ficino, pan-humanist theologian and Kabbalist; conemned for heresy
1465 1519 Life of Johann Tetzel (Dominican), who hd domino theory of consequences of Luther's critique
1465 1532 Life of Giles Antonini of Viterbo (Augustinian), internal critic of Catholicism
1469 1524 Life of Vasco da Gama, explorer
1469 1535 Life of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, "Christian humanist
1470± 1480± Rosary popularized
1475± Jacob Sprenger (witch hunter) founds Confraternity of the Rosary
1478 Spanish inquisition founded by Ferdinand & Isabella to oppose heresy
1480± 1541 Life of Andreas Karlstadt, extreme Protestant iconoclast, destroyer of much art work
1483 1546 Life of Martin Luther, priest turned Protestant reformer; the father of Protestantism; especially Evangelical movement
1483 Pope Sixtus IV prohibits further argument about Immaculate Conception of Mary
1484 1531 Life of Ulrich Zwingli, priest turned major Protestant reformer in Zurich; iconoclastic to images and eucharist; killed in religious war
1484 1566 Life of Bartolomé de las Casas, critic of Spanish treatment of Mexicans
1484 Innocent VIII institutes southern German inquisition
1485 1547 Life of Hernán Cortés, conqueror of Mexico
1486 1535 Life of Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, Christian magician in conflict with the Church
1486 Jacob Sprenger & Heinrich Kramer publish Malleus Maleficarum, a guide to witch hunting
1489 1565 Life of Guillaume Farel, iconoclastic follower of Zwingli in Bern
1490 Ficino investigated for heresy for advocating magic (not condemned)
1490± 1574 Life of Juan Gigés de Sepúlveda, defender of Spanish behavior in Mexico
1491 1551 Life of Martin Bucer, iconoclastic follower of Zwingli in Strassburg
1491 1556 Life of Ignatius Loyola, founder of Jesuits
1492 1503 Reign of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo de Borgia)
1492 End of the World (Eastern Orthodox)
1492 Ferdinando drives the Moors from Spain; forcibly converts or expels Jews
1495 Pope Alexander VI approves rosary
1497 Pope Alexander VI suppresses pilgrimage to Lough Derg (Ireland) as too distant from Rome
1500 1599 XVIth CENTURY
1504 1575 Life of Heinrich Bullinger, iconoclastic follower and successor of Zwingli in Zurich
1505 1507 Luther studies theology in Augustinian seminary; ordained as priest
1506 1552 Life of Francis Xavier, Jesuit missionary to Asia
1509 1564 Life of John Calvin (Jean Cauvin), major Protestant reformer, headquartered in Geneva; founder of Reformed movement
1511 Elder Philotheus (Russia) explains failure of world to end in 1492; end date declared unknowable
1512 1573 Spanish conquest of the Americas
1512 Fifth Lateran Council; Giles of Viterbo argues for personal transformation, not changing the church
1515 1582 Life of Teresa of Ávila, mystic; founder of Carmelite Reform; made Doctor of the Church in 1970
1516 Erasmus translates New Testament, creates "philosophy of Christ" centered on ethical living
1517 Luther Posts 95 Theses, nailed to a church door in Wittenberg; the intent is reform, but the result is the Reformation
1519 Cortés lands in Mexico in year of prophesied return of Quetzalcóatl
1521 Luther excommunicated; followers condemned; Emperor Charles V condemns Luther to death, who flees to Hanover
1522 1523 Deformed ox fetus in Germany seen in Italy as sign of "Martin Utero" and end of the world
1522 Zwingli has images removed in Zurich
1524 1525 Peasant rebellions in Germany kill 100,000-200,000 people in widespread anti-Catholic anti-establishmentism
1524 Cortés receives 12 Franciscans at Tenochtitlan
1525 Sebastian Lotzer & Christoph Schappeler's "Twelve Articles of the Peasants" denounced by Luther
1527 1608 Life of John Dee, Christian magician in conflict with the Church
1527 Sack of Rome by troops of Charles V
1529 Conference of Marburg; Zwingli-Luther split over presence of Christ in the host
1530 1584 Life of Ivan IV of Russia, who forces religious conversion, especially of Muslims
1530 Augsburg Confession adopted as statement of faith by Lutheran ("Evangelical") churches
1531 Apparition of the Virtin of Guadalupe at Tepeyac, near former shrine to Tenantzin
1532 1599 Life of Domenico Scandella (= Menocchio), miller, executed as anticlerical and relativistic heretic
1532 1614 Life of Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala, Peruvian author of Andean history
1532 Francisco Pizarro lands in Peru
1533 1592 Life of Michel de Montaigne, essayist, critic of Europeans as against noble savages
1534 Anti-Catholic iconoclastic riots in Geneva; city council closes churches, prohibits mass
1534 Henry VIII Act of Supremacy creates Anglican Church headed by king, not pope
1534 Loyola begins mission to the Muslims
1536 Calvin arrives in officially iconoclastic Geneva
1538 1541 Calvin banished from Geneva
1539 Society of Jesus (Jesuits) founded by Loyola
1542 1591 Life of John of the Cross (Carmelite), Spanish mystic and poet
1545 1563 Council of Trent begins Catholic counter-Reformation; Old Testament enlarged in 1548 to include the Aprochryphal books
1548 1600 Life of Giordano Bruno, Christian magician in conflict with the Church
1550 Valladolid debate: Las Casas denounces Spanish in Mexico; Sepúlveda defends them
1550± 1580± Catholic-Huguenot (Calvinist) struggles in Lyons
1560 1609 Life of Jacobus Arminius, who argued that Calvinist election could be conditioned by human behavior; founder of Remonstrants
1562 Heidelberg Catechism adopted as statement of faith by Reformed ("Calvinist") churches
1562 Official Huguenot theocracy established in Lyons; Huguenots then expelled
1564 First European church dedicated to Joseph, the ignored earthly father of Jesus
1565 Council of Trent emphatically reaffirms need for Catholic sacraments
1572 St. Bartholomew Massacre of 8,000 Huguenots (French Calvinists) in Paris during marriage of Huguenot Henry of Navarre
1577 1656 Life of Roberto Nobili, aristocratic Jesuit missionary to India
1578 Pope expands rosary to include intercession
1578 Pope Pius V expands Rosary invocation (p. 277)
1584 1652 Life of John Cotton, Puritan cleric, known as the "patriarch of New England"; became head of Massachusetts Congregationalists
1588 1649 Life of John Winthrop (Puritan), 1st governor of Massachusetts 1630-1649.
1589 See of Moscow recognized by Constantinople
1591 1643 Life of Ann Hutchinson, Puritan critic of Puritanism; excommunicated & banished to RI for claiming messages from God
1595± Richard Hooker proposes that Protestantism and Catholicism are two separate religions (first use of plural form)
1598 Edict of Nantes under Henry IV (of Navarre, now a nominal Catholic) ends officially approved religious war in France
1600 1699 XVIIth CENTURY
1603± 1683 Life of Roger Williams (Puritan), banished to Rhode Island for advocating church-state separation
1604 1690 Life of John Eliot, Puritan missionary to Massachusetts Indians
1605 1681 Life of Archbishop Nikon, Russian patriarch (1652-66), who sought to return Russian ritual practice to Greek original
1610 Assassination of Henry IV; persecution of Huguenots resumed under Cardinal Richelieu
1613 Guamán Poma's "Talking Book" sent to Philip III in Spain complaining of Spanish treatment of Peruvians
1618 1619 Synod of Dort; Calvinist doctrine of election clarified and Arminian Remonstrants condemned; Puritans free converted slaves
1620 Pilgrims land at Plymouth
1621 1682 Life of Archpriest Avvakum, Old Believer; condemned as heretic in 1667, burned for heresy
1624 1691 Life of George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers) based on direct encounter with God
1643 Westminster Confession adopted by Presbyterians
1649 Islamic missionizing becomes capital crime in Russia
1652 1658 Orthodox reforms of Nikon
1652 1658 Reforms of Archbishop Nikon of Moscow offend Old Believers
1652 Society of Friends (Quakers) founded by George Fox
1656 Quaker missionaries enter Massachusetts unwelcomed
1662 English parliament outlaws Quakerism
1662 Puritan "Half-Way Covenant" for 2nd generation Puritans without calling begins slide for Puritanism
1672 1725 Life of Peter the Great, reformist tsar of Russia from 1682 (suicides among Old Believers)
1682 1725 Reign of Peter the Great, Russian reformer
1684 Old Believers condemned to death in Russia
1685 Edict of Nantes revoked by Louis XIV; official persecution of Huguenots is resumed, including burning at the stake
1689 1755 Life of Charles Louis Montesquieu, French rationalist
1700 1799 XVIIIth CENTURY
1702 Decree of Toleration (Peter) in Russia
1703 1758 Life of John Edwards, Congregational cleric & Methodist evangelist to USA; helped stimulate the "Great Awakening"
1703 1764 Life of Gilbert Tenant (Presbyterian) supporter of "Great Awakening," arguing that all who are called could preach
1703 1791 John Wesley, founder of Methodism
1706 1790 Life of Benjamin Franklin, American statesman and deist
1707 1788 Life of Charles Wesley, brother of John and co-founder of Methodism; author of many hymns
1708 1713 Episodes of Maya talking crosses and other syncretistic phenomena
1711 Apparition of the Virgin to Maya Dominica López
1712 Apparition of the Virtin to María de la Candelaria at Cancuc, Yucatán
1712 Dominica López executed for heresy
1712 Virgin movement of Cancuc, Yucatán, under Sebastián Gómez, rejecting Spanish church in Mexico
1714 1770 Life of George Whitfield, British Methodist evangelist in USA, collaborator of John Edwards in the Great Awakening
1720± 1730± Reforms of Peter the Great diffuse Russian church power; reform calendar
1721 Russian missions centralized by Peter the Great
1724 1804 Life of Immanuel Kant, philosopher who equated religion with morality; condemned Judaism as mere ritualism
1728 1741 Vitus Bering explores Alaska for Russia
1729 1796 Life of Catherine the Great of Russia
1735 1826 Life of John Adams, American statesman and deist
1736 1784 Mother Anne Lee, founder of Shakers (celibate communalists)
1737 1809 Life of Thomas Paine, American statesman and deist
1740 1764 Russian Agency of Covert Affairs under Dmitrii Sechenov assaults non-Christian religions
1740± 1750± First Great Awakening of revivalism in USA
1741 1815 Life of John Murray, Methodist founder of American Universalists, believing in the salvation of all humans
1743 1826 Life of Thomas Jefferson, American statesman and deist
1751 1836 Life of James Madison, American statesman and deist
1764 Decree of Toleration (Catherine) in Russia
1767 Jesuits expelled from New Spain by Charles III
1767± 1822 Life of Denmark Vessey, South Carolina slave revolt leader inspired by Joshua
1768 1834 Life of Friedrich Schleiermacher (Romantic); defined religion as way of feeling infinity of world and absolute dependency on God
1768 1837 Life of Joshua Marshman, evangelical theologian, missionary to India
1772 1829 Life of Friedrich Schlegel, influential German Romantic
1772 1833 Life of Ram Mohan Roy, Unitarian-inspired founder of Brahmo Samaj
1772 1844 Life of Barton Stone (Presbyterian), co-founder with Alexander Campbell of Disciples of Christ
1775± 1800± Life of Gabriel Prosser, Virginia slave-revolt leader inspired by Samson
1782 1849 William Miller (Baptist), revival leader, founder of M8illerite, predicted 2nd coming in 1843 and 1844
1786 1866 Life of Alexander Campbell, Baptist convert who eventually founded Disciples of Christ (ca. 1830±) with his father Thomas and with Barton Stone
1794 Russian missionaries arrive on Kodiak Island (Alaska), introducing Orthodox Christianity
1795 1883 Life of Robert Moffat, London Missionary Society missionary to Africa
1795 London Missionary Society (Congregationalist) first mission to Africa
1797 1879 Ioann Veniaminov (Ivan Popov), first Bishop of Alaska (canonized 1977 as St. Innocent)
1797 James Cook killed in Hawaii
1799 Church Missionary Society ( Anglican) first mission to Africa
1800 1899 XIXth CENTURY
1800 1831 Life of Nat Turner (Baptist), Virginia slave revolt leader
1802 1877 Life of Brigham Young, leader of majority Utah branch of Mormons after death of Joseph Smith
1804 1863 Life of Charles Colcock Jones (Presbyterian), interdenominational missionary to USA slaves
1805 1844 Life of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
1805 1873 Life of Samuel Wilberforce, Anglican bishop and advocate of British "mission civilisatrice"
1805 1879 Life of William Lloyd Garrison, founder of U.S. Anti-Slavery Society
1808 1871 Life of Wilhelm Weitling, evangelical advocate of class war, founder of League of the Just
1809 Founding of Christian Association of Washington County (PA) by Alexander Campbell, to evolve into Disciples of Christ
1810 American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions first mission to Africa
1813 1883 Life of Richard Wagner, German nationalist composer, promoter of myths of Aryan superiority & neo-paganism
1813 1887 Life of Henry Ward Beecher, famed American Congregationalist preacher
1813 Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society first mission to Africa
1818 1883 Life of Karl Marx
1820 1895 Life of Friedrich Engels
1820± 1840± Second Great Awakening of revivalism in USA
1821 1910 Life of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science
1826 Veniaminov establishes mission in Unalaska
1828 Veniaminov meets Christian shaman Ivan SAmirennikov, who was baptized in 1795
1830 Book of Mormon published
1834 1851 Veniaminov's mission to the Sitka Island Tlingit
1834 1915 Life of Henry M. Turner, founder of African Methodist Episcopal Church (USA)
1836 1886 Life of Ramakrishna, who regarded Jesus as legitimate focus for Hindu bhakti
1838 1884 Life of Keshab Chandra Sen, founder of the (Christo-Hindu) Church of the New Dispensation
1844 Mormons driven from Nauvoo; Joseph Smith shot & killed by mob
1847 1907 Life of John Alexander Dowie, self-proclaimed pophet and founder of Zion City, Illinois, and Zionist church movement
1851 1932 Life of Joseph Booth (Australia), evangelical missionary to S. Africa
1852 1916 Life of Charles Taze Russell, founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, rejecting formal church role in salvation
1854 Immaculate conception of Mary made Catholic dogma through ex cathedra declaration of Pius XI (See 1438.)
1858 Apparition of the Virgin to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes (France)
1860± 1915 Life of John Chilemowe (Malawi), evangelical anti-colonial rebel (possibly born 1871.)
1861 1910 Life of William Rauschenbusch, advocate of "social gospel"
1861 African Methodist Episcopal Church founded in USA
1863 1902 Life of Narendranath Datta, founder of Ramakrishna Mission (India) and Vedanta Society (USA)
1865 1928 Life of William Wade Harris (Liberia), Methodist, then creator of Harrist Christianity; rejects missionary monopoly
1867 Alaska sold to US; Veliaminov (Innocent) made Metropolitan of Moscow
1869 1942 Life of Joseph Franklin Rutherford, architect of Jehovah's Witness pacifism
1869 1948 Life of Mohandas (Mahatma) Ghandi
1870 1922 Life of Wm J. Seymour, charismatic Baptist follower of Parham, creator of Azusa Street Revivals in Los Angeles
1870 1924 Life of Vladimir Lenin, opponent of Christianity in USSR
1870 1935 Life of Isiah Shembe (S. Africa) advocate of Zulu faith healing in Christianity
1870 First Vatican Council; pope declared infallible
1873 1929 Life of Charles Fox Perham, Baptist who revives charism of speaking in tongues
1875 Christian Science founded by Mary Baker Eddy
1876 1966 Life of Karl Adam, pro-Nazi Catholic theologian
1878 1965 Life of Martin Buber, Jewish theologian seeking Jewish-Christian reconciliation
1886 1965 Life of Paul Tilich, theologian of Christian existentialism & mysticism
1886 1968 Life of Karl Barth, anti-Nazi German theologian; stressed human-divine distance
1887 1975 Life of Joesph Lortz, pro-Nazi Catholic historian
1888 1965 Life of Hendrik Kraemer, "exclusivist" theologian (Non-Christians are damned)
1889 1945 Life of Adolf Hitler; used ideals of Volk and Vaterland to justify killing European misfits, esp. Jews
1889 1951 Life of Simon Kimbangu (C. Africa), Baptist, then founder of Kambangu Church
1891 1956 Life of Karl Ludwig Schmidt, anti-Nazi German missionary to Jews
1892 1971 Life of Reinhold Niebuhr, Protestant theologian & "Christian Marxist," then "Christian realist"
1892 1984 Life of Martin Niemöller, anti-Nazi founder of Pastors' Emergency League in 1933
1892 Mangena M. Mokone (Methodist) founds Ethiopian Church (in S. Africa)
1893 World's Parliament of Religion (Chicago) pushes strong agenda of mutual tolerance
1893 Zion City, Illinois, founded by Dowie
1900 1999 XXth CENTURY
1900 1945 Life of Martin Bormann, Nazi official, promoter of anti-semitism
1901 Charismatic renewal movement begins at Bethel Bible College (Topeka)
1904 1998 Life of Karl Rahner, "inclusivist" theologian (Non-Christians can be saved by grade as "anonymous Christians")
1904 Daniel Bryant, follower of Dowie, accidentally triggers multiplication of Zionist denominations in South Africa
1905 Edict of Toleration permits non-Orthodox churches in Russia
1906 1945 Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, anti-Nazi German theologian; executed
1906 1976 Life of Walter Grundmann, pro-Nazi theologian
1908 1909 Anti-colonial African Watchtower movement of Elliot Kenan Kamwana (Malawi); thousands baptized
1910 Zion Christian Church (ZCC) founded in S. Africa; creates elaborate center at Moria
1912 1963 Life of John Maranke (S. Africa), Methodist, then founder of New Reveltion of the Apostles
1914 1917 World War I
1915 1968 Life of Thomas Merton (Trappist), mystic; author of The Seven Story Mountain (1948)
1918 Life of Billy Graham, American non-denominational ,fundamentalist, anti-communist evangelist
1920 Life of Sun Myung Moon, Korean evangelist, founder of anti-communist, family-focused Unification Church (Moonies)
1922 1939 Papacy of Pius XI (Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti)
1924 Mein Kampf published by Adolf Hitler
1925 1996 Tomo Nyirenda (Baptized in Free Ch. of Scotland) leads massive witch killing as Mwana Lesa. Executed.
1929 1968 Life of Martin Luther King, American civil rights activist, founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference
1929 1990 USSR bans religious services outside registered buildings
1929 Concordat of 1929 cedes Papal States to Italy, guarantees Vatican status of independent nation
1930± 1940± Heyday of cargo cults in New Guinea, often influenced by Christianity
1931 1978 Life of Jim Jones, Pentecostal socialist founder of apocalyptic suicide cult at Jonestown in Central America
1931 Vatican Radio founded
1933 1945 Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler in power in Germany; neopaganism; doctrine of Aryan racial superiority
1933 Anti-Nazi Pastors' Emergency League founded by Martin Niemöller; becomes Confessing Church movement in 1934
1934 Barmen Declaration of Karl Barth establishes Confessing Church in Germany; opposes rationalist "natural theology"
1939 1945 World War II
1939 1958 Papacy of Pius XII (Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli)
1946 1977 Life of Steve Biko, founder of Black Consciousness Movement & "Black theology" in South Africa
1947 Seelisberg Conference of Christians & Jews under Jules Isaac (French Catholic) condemns anti-semitism
1948 Israel established s modern, officially Jewish state
1949 All foreign missionries ejected from China; All Christians forced into two government-controlled "patriotic associations
1951 Campus Crusade for Christ founded in Los Angeles by Bill Bright to promote fundamentalism on campuses
1957 Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded by Martin Luther King in US
1958 1963 Papacy of John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli); calls Vatican council
1960 Congress on World Missions (Chicago) proclaims damnation of all non-Christians
1960± 1970± "Death of God" movement seeks to explain Holocaust
1962 1965 Second Vatican Council; approves vernacular liturgy and other reforms; condemns anti-semitism
1963 1978 Papacy of Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini)
1967 Six Day War; Israel annexes Jerusalem; captures West Bank, Gaza, and Sinai.
1968 Artificial birth control banned by Vatican
1968 Conference of Bishops in Medellín (Colombia) interprets Vatican II reforms into Liberation Theology
1978 1978 Papacy of John Paul I (Albino Luciani)
1978 2005 Papacy of John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla)
1981 Apparition of the Virgin to children at Medjugorje (Bosnia-Herzegovina, then part of Yugoslavia)
1981 Pope shot; survival attributed to Virgin of Fátima, whose crown at the shrine in Portugal now holds bullet
1982 World Alliance of Reformed Churches declares apartheid a sin & suspends South African churches
1985 Kairos Document provides theological rationale for armed rebellion in South Africa
1986 South African Dutch Reformed Church denounces apartheid
1988 Orthodox world celebrates 1000 years of Christianity in Russia
1989 1991 Collapse of European communism; USSR dissolved
1990± Collapse of apartheid in South Africa, no longer supported by nations needing an ally against Communism
1993 Parliament for the World's Religions (Chicago) follows up on 1893 event
2000 2099 XXIst CENTURY
2002 Pope John Paul II adds "Mysteries of Light" to the rosary
2005 2013 Papacy of Benedict XVI (Josef Alois Ratzinger), ending in unprecedented resignation and the title "Pope Emeritus"
2013 Papacy of Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
2015 This Year
Most dates are from David Chidester 2001 Christianity: A Global History.