How did Jesus teachings influence western civilization?
t is difficult to even begin to summarize how important the teachings of Jesus were to the development of Western Civilization, as the church of his followers, known as Christianity, became the largest and most powerful entity in the world for centuries, influencing every aspect of European and eventual global politics.
At first, Christianity was a relatively small scale religion that was criticized by many societies due to its belief in one god and their refusal to acknowledge other deities. This changed in the 4th century when the Roman Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the state religion. This led to Christianity and the teachings of Jesus becoming the center of European thought and belief for the next 1500 years. Even after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, Christianity remained as a powerful institution which became the center of political and religious influence during the Medieval Period, most notably in the office of the pope. This created one uniform belief system within Europe for a number of centuries until the Reformation of the 15th century, which saw a split in the church due to the abuses of the papacy and the clergy.
This disagreement on the teachings of Jesus enveloped Europe in warfare and debate for a number of centuries, which still exists in some places today. By the early modern period, Christianity and the teachings of Jesus became central to the identity of European individuals, who saw their religion as superior to those of foreigners that they believed to be primitive or barbaric.
This led to the colonial period of expansion that led to the Spanish and Portuguese Empires in Southern America and the Great British Empire all across the globe, which in some part was fueled by a divine belief that it was their responsibility to convert the natives of the world to the one true faith.
In short, the teachings of Jesus fundamentally changed the belief system, ethics, and attitudes of the European and later western people towards both others and themselves, making it one of the most important developments in human history.