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In Birth of a Worldview: Ancient Christianity in its Jewish and Pagan Context, Robert Doran attempts to analyze the growth of Christianity in the first phase of its formation and how it related to the Jewish as well as the ancestral (Roman) religions throughout its development in early times. The text begins with a historical outline of the development of the early Christian world and then delves into a theological evaluation in the latter portions. The development of the book mirrors the growth of Christianity itself, which was focused early on with finding ways to worship and expand the faith in a world that was very anti-Christian. When it was becoming more accepted throughout the world, Christian writing and idea about theological matters flourished as a result. The very first chapter, Christians and the Roman World, examines the historical development of Christianity in its first few hundred years of existence. Before Constantine, Christians were heavily persecuted by the Roman empire and martyrdom had been common. Non-Christian Romans saw the Christians as "bringing the displeasure and disfavor of the gods in their cities" (Doran 9.) This persecution became really intense during the third century since Rome was frequently at war and its emperors sought to improve their favour with the gods by denouncing those who did not believe in their gods. The emperor Decius, who ruled from 248 before 251, compelled Christians to offer animal sacrifices to the Roman gods for the well-being of the empire. While many of the wealthier Christians only offered bribes in place of this particular sacrifice, many of the poorer ones had no choice. From the year 313, Constantine subsequently issued the Edict of Milan which led in state acceptance of the C.. .