Prior to the majority of the world’s population taking the belief of the Judeo-Christian religions, a variety of pagan religions that centered on nature-oriented gods were the norm for most cultures throughout the world. Because many societies were largely agriculturally centered thousand of years ago, prior to the Roman Empire, people relied heavily on the different seasons and how they influenced production of crops. This caused people to worship nature and create gods and goddesses associated with nature. Often, the main figures were fertility goddesses, because they were the ones who were thought to control the fruitfulness of crops. Also, these goddesses had traits of gentleness and protectiveness, inspiring their worshipers to maintain the same characteristics in nature, which they held as sacred.
When Christianity took over during the rule of Constantine in the Roman Empire, paganism became illegal. Within 100 years of his rule, Christianity spread throughout Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa, and became the most popular religion in the world. Obviously, this would modify the perspectives of societies that transitioned to Christianity. God replaced the praised fertility goddess. Also, a hierarchy is sometimes referred to in the bible, which places men first, then women, children, nature, and animals last. For example, Colossians 3:18 states, “wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” Though the bible does not specifically state that God is male, it refers to him with male pronouns. In addition to this, God is often described with characteristics such as being all-powerful and jealous. This may have influenced societies that follow Christianity to value or justify transitions from agricultural states to military states.
It is difficult to fully understand the transition from pagan societies to Judeo-Christian, which influenced patriarchy, because different societies and tribes had their own unique set of ideals that fit each different cultural situation. However, a conclusion that pagan societies, which often worshiped nature and held the virtue of fertility in females as vital, can show that under paganism, women have held an understanding of the importance of respecting nature for thousands of years, while Christianity may have played a role in influencing a different means of prioritizing. From this, an emphasis on militarization and development may have occurred, leaving nature to be ignored.