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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 Resources for Peace Oct 16.docx

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Religious Studies
Ann Pearson

Resources for Peace & Nonviolence in the textual traditions of Judaism and Christianity Oct.16/13 -Centrality of god in theAbrahamic religions/ He’s the creator of the universe (1) Judaism -The PatriarchAbraham – common to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Jewish Shema (literally “hear!”) -Deuteronomy 6:4, the “first commandment”: -“Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Bible: Genesis – foundational story -God’s Creation of the world, of all living things -Garden of Eden and the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil: represents beginning also of human beings’capacity for… -Making right choices is one of the Bible’s major themes Genesis: -People foul the earth with violence & corruption -God intervenes to destroy human society -Noah and the Flood -Tower of Babel → & confounding of human language Covenant (berith): Aform of binding contract between God and human beings (God sets out laws & guidance, in turn, humans who are party to the covenant are expected to obey). The Israelites were set apart by God, conferred with special responsibilities to carry (transmit and practice) God’s commandments God frequently intervenes in human history, even directs history—for God loves His creation and wishes to see it prosper Eschatology: Abelief or a doctrine concerning the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity, the Messiah, or Second Coming, or the Last Judgment. “Judaism is not about being better than other people, but it is about being good” [E. Wilcock, “Impossible Pacifism”] The Ten Commandments (conveyed to Moses): 1) You shall have no other gods before me 2) … The biblical prophets (Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.) Called on the Israelites to remember the Covenant with God Christian theologian Rosemary Ruether has said: “Prophetic faith denounces religious ideologies and systems that function to justify and sanctify the dominant, unjust social order”, an order which is portrayed as contrary to God’s will. Example: “You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts. … Seek good, not evil, that you may live. … Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD GodAlmighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph” [Amos, 5:11-15] Vision of Isaiah (2:4) “In the days to come… He [God] shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Rabbi Hillel the Elder, taught between 30 BCE and 10 CE Asked to summarize the Torah, he said: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour: that is the entire Torah; the rest is commentary; go and learn it.” Key Jewish teachings focus on: Unity and uniqueness of God (monotheism) Covenant Law Holiness (or sanctity), faith Obedience (to God) Righteousness (boiled down to kindness and chari
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