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Lecture

October 25 notes.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCO239
Professor
Angela Brkich
Semester
Fall

Description
Religious Studies, Lecture Notes, October 25 WESTERN CHRISTIANITY IN THE MIDDLE AGES - in this time, the church was focused on SACRIFICE. Jesus was understood as the primary sacrifice within the Catholic tradition. - Eucharist ritual relived this one-time Jesus sacrifice. Taking the Eucharist allows you to participate in salvation and ressurection. - two bogey mans: muslims from the outside, jews from within. - all the stories of Christ and everything he did and said had little bearing until relatively recently, it was only these rituals like baptism and eucharist that were really involved in Christianity. - transubstantiation: ritualized cannibalization of god. the ability to perform this eucharist transubstantiation trick gave the priests a huge amount of power. They had power over your afterlife, your soul. - someone can only be saved THROUGH the catholic church. You could be the best person in the world. Wouldn't matter. The symbol of the Vatican is three keys for this reason. - this lack of content (since church was in latin and the priests didn't even know and the only thing that really happened was the eucharist) gave rise to great apathy in the church. - this apathy gave rise to a tourism of (PILGRIMAGES) holy items called RELICS. Touching or seeing these would confer some kind of blessing or healing to you. It would cost money to see these things too. The churches that housed them would make a killing. - Another practice that developed at this time was the VENERATION OF SAINTS. Special folks who went straight to heaven (no purgatory). You can implore/honour these saints, pray near them (not to them), light candles for them, and you would ask these folks to help you. Like getting a lawyer to plead your case before God. - Parishoners had three jobs: PRAY, OBEY, & PAY. Saved. - Because Jesus still hadn't come back, a really detailed theology of what happens when you die started to develop: PURGATORY - essentially a weight station, a halfway point between heaven and hell. Unperfect Christians go there to burn off any sin left on them before they go to be judged. Dead babies went there too. Infant mortality rates were huge. This is where the tradition of infant baptism comes in. INDULGENCES - you could do good deeds on earth, perform certain rituals, PAY the priests to perform certain rituals, to expediate your dead relatives time in purgatory. CRUSADES - another way you could burn off some sin on Earth instead of in Purgatory was to go on a Crusade. - a series of pilgrimages or campaigns to the Holy Land, or Palestine, in order to reclaim places like Jerusalem from Muslim rule and return them to Christian rule. - Some land "reclaimed" between 1095 and 1291 - These Crusades weren't very successful. There were small enclaves won and a reestablished Kingdom of Jerusalem was around for then. - While the "target" were Muslims, Jews and Orthodox Christians also suffered. - you were doing God's work by killing your way through Eastern Europe and Palestine. - it was a land grab. Not missionary work. You killed sinners to put them out of their misery and save them from extra purgatory. - seems like it was quite brutal and wontonly destructive. - crusades began by Pope Urbain. - people were so terribly educated, they had no idea what they were doing. they just knew to kill folks that were different from them. that's pretty standard throughout history. - Interesting thing about crusades: Contact with the "east" brought back classical knowledge. - In this time we start to get the build up for the PROTESTANT REFORMATION. THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION - as this information filtered back from the east through crusaders returning slowly changed society. Literacy was going up, standard of living was going up. Generally speaking, folks were doing a little bit better. - printing press comes around in the 15th century. - Bible becomes much more widely available. - this gave the idea that the priests weren't the only ones with keys to salvation. priests start to lose their monopoly
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