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HIST 2260 (22)

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HIST 2260
Norman Smith

HIST 2260*DE – Unit 1 Summary THEMES IN T HISC OURSE  ‘Dis-integration’ o Important theme in modern western society, more usually labeled secularization (or sometimes ‘de-Christianization’, especially in French-speaking world  Church and State o Ongoing dance between organized religion and structures of state (government, bureaucracy, schools, etc.). Involves comparison between different nations  The ‘Other’ o How religion interacts with those who are culturally, religiously, ethnically different than a dominant religion. Found most obviously when Europeans come into contact with indigenous cultures in North America; also seen in interactions between ethnic groups - in Europe and in North America after European settlement. INTRODUCTION  Modern world began approximately in 15th century —in mid to late 1400s. Modern world often dated to introduction of printing technology to western Europe in 1450s  Root of word ‘religion’ is uncertain, seems to be Latin verb ‘religare’ (‘to tie or fasten together’) o English word comes from verb indicative of essence of religion, which is an activity: something one does. Religion for much of human history referred to public practice of communal rituals which tied society together, usually around a belief in some supernatural force or essence o In Western terms religion has always meant specific systems of belief, regularized in institutions, with rules for membership, ritual practices, and leadership structures, but also encompassing spirituality at its core  Look at two aspects: religio and spiritus —  Religio - formal, organized, institutional face of religion  Spritus - individual experience of spirituality, occurs within these religions  Society - understood in cultural terms as practices and beliefs of humanity living in community o Look at relationship between religion and government, religion and ethnicity, religion and class/social orders, religion and contact with other cultures, religion and war, religion and a sense of local community, and more. SETTING THE STAGE : TRADITIONAL R ELIGION, A BRIEFH ISTORY  Christian movement grew gradually, and was persecuted occasionally because often refused to take part in public religious rituals that Romans considered essential o Spread first among poor, various outsiders, and women - began to spread to military, and civil service of Rome o By 313, Christianity embraced by emperors and officially tolerated – became official religion of Roman Empire o BY late 300s, Rome began to decline, especially in Western provinces (Italy, western North Africa, Spain, France, Britain). Christian bishops took on more admin authority in regions as secular admin fell apart o Eastern provinces ruled from city of Constantinople (Istanbul), with own ‘Roman’ emperor (official name = New Rome). Christianity remained part of empire until fall in 1453  In West, Bishop of Rom (Pope) only remaining central power – power of moral persuasion and memory of authority o Small central Italian state governed by Popes, usually knocked about by powerful military states surrounding it o Pope aligned themselves with whatever power was strongest in each era. In 600s, eastern Empire re-conquered large parts of Italy, so Popes looked to emperors at Constantinople. Different tribes controlled Italy for a while, until rise of Charlemagne in Germany by 800. o When Charlemagne died, Popes allied themselves with rising power, Franks who controlled most of modern-day France  Beginning of Catholic France o By 1500, Eastern Europe dominated by Islam, as was North Africa. Christians there existed in degree of peace and security, but as second-class citizens in Muslim lands. o West divided into regions dominated by monarchies — not yet places with sense of nationality as today. Existed beginnings of England, France, Spain, but Germany divided into hundreds of independent states  All residents thought themselves as Christendom – spiritual and psychological construct with no/little political reality The World of 1500 – or at least, Western Europe  By 1500, western Europe recognizable to us, but Germany and Italy not united nation-states but collections of smaller countries speaking same language (often with different dialects) o Virtually all people in Western and Northern Europe were Roman Catholic  Small, often persecuted communities of Jews within area, and varieties of Christians elsewhere in world: in Russia, and Greece, Turkey and Middle East, were Eastern Orthodox Christians; farther east in Iraq, Iran, India and to south in Africa were other varieties of Christian  Isolated through political and cultural change from each other and from Western Catholic Christians o Much later, with European
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