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RLG203 (Mar 4, 2013).docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Kyle Smith

RLG203 Lecture - Telekinesis “Look at the East” - Of Gods and Men o About Christians and Muslims o Look at the prompt before you watch it so you know what you’re looking for in the movie - Essay 2 o First, what is the Holy Land Experience?  Theme park that attempts to “recreate” Jerusalem  Attempt to be a 1 century type of Jerusalem instead of the modern one  Purpose of this is to educate about the Bible and what is happening during the life of Jesus or what is happening in the gospels  Different than a shrine because most people are not going there to pray  Not associated with Disneyworld o Second, why does Wharton refer to the Holy Land Experience as a “spectacle” and insist that it is not a relic, not a replica, and not even a reproduction of Jerusalem?  Performance that demands attention but refuses reciprocity; one sided  Ex. Sporting event: as a fan, you are not expected to be physically involved in the event, but just watching it; you don’t need to reciprocate with any actions but just give them the attention  The danger in Jerusalem and the Holy Land experience may also be dangerous  Being told what things are and not really experiencing it yourself; you may not be aware of it  Education towards a religious end, not just through a historical perspective, but also through missionary purposes (evangelizing)  Trying to make it old  Making it theatrical and make the Bible come alive  Specific truths and specific means othChristianity being displayed  Garden Tomb in Jerusalem created in the 19 century that is disconnected with the catholic orthodox churches but for the protestants  Similarly in the Holy Land experience, there’s a “replica” of the Garden tomb, so it tells you what perspective the people who created it are coming from  Wharton denies the Holy Land Experience as a replica because there’s no practical action o Relics  Original  Souvenirs are not relics, has to have direct connection with the Holy  Spiritual connection  Relics and souvenirs are in ways trying to possess Jerusalem  Pieces of wood from the original cross, people would believe it is a relic o Replica  Represents displacement  Recognizably a reproduction of what it represents  Imperfectly separates the material and the spiritual  Action: Acts practically o In part 2 of your essay, you should consider how Wharton distinguishes between the Holy Land experience and the Holy Sepulchre? What’s the difference? What might visitors expect of each place?  Heterogeneous vs. Unitary  Free vs. Charged  Different sects vs. One religious view  Marks and history are there vs. Cleanliness of theme parks o In part 3, think about how the Holy Land experience is one of the recent ways of re- fabricating Jerusalem and re-imagining the city for a particular audience. To do this, look closely at Wharton’s discussion of how Ronald Storrs sought to “re-model” Jerusalem. Is the Holy Land experience a model of the city that was actually attempted by Storrs? Is the remodeling by Storrs comparable to the “model” that is the Holy Land Experience? Why or why not? - Ottoman Clock Tower in Jerusalem o Storrs knocked down this tower o He was trying to make the whole city feel old and so he wants to get rid of all the new architecture o Jerusalem shouldn’t look new and should feel like the first century o The whole point of Ronald Storrs project of remodeling Jerusalem - Royal Mecca clock tower in Saudi Arabia o Holiest place in Islam o Making it much bigger and more technological advanced o Not everyone has the same idea of how the Holy city should look like - What does it mean to say that Christianity is a “missionary” religion? o Missionary: come from old Latin term meaning “to send forth” o Paul as a Roman citizen, using the Roman roads and preaching to the non-Jews  Speaking Greek and knowing Greek philosophy and history and then convincing the Greeks and conveying the message of the Messiah o Matthew 28: 16-20  Resurrected Jesus  Go and make disciples of all nations o Teach ye all nations. Teaching them whatsoever I have commanded you - Map of the Gospels and the spreading o Mark’s gospel in Rome and also in Egypt o St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Cairo)  The lineage of Mark’s influence o St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy - The “St. Thomas” Christians of India o They hold up Thomas as the disciple who brought the gospel to India o Third century texts that is narrated by Thomas  Talks about Jesus selling Thomas as a slave to an Indian merchant in Jerusalem  Doesn’t seem realistic but still have ancient roots o Syriac speaking Christians who has established churches in modern Iraq and there are trading networks as far as India, so it’s not surprising that there were Syriac speaking Christian that also went to India - Nestorian Stele, 781 CE o Limestone tablet composed by Jingjing the monk o Christianity present in China o Talking about Christianity in Taoist terms - Mesopotamian Christians of Sasanian Persia o Christianity never became the empire of the state o Muslim took over as the majority while Christians were always living as the minority - Assyrian Church in Toronto; Iraqi people - Christians in the Mideast o Number of Christians are dwindling in the middle east o Lebanon is heavily Christian (35%) - Can we call Christianity a “Western” religion? o Yes in a sense that the importance of Christianity in the west in history o Also absolutely not, because the origin was not in the west, and there were a spread of Christianity to other regions that were not influenced by Western missionaries - Explorers from the 16 century o Vasco da Gama: Passage to India (1497-98)  Major motivation: economical and spice route  Secondary motivation: religious motivation, find Prester John  Mythical quest to find a strong Christian kingdom in India  Forming an alliance to unite Christianity o Persuasive Christian symbols in Brazilian soccer jersey o A myth of King David in India that may be a grandson of Prester John  It was actually Genghis Khan who was making a movement and what they were
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