Lecture 14 November 5, 2009.doc

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St. Michael's College Courses
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Reid Locklin

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SMC103Y1 November 5, 2009 New Worlds and Rival Views Two Revolutions threaten Cathothcism th Intellectual Revolution (17 and 18 Centuries) There are two topics that cover the intellectual revolution; scientific, led by Sir Isaac Newton and philosophic, led by John Locke. Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687) introduces the ability to perceive the world through a mathematical sense such as calculus. John Locke’s Essay on Human Understanding (1690) also tries to prove the understanding of humanity. They believed religion was more of a subjective impression of humanity, and not an objective approval. As believers in God, they see God as a creator who does not act after creation and simply observes the world. Pre-Enlightenment demonstrates the commonality of all Christians, agreeing on terms of Divine authority and an ideal of Christendom or the unity of Church and State. Post-Enlightenment separates common grounds through ideas of critical rationalism and personal autonomy and religious toleration and secularism. The result of the Enlightenment results in an all-out attack on Christianity and replacing it with critical reason and science. The Christian God was replaced by the God of philosophers, and eventually with deism, agnosticism, or atheism. Authority is now invested in the secular state and secular university which replaces the church as the source of truth. Thus the church’s role as a moral guide was undermined by Enlightenment’s assertion of freedom and autonomy. The church is fearful that the world is being led away into areas of sin and error, and that their own salvation is at stake. The Enlightenment thinkers believe that the church is deliberately relying on superstitions to control the population. Political Revolutions (18 thand 19 th Centuries) There are formulations as to how society is to be run. The American Revolution (1776 -1783) does not worry the Pope as much, as the Protestant Colony is overseas and regarded a small amount of people. However the French Revolution (1789 – 1815) brings the challenge closer to Rome as it was a nearby European Catholic Kingdom. In 1789, all Church properties and resources were nationalized, forcibly taken by the state and assets liquidated by the state and no longer owned by the Church. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy of 1790 states that Catholic Priests in France must sign this constitution to agree that the primary control is to the state and not the Church. In 1792, all Catholic religious orders were repressed. From 1793 to 1794, “Reign of Terror” represents when a small group eradicates the remnants left of the Christian Society with violence and murder. Napoleon (1799 – 1815) decides to bring Catholocism back in order to unite the land and becomes the “tool of the State”, unable to act without Napoleon’s consent. The
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