SMC205H1F - Sept 29 Lecture

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University of Toronto St. George
St. Michael's College Courses
Giulio Silano

SMC205H1F Thursday September 29, 2011 Lecture #3 Fathers of the church- writers, end with = Augustine? 590-604 Gregory I – reflected on the faith when the Church was undivided but then later you had difficulties between Latin and Greek Church. Fathers are important to both Eastern and Western Church. We treat them differently than martyrs, some Fathers are also martyrs. We value them for their reflective function on mysteries of Christian life in way proven valuable and acceptable to undivided Church. Today where do they stand? Orthodox do worship them. Vs. Doctors of the Church – mostly all fathers included, some women – important, like the fathers but called different Vatican II – footnotes refer to supreme magistracies, rich references to fathers Relevance of fathers to other Christian traditions harder to assert – due to having a high church coming into being due to discovery of fathers, translation of them as part of our church – recent effort Evangelical Lutherans and Calvinists who elaborate – common ground of Christians? Question of unity… Question of the unity of the church is important – you have what you may call problem of heresy- from first page of reading- Clemens and trying to figure out heresies, problems Worrying about unity is an element of Christian experience! Is unity important? Continuity related? Why is division a problem? – The Christian Creed and what it professes about the Church – One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic… confession of faith still made today (mainstream) Pentecostal movement is massive but recent – Pope Benedict distinction Most missionary people do not pay attention to the father? – unity is important, given in the Creed/Scripture… cannot ignore it in the Gospels – Christ prays for unity of the Church, close to his passion - Scriptural reasoning for why unity Is important- Christ’s sighs Church weakened or strengthened? – so if crucial reason church exists is to testify to coming of god and Christ – is that message well survived or not by division of Christians- we can argue some divisions are justified, but division does not make for the appearance of conviction, so if you agree on what you preach, ineffectiveness if god is one, body of Christ should also be one, as it is not one, it does not seem to adequately reflect a compelling image of the divinity so if church is sign of god’s presence in history, lack of unity is a failure in way of fundamental function of church As you read the fathers, they seem to be scandalized and shocked by division st th 1 reading: Clement- the 5 successor of Peter in the Church of Rome, Pope. In tradition, Clement mentioned in list of people after peter in consecration of mass, he is a Roman.. Pope’s church as bishop of Rome, Church of St. Clement – Clements’ house: beautiful Basilica, 4 th century Basilica underneath the other, Roman streets, temple of martyrs, unique experience to go through layers, up from Coliseum, convenient place then to bring bones of martyrs Clement says you have no authority to do that, you as lay people cannot do that, problem of the question of the clergy present since end of first century – how clergy conveyed- issue from day 1 – letters showed roman church appeared to solicited preoccupations of state of other churches Bishop of Rome- writing to far away Church (Clement) - sorry we have not written sooner, because our obligation should have been to write sooner, then you would have no letters if Corinthians did not preserve them – preserved and handed down as important memorials and describes what it means to be a Christian – reveals what people thought it meant to be a Christian by end of first century Boniface VIII – clerics always hate each other, love church hates priest, Italian best way Most important thing Christians do after Baptism is participate in Eucharist, remembering Christ, eating flesh and drinking blood (once a charge) Clements interesting because – business of how do you use Old Testament to explain what you are doing now, what is done in Church fulfillment and continuity, language of clergy is old testament language of priesthood, clergy is necessary, old testament you have a tribe whose functions are to offer worship, no one else can replace them… priesthood – church worship, fulfillment of old priesthood and old temple, notion early said calendar to follow, things not spur of the moment, there is a distinction of functions/people, definition of when and where things done… 90s of first century- first calendar – important that there be a Christian calendar- Reform due to Jesuits observations and Gregory approved results Liturgical calendar divided by seasons, some feasts, then some feasts depend on those feasts – division 7 days given over to not working on Sabbath? Christians observe Sabbath on Sunday, first day of week, obligation to rest, then to worship, shifted to Lords day (Clements time) How does early Christian community situate self with Jewish antecedents? Question of Sabbath on first day? We understand the rationale Anonymous document- probably a Gentile Christian – Jewish convert? – first two thirds hardly in reference to Scripture but concluding fulfillment of Jewish scriptures – but we do not know for certain Clements- presents consensus of how you situate self- different vs. the same? Conflicted action… difficult to summarize Jewish experience- dismissive, judgement about where you are now is to be good and make sense of Jewish inheritance, all texts written in Greek, problems: Greek problems in a broad sense… the world in which Christianity is born was shaped and reshaped in fundamental ways by Alexander the Great- Creation of a culture where Greek experience way beyond Greek culture, moves to Asian component, North African, so everyone has some in common degree of Hellenism – Greek-ism in a sense… problems of educated person within this world surfaced… Apologists those who want to present and account for two people (Diocletian – most beautiful example of this kind of presentation, approach based on reason, irrationality of pagan worship, pagans know how irrational they are… some similarity with Socrates Monotheism, God known to you in Christ, Christ presented as touching faith and education – Christ saves by teaching you the good things, fruitful right things recognized by what you learned, recognized in education Replication to Judaism- what is best of paganism –more clear, sharper way – end of apostles Don’t share wives, children – criticisms in conviction that pagan will agree it is awful to not take fatherhood more greatly – Christianity as most fruitful, intelligent criticism… What cons
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