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HIST 288
Emily O' Brien

Christian Culture I. ChristianWorship andPiety How did Christiansexperienceandexpressedtheir religion? What role did Christianity play in thelivesof believers? To what extent did theinstitutionsof theChurch regulateChristian experience? How did Christianity interlock with thevalues,structures,demandsandritualsof secular society? (i) TheChannelsof Christianity (a) The Sacraments − Major andprimary channel − Religiousceremony meant to represent outward sign of God’sinvisible grace − Becamefoundation for Medieval Christianity. − From word Sacramenta,meaning oath. Wasoriginally usedin secular context (for soldiers) but becamebondbetweenChristiansandGod − In thepastmartyrdom andasceticismwerewaysto becloserto Jesus. Cameto agreement that sacramentsstrengthenthat bond. − Wayto experienceGod andJesusmoredeeply –very important becauseChristianity is distinguishedby aclose,personal relationship with God sobondis extremely important. − Theologiansestablish that sacramentsareessential to salvation andonly clergy can administer them. This is important becauseit meansthat you NEED theinstitutional church to get to heavenandgivesthechurch andclergy areasonto exist. − Excommunicationmeansthat someoneis removedfrom thecommunity of theChurch. Interdict meansthat they arenot out of thecommunity but cannot participatein certain sacramentsor rites. • Meansexcludedfrom sacramentssothey could not bemarried, buried, christened etc. • Usedagainst hereticsasathreat or punishment (could excommunicateentire groups) • Somehereticsreject theclergy andthesacramentsandsostrike attheroot of the institutional church Sacraments − Baptism: washesoriginal sin away, which is why it’s soimportant to baptizebabies beforethey die − Confirmation: recognition of spiritual maturity andanointedto receivetheHoly spirit − ExtremeUnction: anointedwith Holy Spirit if sick or dying (canbeadministeredmore thanonce) − Ordination: for prieststo receivespecial doseof God’sgrace th − Marriage: dignified asasacrament in the13 century. Formerly celibacy wasthe highest goal. − TheEucharist (mass): central act of Christian worship according to Matthew 14:22-24 th (blood/body). Interpretation changedatthe4 Lateran Council with thedoctrineof transubstantiation. Thenew doctrinestatedthat theessenceof thebody andblood was in thebreadandwineandtransformedby thepriest in mass. Meansintensified experienceandstronger bondbecausehisblood andbody wereliterally apart of you. Becameasymbol for thepower of theclergy aspeoplewitnessamiracle. Tensionswith JewsevenmoreintenseastheEucharist becameavivid reminder of hisdeathandwho killed him (ThePassion of Christ). Put ondisplay for theAdorationoftheBlessed Sacrament andparadedaroundthetown. − Penance: Confessing sin, being absolvedby thepriest, andthengiven atask (satisfaction) to cureyour sole. After you areforgivenby thepriest, you still haveastain onyour sole. If you didn’t dopenanceonearth you neededto doit in Purgatory. Indulgencesmeant you could bereleasedfrom someof theneedto dogoodworksand penancein purgatory. After you die, peoplefrom earth could help you speedupprocess of purgatory by holding massanddoing gooddeeds.Indulgencescould alsobesold. − Sacramentscover all areasof life andall requirethepresenceof clergy andtheinstitution of thechurch. (b) TheIntercessors − Consideredlinksto theliving Christian God Saints − IncludedtheSaints(cult of) • Visible expressionsandmodelsof piety • Spiritual elite recognizedafter their deaths(martyrs) • Venerated, honored, andrespected. As areward for their holiness,Godgives themhonor andthushumansshould aswell. − Saints in heaven (in God’s presence) could act asintercessorswhen approachedthrough prayer/oaths/ritual to call onGod’spower − Why soimportant? • Jesusrepresentedasseparatedfrom you becausehewastoo high • Saintsweremoreaccessible ashumansandsoyou could call onthemfor all sortsof things • Ex. St. Lucy waspatron saintsfor eyesight, St. Elmo for intestinal cramps,and St. Margaret for pregnancy. • Also hadpatron saintsfor towns − At first saintsdeterminedby local public andin the12 century with interest in control, theprocesscameunder thePopewho called for investigation. − Mary
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