RS 110 Module 08.docx

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University of Waterloo
Religious Studies
RS 110
Peter Frick

RS 110 Module 08 The Christian Liturgical Year − Many Christian traditions are adopted and modified pagan celebrations − These are symbolic expressions − Advent is the beginning of the Christian Liturgical Year o Celebration of the coming of Christ; the waiting period o 4 Sundays before Christmas, occurs in December o Often candles are lit − December 25: Christmas o Celebration of the birth of the incarnation of God (Christ) − January 6: Epiphany o Remembrance of when Jesus was visited by the 3 Magi o Celebrated mostly in Eastern Orthodox traditions − 7 Weeks Prior to Easter: Lent o 50 or 49 days o Many Christians make this a serious time to correct their relationships with fellow human beings o Many Christians choose to abstain or fast o This leads up to Good Friday − April: Good Friday and Easter Sunday o Good Friday  The day that Jesus was crucified  Abstain from work, contemplate on the fact that God gave His Son for the salvation of humanity  Occurs right after Lent o Easter Sunday  Celebration of the resurrection − 50 Days After Easter: Pentecost o Celebration of the coming of God's Spirit o The beginning of the Christian Church The Practice of the Christian Faith − Christianity does not have as many required expressions of faith as Islam or − Judaism − Most denominations celebrate two basic expressions of faith o Baptism o Communion − Importance placed on practices depend on understanding of sacrament − Some (anabaptist) would not even use the word 'sacrament' − Being baptized or receiving communion: is it symbolic or is there a power at work? o Is it a sign or a symbol? o Do the actions signify something occurring? Sacraments − Sacraments are visible signs of God's invisible Grace o Protestant Churches Recognize 2 o RCC Recognizes 7 − Divine mysteries; something that occurs due to the divine power of God − If God's grace is symbolic, a person may respond − If it's signification, a sign, then the act in itself will bring about a particular result − Example: Baptism o Aperson is baptized once in their lifetime  Washing is a symbol of a new life  Either as a Child orAdult  Child; Grace leads to faith (sign)  Adult; Faith acknowledges grace (symbol) o More on the 'vertical' plane o You could argue that the sign is theocentric  Movement is from God to Man o The adult acknowledgement is anthropocentric  Movement is from Man to God − Example: Lord's Supper/Eucharist/Communion o Occurs often over a Christian's life o Roots in the Celebration of Passover  Jesus was celebrating Passover with his disciples right before his crucifixion  "This is my body, this is my blood" - what did Jesus mean? o Celebration aims for the confession of sins, repentance, and forgiveness o Renewing and redeeming of relationships within the community  More on the 'horizontal' plane − Is the Body and Blood trans-substantiation or con-substantiation? o Trans-substantiation: Bread and Wine are the actual body and blood of Christ  Held by the RCC o Con-substantiation  There is no total change of elements  Bread/wine is just bread and wine, but they represent the body and blood of Jesus  Held by Protestants SocialAwareness − Christian faith deeply embedded in emerging western culture o Emphasis on rationality and enlightenment − Awareness that Christian faith addresses many social issues William Wilberforce − From England − Realized that slavery went agains Jesus's teachings − Devoted life to abolishing slavery in England − 1789: first speech to British Parliament o 1789 - 1989 was the 'modern period' of the western world o There was a new emphasis on the development of human rights − Every year he would give a speech condemning slavery without success − Became very discouraged; read a letter from Jon Wesley and was very encouraged o Wesley was a preacher who spoke against slavery in the USA − Died three days after England officially abolished the slave trade (1833) The Rise of Science and Democracy − 1789; Enlightenment is a persons conquering of the self-inflicted state of rational immaturity o Written by Immanuel Kent regarding the Enlightenment o Simultaneously, French Revolution, William Wilberforce's first speech − Art, Literature, Culture developed within this context − The Rise of Science; geocentric to heliocentric worldview o First articulated by Copernicus and reiterated by Galileo o RCC accused Galileo of misconstruingAristotelian philosophy − Rise of Democracy o TheAmerican Revolution  Franklin, Jefferson were both Deists and rationalists shaped by enlightenment principles  Fully believed in the power of the mind; rationality over the supernatural o The French Revolution  Ideals of humanity; Liberty, equality, human rights  Religion was not held onto at all Te
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