Think: What is religion? What is faith? Does faith differ from beliefs? What does it mean to be Christian?
“Christianity” is perhaps better imagined as a complex, fluid, and ever-changing
spectrum of often quite diverse practices, beliefs, and modes of being.
What do we know about social, religious, and historical circumstances in which Jesus lived?
Born in Judaea, during the rule of the Roman Empire (Augusta the first)
During turmoil, where the Jewish which was prominent in the region, was suffering due to loss of temples
According gospel, they showed as suffering and being lower end (Gospel of Mark)
But it was discovered, the area was rather high end scale of Sepharous
Jesus was a Jew
King of all Jews and not necessarily suffering community
Seen as the messiah, to bring the peace
So seen as symbol of hope
Jesus as more of son of man
Humanized and more historical correct gospel as he places more facts rather than exaggeration
Traveled with Paul and lived with Christian community
Jesus as a teacher, not just religious figure
Division between Jewish and Christians
Told Jesus story in a symbolic manner
Why Paul is sometimes called “founder” of Christianity? Is this a fair claim?
Paul move through Jewish spreading his beliefs- spreading word of Jesus
Paul argued that baptism could replace circumcision and this allowed gentiles to join the Jewish
Paul agreed in exchange to collect money from his community to support the church
Fundamental reason; took following Christ toward gentiles and not exclusively towards Jews
He didn’t think he was founding a new religion but just preaching and wait for Jesus resurrection
The religion of Christianity becomes a Gentiles movement A lot of Paul’s letters are found in the testament and others are attributed to Paul because he
The movement was able to spread due to the roads and ease of travel
Why is a Eucharistic (body and blood of Christ) (or “thanksgiving”) meal central to Christian practice?
Why is it often called a sacrificial meal?
Symbolic of him sacrificing himself for humanity so makes them drink his blood and think of
bread as flesh
Passover: Jewish celebration place the blood of the lamb on the door and the angel of death
passed over without killing the first born males, unless didn’t mark it with lamb’s blood
Jesus was celebrating Passover on last supper, but for Christian it is sacrifice as Jesus claimed
that someone at last supper would betray him
Judas: a disciple for money by giving away Jesus’ location to Roman guard
Christian becomes base of mass and tradition when you get to church
Christianity “Jesus-lamb of God” so saves them from death –day of Lent
Why is the “body” so important in Christianity? How did Christian ideas about death and the body
challenge prevailing non-Christian ideas in the Roman Empire?
Sins associated with body not soul
Christian view-the grave/body would be a point where heaven and earth connected while
Roman believed that would just move onto heaven or hell
Why early Christians would have celebrated Perpetua’s death;
How cult of the saints, as Brown describes, broke down the barrier between heaven and earth
According to the Gospels, Jesus instructed to go forth and “make disciples of all nations”. So why have
Christian often established communities set apart from the world?
How does lectio divina seem to be similar to, and yet different from the Orthodox practice of
hesychastic prayers? What seems the point of each practice?
Hesychastic: orthodox, based on the gospel of Mathew, getting rid of all thoughts and senses to
achieve an inner peace and be closer to God
Lectio divina: follows St. Beneict We
Why is Jerusalem so important to Chrisstians and what are some ways by which Christian have acquired
Can we call Christianity a Western religion?
What does it mean to say that Christianity is a missionary religion?
Jesus said to go and convert world into Christians
Christian missionaries, think about people going to convert the savages, but there is also more
Think about Paul-was able to expand Christianity beyond Judaism by being able to talk about
Christianity in context with their language, text, history, thinking so was more convincing
Before Paul, the resurrected Jesus talking to the 12 disciples and told them that all authority was
given to him and therefore go make all nations disciples
o Talks about his authority and then gives them a mission
Originated from Galilee must spread through Egypt and importance of Mark to Egypt
S Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Cario) built to honor this disciple and a way to be closer to Jesus
through his disciple
Look at first person that evangelized you and it was Mark for most of Egypt
Merchants (Venice) went to Alexandria and stole Mark’s body and built St. Marks on top of his
St. Thomas (went to India) Jesus told him to go to India even though he insisted that he was a
Hebrew and so first he refusesnext day the resurrected Jesus is walking around in the
Jerusalem and Thomas is sold as a slave to a rich Indian merchant that takes him back to India
This king in India tells him to build a palace and continues to give Thomas money to build him
the palace but as the King arrives he finds nothing
Thomas says that he was giving away the King’s money to the poor and building him a palace in
The king has a dream and is converted into Christianity
Christians in India during Antiquity and probably got there because of the spread of the Persian
Persian missionaries travelled to India so Christianity was there before Thomas ‘time
Missionaries made it to China, spread because spread using their language, words (terms taken
Can we call Christianity a Western Religion?
No because it has spread throughout the world and weren’t initially spread by Europeans But yes because there was a lot of influence
Standard story, Vasco da Gama was p