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RLG203H5 Study Guide - Winter 2019, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Zeus, Whore Of Babylon, Time


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG203H5
Professor
Kyle Smith
Study Guide
Midterm

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RLG203H5

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Jan 17 Week 1: intro to Christianity
This Week's Guiding Questions
What is religion? What is faith? Does
faith
differ from
belief
? What does it mean to
be
a
Christian?
This Week's Blurb
Consider these video clips of two very different sorts of Christians:
Here, in the first clip (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., an elderly man
from a monastery in British Columbia discusses the Eastern Orthodox spiritual tradition
called
hesychasm
. This is a form of quiet, inner prayer focused on the repetition of the
Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.”
But here, in the second clip (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., you’ll find
a brief report about a strange variety of Pentecostal Christians in the Appalachian
Mountains of the southern United States. Their form of prayer could not be more
different from that described by the monk. Rather than prayerfully meditate, these
Christians shout and dance, speak “in tongues,” drink poison, and even hold venomous
snakes with their bare hands.
I’ll bet that most of you have probably never heard of either
hesychasm
or snake-
handling Christians. They are certainly not the norm among Christians worldwide. Very
few Christians lead a monastic life of seclusion, celibacy, and quiet prayer, and fewer still
believe that their faith requires them to lift up rattlesnakes! Yet, even though they’re far
from typical, these two groups of Christians do raise a perplexing question for us as we
begin this course: if Christians can be as different from one another as monks are from
snake handlers, then what does it mean to “be” a Christian?
Many of you probably have a sense that Christianity is “a” religion (that is, one among
dozens of others) that can be packaged and explained just as “chemistry” or
“nineteenth-century Russian history” can be circumscribed and defined as a discrete
body of knowledge. Indeed, you’ve just begun a course that will supposedly introduce
you to this thing called “Christianity.” What I hope the first week’s lecture and these two
video clips will impress upon you, however, is that this will
not
be a course about clear
definitions. Nor will it be a course introducing you to the history of a static, monolithic,
and singular religion that began two thousand years ago with a personality cult
centered around a Jewish peasant called Jesus and has marched along through the
centuries up to the present day. “Christianity” is better understood less as one religion
and more as a highly complex, fluid, and ever-changing spectrum of often quite
radically diverse practices, beliefs, and modes of being.
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At this point you might be saying to yourself: “But, hang on a minute! If you’re saying
that Christianity is this heterogeneous range of things and people, then what holds it all
together? What’s at Christianity’s core? If Christians can be as different from one
another as monks and snake handlers, then where’s the borderline, where’s the edge or
limit, at which Christianity stops and something else begins? How are we supposed to
know who ‘counts’ as a Christian and who doesn’t?”
Those are excellent questions!
We’ll be thinking about them a lot throughout this course. I encourage you to start
coming up with some answers of your own, or at least to start thinking about how we
might approach answering them.
Online Lec
Isidore issac rabi won Nobel prize, physics
Break assumptions
Analysis break something up, loosen things up/break things into smaller pieces
31.5% are Christians, but not all are from same denomination
Approximately 38000 Christian denominations
Catholic (1200 mil), orthodox (312), Anglican (82), protestant, others
Catholic essentially mean Roman catholic, but there are other kinds (different liturgy,
hierarchy)
Ibrahim issac sidrak = Coptic catholic patriarch of Alexandria (Egypt)
Armenian, Ethiopian catholics
Moby dick church, whale ate Jonah. References that draw on Christians
The brothers Karamazov
Dmitiri: sensualist and drunkard
Ivan: philosopher and atheist
Alexei: saint and orthodox monk, youngest
Orthodox monestary. Jesus’ return to earth and why God isn’t necessary. Ivan questions
possibility of benevolent God.
Jan van eyck: the ghent altarpiece
Mary, God the father, John the Baptist, Adam and eve, martyrs. Adoration of the lamb on the
bottom
Monuments men film art hidden by Nazis.
Lamb being worshipped on altar, bleeding in cup. Octagonal fountain. Lots of symbolism
Johnny cash ‘the man comes around’ = 4 beasts, etc.
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“Christianity has been so culturally pervasive in human history that people today are heavily
influenced by it, even when they’re unaware of the ways it has entered into their lives” Phillip
Kennedy, Christianity an introduction
Don’t have to look at art and music to appreciate or see Christianity, just have to look
around
U of T deeply christian
Catholic funded by government but not others
Toronto catholic district school board emblem represents faith, hope, love/charity. Cross, heart,
and anchor
The dominion of Canada: he shall have dominion from sea to sea, also used in Amari ad mare
emblem. Union jack,
Crossed top crown = authority of Queen
Supreme governor of church of England = on 20 dollar bill
Blue jays, Encarnacion = reincarnation
Christianity everywhere we look. Not originated from Western world
Christianity arrived to India via European missionaries not true, not first Christians in India.
Arrived in 15th cent., Christians were already there
Christians got there by trade routes, by living in northern Iraq. Got there in antiquity in India.
Nothing to do with European colonialism
Indian Christians who use Syriac Mar Thoma/ St. Thomas or ‘Nasrani” Christians
Came to India in 1st century and evangelized people there
Didn’t pray in latin
Arabic letter ‘nun’ marking ‘n’ for a ‘nasrani’ (Christian) house
Christians being in Iraq for centuries, expanded to India, but now only few in community
remain
Many immigrated to North America
20th and 21st cent, iraqees come to North America
Before, they went to China
Flaming pearl: Christianity fundamental, represents wisdom, used in Syriac Christianity
Dragons = symbolic of devil
Christianity flourished in Europe 68%, North America 14%, Asia 8%, South America 5%, Africa
4%
In 1900s, over 80% of Christians from the West
In 2010, 26% Europe, 24% South America, 19% Africa, 17% Asia, 13% North America
Christians rapidly declining in West, but rapidly increasing every where else. Most Christians in
South America, Africa, Asia now
29% of South Koreans were Christian in 2010, including members of the worlds largest
Pentecostal church
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