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Chapter

Chirstianity


Department
Religion
Course Code
RLGA02H3
Professor
David Perley

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CHRISTIANITY
INTRODUCTION
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Palestine about 2000 years ago
To declare Jesus lord and saviour of the world is to identify ones self as Christian; to
understand this is crucial for understanding Christianity
It is a tradition that involves a commitment of faith expressed in conduct
Some Christians share the joy of their holidays and its messages of peace, etc. la la la
with their neighbours and visitors, but others ostracize non-Christians as resistant
outsiders
The name Christmas means the mass of Christ... and it is a blend of the religious
and cultural
oEvergreen trees (German roots)
oHolly and Mistletoe (British roots)
oYule Log and Reindeer (Scandinavian)
oSt. Nicolas of Myra was a saint of sailors in Turkey before being gradually
transformed into the jolly gift-giving dude
***To understand Christianity, you need to dig into the regioinal and historical
circumstances in the lands where it developed and evolved
The mass (also called eucharist) is Christianitys central rite, a symbolic meal that
recalls the self-sacrifice of Jesus
They also celebrate Easter as a central rite, commemorating the rise of Jesus from
the dead, understanding it to be a confirmation of his divinity
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Christianity spent three centuries as a minority movement prior to being established
as the dominant religion of any state
In modern society Christianity faces issues with secularism and increases of
pluralism
oWithin what classical Christianity has claimed as the sphere of religion,
Christianity is losing its monopoly
It became an independent, new religion in the first century CE; an established
imperial religion in the fourth century CE
3 Greatest Missionary Religions: CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM, BUDDHISM
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THE GOSPELS AND JESUS (P.203)
In the accounts of Jesus (called Gospels) Jesus performs many miracles
oThese miracles were very impressive to people throughout history
oIn modern times, they can be a barrier raising scepticism
When Christians in the 6th century devised a calendar dating from his birth, they
made an error in calculationthus, Jesus was born around 4 BCE
According to the textbook:
He grew up learning his fathers trade of carpentry in the Palestinian town of
Nazareth
At age 30 he began to proclaim religious teachings and attract a following
At 33, he was arrested after going to Jerusalem and was eventually executed by
being nailed to a cross
The New Testament is a library of a few books and letters, including the four gospels
that are attributed to four different authors and were widely accepted in
Christendom
These gospels (and others not included in the Bible) were written in the late 1st and
early 2nd century after Jesus.
When analyzing these gospels one must understand that each one has an individual
or group of authors with particular interpretations and intended audiences
Gospel of Mark:
oIt is the simplest and most-straightforward; neither confirms nor denies that
Jesus is the long-awaited king
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