Church, Empire and Christian Orthodoxy
Making Sense: Student's Guide to Research and Writing: Religious Studies (Chapter 5)
1. What is the difference between theme and a thesis? What are some characteristics of effective theses?
Thesis: central idea, includes the theme and a stance on which people may disagree on
o Restricted - narrow to explore in depth
o Unified - controlling idea
o Precise - no vague terms
Theme: central idea
2. What is the "funnel approach" to essay writing?
Title -> opening introduction -> thesis at end -> body paragraph (weakest -> strongest) -> thesis reworded ->
generalize -> clincher
3. Why do Northey, et al recommend that every paper go through at least three drafts? What is the purpose of
Lets you look at the essay from different angles to improve and catch mistakes
1st draft (filter out ideas) -> 2nd draft (examine ideas) ->3rd (corrections/reversion)
The Catholic Church: A brief popular history (Chapter 4)
1. In what sense can Constantine be called a "Christian emperor"? What are some of the possible motives behind
his decision to give official support to the church? What specific form did this support take?
Christian Emperor: "beloved God" "receives and bears the image of Supreme Kingship"
o Funds and gifts - transfer money from pagan worship to churches (and seizing assets), giving land
o Exemptions - exempt priest and other church leaders from public service (legal cases to bishop court)
o Laws - restrict pagan worship; allow people move up ranks if Christian
o Calendar Changes - replace traditional Roman calender w. 7-day weeks and Sunday legal holiday
o Violence - violence against Christian people and churches are illegal
o Uniting the army when invading Maxentius at Milvian Bridge
o Maintaining his own power through shared beliefs
2. What were the main controversies behind the councils of Nicea in 325CE and Chalcedon in 451 CE? How were
these issues resolved?
Main controversy: Arius in Alexandria declared God was not always a father so Jesus is in the 'everything-else'
section -> Son was created out of nothing (greater after God) and born into Jesus's body
o Accepted by Eusebius of Casesarea
o Constaine reminded that Christ instructed to forgive..further argued
o Arian: homoouios - of the same substance and divinity (God and Jesus)
o Conclusion: Constantine threatened to exile if 17 did not sign => 2 stood ground and exiled
Main controversy: Council of Constantinople
o Many supporting Nestoriu's idea: Christ is not some hybrid- part God-human; he is both truly and fully
God and human (idea was not well received by some and started up the Nestorian church) 3. How was the tension between Church and State resolved differently by the Eastern and Western Churches?
West: pope recognized as supreme head
o Christ divine in same way as God but distinct (not like an angel or death no human-God relationship)
East: different groups centered on various patriarchal/national communities
o Plotinus The One (all good), the Mind (arise from one giving rationality), Soul (clay which becomes
General church problems: Churches dependent on state and followed them, leaders converted for pol't and