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UPDATE: Chapter 7: “Ethical Proposals and Conclusion” – Part I

 

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Can we treat animals we raise for consumption, like chickens, cattle, and turkeys, like we do our pet cats and dogs?

 

We’re coming to the end of Christopher Southgate’s The Groaning of CreationHere are our essays for Chapter 7.

 

 

“Groaning of Creation” – Chapter 6: “The Call of Humanity” – Part I

 

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The Orthodox Church has differing views of theology in contrast with the Western Church.

 

Yes, it’s been a while since we last updated, but we just completed the first half of Chapter 6: “The Call of Humanity”.

 

Here are our essays.

 

 

UPDATE: The Groaning of Creation – Chapter 5 – Part II

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Will predators continue to hunt prey in the new creation?

We finish up Chapter 5 of Christopher Southgate’s The Groaning of Creation.

One of the things that our group has learned, especially in this chapter, is how theology can be so speculative.  This proves to be true when dealing with a possible afterlife of animals.  This in turn transfers over to the speculative nature of what happens after death for humans as well.  In other words, there’s a whole lot of guessing and head-scratching involved, and including animals into the mix complicates it way more.

In Christian tradition or theology, it seems someone clear-cut as to what happens after death since we rely heavily upon the Bible as to what happens.  However, when you dig deeper, you will see that it is not so clear-cut as you would’ve liked it to have been.  For instance, early in the Old Testament there was a belief that all living souls went to an under-realm for the dead called “Sheol” which was very different from more popular understandings of heaven or the afterlife.  A post-mortem existence and possible afterlife and a resurrection of the dead appears in the post-exilic portion of the Old Testament (the book of Daniel in particular) that is further developed first by the writings of Paul and then the later gospel writings to varying degrees.

In other words, the Bible carries within it multiple views of what happens after death.  Even sparser or non-existent are what happens to animals after death.

Here are our essays related to these topics.

 

 

The Groaning of Creation: Chapter 5 – Part II

 

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What will the predator and prey relationship be like in the new earth?  Will we all become vegetarians?  Will there be any need for food sources?

 

We will finish Chapter 5 of The Groaning of Creation.

 

Please answer one of the following questions:

 

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UPDATE: The Groaning of Creation: Chapter 5 – “Heaven for Pelicans? Eschatological Considerations – Part I

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God’s covenant with animals.

 

This past Sunday we completed the first half of Chapter 5 of Christopher Southgate’s The Groaning of Creation.

 

Here are our essays.

 

UPDATE: “Confessions”: Book IX – Chapters 7 – 13

Clergymen bow and touch relics of Lebanese St. Rafqa as they are displayed for visitors on Nov. 6, 2014, at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Easton.

 

Today, we concluded the autobiographical portion of Augustine’s Confessions.  Most colleges courses covering this book would normally stop here, but we will continue with the rest of the books.

It is interesting, as one person put it, that when he went seminary in his late 30’s, he was surrounded by young 20-year olds straight out of college.  When it came to reading Augustine’s Confessions, many of the young people found it a bit boring and less applicable; however, the handful of older people in the class felt a deeper connection while reading the book because they went through the same struggles, experiences, and questions as Augustine had but afraid to share them with others.  So I guess when you re-read Confessions later on in your life, the deeper the connection you feel with Augustine.

We discussed whether or not traditional “biblical” gender roles still apply till this day, as well as how Protestants uphold the doctrine of Sola Scriptura  and some problems it has in today’s context; the use and abuse of relics in the Church in history; Augustine’s Neoplatonic view of the afterlife after his vision or epiphany with his mother Monica; and Mike (not written here) talked about whether or not salvation was conditional or unconditional – the Bible seems ambivalent in some respects with the issue.

Our essays can be found here.

 

 

“Confessions” – Book IX: Chapters 7 – 13

Death of St. Monica
(scene 13, south wall), 1464 – 65, Benozzo Gozzoli (c. 1421 – 1497), fresco, Apsidal chapel, Sant’Agostino, San Gimignano

 

We conclude Book IX of Confessions as Augustine describes his time in the seaport of Ostia, near Rome, around 387 AD.

 

He had been baptized in the spring and headed south in the summer with a small company of friends and family.  They had intended to return to Africa and form a community for prayer, study, and the service of God.  But when they arrived, the Mediterranean Sea was sealed off as both the Eastern and Western emperors fought one another and the usurper Maximus.

 

Here, in the latter half of the book, he recounts his last memories of his mother Monica.

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UPDATE: “Confessions” – Book IX: Chapters 1 – 6

 

Here are our essays for the first half of Book IX of the Confessions.

We covered the role emotions play to religious and spiritual practices; how conversion changes our view of others and the world around us; the use and place of the Bible in a believer’s life; and whether or not non-believers will be rewarded for good works in the afterlife.

 

 

“Confessions” – Book IX: Chapters 1 – 6

Baptism of St. Augustine of Hippo, from a fresco cycle of the Life of St. Augustine, 1465 by Benozzo De Lesse Gozzoli, c. 1420 – 97, Italian

 

 

For this Sunday we will cover Book IX  Chapters 1 – 6 of Confessions.

 

In this book he ties up his autobiographical story by telling the aftermath of his conversion, in particular, the events leading up to his baptism.

 

He describes his stay in the fall and winter months of 386 at the country estate of his friend Vercundus at Cassiciacum near Milan.  This provided Augustine and his friends a quiet place of withdrawal as they prepared for baptism that coming Easter. While there, Augustine wrote a series of dialogues based on the conversations he was having with his friends there.  These writings (On the Happy Life, Against the Academics, On Order, Soliloquies) show that he was working out some of the solutions to his theological problems.

 

By the end of Chapter 6, he, along with his son Aeodatus and friend Alypius get baptized together.

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Confessions: Book VI – Chapters 9 – 16

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“Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife”, Carlo Cignani (Italian, 1628 – 1719)

We will finish Book VI of Confessions, where Augustine deals with issues of the pursuit of truth, his struggles with lust, the afterlife, and final judgment.

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