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It has been a long journey that dated back almost two years ago in April of 2013 when we first started reading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. And now we have come to its conclusion.
Please read the remainder of Chapter 25, the last chapter of the book, where we will cover: A Cultural Revolution from the Sixties, Old-Time Affirmations, and Freedom: Prospects and Fears.
Next week we will be covering the final chapter of MacCulloch’s book, Chapter 25. Please read the first two sections, The Second Vatican Council: Half a Revolution and Catholics, Protestants and Liberation, and answer one of the following questions:
We’re still alive! Trust me.
We were on hiatus because everyone’s schedule seemed quite packed last month, but we’re itching to come back.
Next Wednesday, we’ll finish up with the last three sections of Chapter 22: British Protestantism and the Oxford Movement, Orthodoxy: Russia and Ottoman Decay, Masters of Suspicion: Geology, Biblical Criticism and Atheism.
Please write a one page summary of one of the following questions:
- Describe the aims of the ‘Oxford Movement’ during the 1830s in England. What were its aims? Who were the Tractarians? What was the relationship between the Church of England and the State like at this time? What was John Henry Newman’s role during this period? And what were their fears about the Roman Catholic Church?
- Discuss the relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Orthodox Church (especially the Russian Orthodox Church) after the Russo-Turkish War of 1768 – 74. Why did the Russian Church tolerate the tsar’s tight control over the Church? How did Jews and Greek Catholics fair during the ‘Holy Alliance’ formed by Tsar Alexander in 1815? Why was the ‘Holy Alliance’ formed in the first place?
- Describe the role the Russian Orthodox Church played in the independence of Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire. How was the Ottoman Empire affected afterwards, especially the Ottoman rulers’ pursuit of Tanzimat?
- Discuss the impact of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution by natural selection. How did his books, On the Orgin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871), change how humankind was looked upon versus the biblical view of humankind? How are Darwin and his theory tied with his role in the anti-slavery/abolitionist movement? How did the relatively new science of geology change the perception of the Bible?
- Describe the rise of biblical criticism during the 19th century. Discuss the works of pastors and missionaries, like David Strauss and Albert Schweitzer, in their quests for the ‘historical Jesus’. How did perceptions of the Bible change because of higher criticism?
- Discuss the development of ‘Fundamentalism’ during the 1870s. What was it a reaction against? How and why did it form? How did it get its name? Discuss the roles Ira Sankey and D. L. Moody played in its rise. What are the central tenets of Fundamentalism?
- Discuss the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Describe his ‘God is dead’ philosophy. Discuss how his Lutheran upbringing molded some aspects of his anti-Christian rhetoric.
Hope to see everyone next Wednesday.
Next Sunday, June 1 we will finish Chapter 17 by discussing the final two sections: Reformed Protestants, Confessionalization and Toleration (1560 – 1660) and Reformation Crises: The Thirty Years War and Britain.
Please write on one of the following topics:
- Discuss how Reformed Christianity/Reformed Protestantism triggered revolutions throughout Europe, especially the Netherlands, Scotland, and France during the 1560s. Why was this so?
- What was “confessionalization“? How did this affect Catholicism in Europe?
- Discuss the open toleration of other forms of Christianity, like the Anti-Trinitarians (i.e. ‘Socians’), in places like Transylvania and Poland-Lithuania.
- Discuss the background of the events leading up to the conquest of the kingdom of Bohemia by the Habsburg dynasty. How did Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand’s dismantling of Protestantism affect European politics and religion – especially between Protestants and Catholics?
- Discuss the theology of Dutch Reformed academic and theologian Jacob Arminius during the 1600’s.
- Discuss the importance and development of the King James Bible in 1611.
- Discuss how the policies of King Charles I and Archbishop of Canterbury Laud affected the Scottish and Irish churches. What were the effects of the English Civil War in 1642? How did the term “Anglican” arise from this time in English history?
Please submit your essays by Saturday, May 31.