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Chapter 24: Not Peace but a Sword (1913-60) – Part I
Happy New Year!
For our first meeting of 2015 for next week, please read the first three sections of Chapter 24: A War That Killed Christendom (1914-18); Great Britain: The Last Years of Christian Empire; Catholics and Christ the King: The Second Age of Catholic Missions.
Please answer one of the following questions:
Chapter 21: Enlightenment: Ally or Enemy? (1492 – 1815) – Part II (1650 – 1750)
For our next meeting on Tuesday, August 26, please read the next three sections of Chapter 21: Social Watersheds in the Netherlands and England (1650 – 1750), Gender Roles in the Enlightenment, and Enlightenment in the Eighteenth Century.
UPDATE: Chapter 17: A House Divided (1517 – 1660) Part III – Confessionalization, the Trinity, the Habsburg Empire and Bohemia
We have concluded Chapter 17 and here are our submissions.
We had an interesting discussion on the validity of the doctrine of the Trinity, mostly around the question whether or not the Holy Spirit was a person or just a description of the power of God. Even defining the word “person” is quite difficult when you come to think of it.
Again, we discussed how religious conflicts, especially the ones triggered by the Reformation and Calvinism in particular, across Europe could be indicative of the “true” or “invisible” church; in other words, how can we reconcile all the religious wars throughout history, purportedly fought for in the name of Christ, with the Christian message? Can it be reconciled given the fact all the Christian vs. Christian violence that has happened throughout history?
There’s a tendency by some to attribute “spiritual” or Satan into the mix as a cause of all this violence amongst Christians, but I doubt serious historians would ever accept such a reason- not just because most would find that silly, but also most would find it to be a rather naive and easy-way of thinking about such things without analyzing and critically thinking about all the factors involved.
There’s a trend you see throughout history, even beginning with the early church, where the greatest enemy of Christianity were Christians themselves.
Chapter 17: Reformed Protestants and Reformation Crises (1560 – 1660)
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.
Time-lapse History of Europe and the Middle East in the Last 1000 Years, Emergence, and Divine Sovereignty
I came across this rather interesting time-lapse map of Europe, Western Russia, and present-day Turkey, where you see the dynamic evolution of human history over the course of a millennia which is still going on right now.
(Also, history is so much more kick-ass with music from the movie “Inception” in the background.)
For a little over a year now we have been studying the history of the Christian Church and delving quite a bit into the history of Europe from ancient times, through the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Empire, and now into the Reformation, so the vast movements in this map should be familiar to those in our group.
I was never much into history, but if you want to be a serious student of theology, a solid knowledge and foundation in history is invaluable to see how ideas and beliefs began and evolved over time, and how everything fits together. Studying history may radically alter your beliefs even.
Also, in my spare time, I’ve been delving into the science of emergence by reading Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson. Here’s an excerpt of the book that I read today that directly relates to history and the map shown above, specifically in terms of information and energy flow as cities, civilizations, and countries grow more and more complex over time.