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“Confessions” – Book III: Chapters 7 – 12
We will finish the rest of Book III as we go over chapters 7 – 12.
The more questions I think of as I go through Confessions the more profoundly impressed I am of Augustine and his thinking.
Please answer one of these questions and write an essay on it.
UPDATE: Chapter 22 – Part II – “God is Dead.”
It has been a long time coming, but here are our essays for the last half of Chapter 22, focusing on the rise of Christian fundamentalism, biblical criticism, the “quest for the historical Jesus”, and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.
It was good to get back in the swing of things after a little over a month and a half, and hopefully we’ll get the momentum back till we finish the book.
Chapter 22: Europe Re-enchanted or Disenchanted? (1815 – 1914) – Part II
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.
N.T. Wright’s Response to Young Earth Creationism
Interesting viewpoint by New Testament scholar N.T. Wright about the creationist viewpoint.
Though I see a connection between gnosticism and present-day fundamentalism, after listening to Wright, I now see more clearly its connection with deism, in terms of God intervening and then pulling back whenever He felt like it, and the shortcomings of adhering to that philosophy.
In Wright’s presentation, God is much more imminent and involved when you remove special/particular divine intervention from the creation process.