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Here are our essays on Book VIII – Chapters 1 – 6 of Augustine’s Confessions.
We discussed the implications of delayed gratification, the pagan elements and origins of the Catholic Mass and Protestant services, the life of Anthony the Great and whether or not Christ calls us to a life of asceticism.
Please read all of Chapter 18 in MacCulloch’s book where it centers around the Counter-Reformation by the Catholic Church from 1500 – 1700.
We will meet this Sunday to go over our essays.
Please write a summary on one of the following:
- Discuss the origins, development, rise, and importance of the Society of Jesus (or Jesuits) from its beginnings with Ignatius Loyola. What role did they play in the Counter-Reformation? Discuss their accomplishments in secondary education throughout Europe.
- Discuss the central tenets of the Council of Trent in 1545 and through 1563. Include issues laid out for Catholic catechism, liturgy, and issues about the authority of the Catholic Church. What was its greatest impact or lasting legacy?
- Discuss the impact and acceptance of the two mystics: Teresa of Avila and Juan de Yepes (John of the Cross).
- What were the events that led up to the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572. How were relations between French Catholics and Huguenots affected from this incident?
- Why did Poland-Lithuania embrace Catholicism after being “such a fertile seminary of Protestant experiment”?
- Discuss the differing ways Protestants and Catholics began implementing unique styles of worship and services.
- Discuss why Galileo was placed in prison for his scientific views. What historical circumstances led to his verdict by the Catholic Church?
- Why did the persecution and hunting of witches happen during this time in Europe and North America? Why did it eventually cease?
Please have your responses ready by this Saturday, June 14.
“Do Infants Go to Hell if They Die Before Baptism?: The Doctrine of Original Sin Re-examined” – an Orthodox Perspective
We will be covering the Orthodox Church very soon in MacCulloch’s book, so it’s good to get a glimpse of a bit of its theology and how it differs from the West, especially when it comes to the definition of “sin”.
“It is not clear by what justice humanity can share in Adam’s guilt when it existed only in potentiality in his loins at the time of the Fall. It is also difficult to see why the children of the baptized should inherit a guilt from which their parents have been cleansed.” – Prof. Gerald Bonner, Roman Catholic theologian
It’s good to bear in mind that Augustine never intended his theology of “Original Sin” to be a world-wide, eternal church doctrine – it was the Church many years later that adopted this idea and made it into a doctrine. Later on, Protestantism adopted this as doctrine as well and has shaped Western theology ever since.
It’s amazing how a mis-reading of the Bible that led to a mis-interpretation that led to this doctrine. This is why it’s always critical to have good exegesis precede hermeneutics.
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