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HON 1050 - Fall 2017
Transcript of HON 1050 - Fall 2017
2. Abraham’s descendants will have the land of Canaan.
3. All nations will be blessed by Abraham’s descendants.
The Covenant with Abraham
All Abraham and his descendents have to do is ...
1. Circumcise all the males in the family.
The Covenant with Noah
God will never flood the earth again.
The Covenant with Moses
1. Israel will be a holy nation.
2. Israel will be a kingdom of priests
All Israel has to do is ...
1. obey God completely
2. follow the Law
(10 commandments, etc.)
All Noah and his descendents have to do is ...
1. not murder.
2. not eat meat with blood in it.
God's Covenant with Israel
A covenant is a contract or agreement between two parties
that involves responsibilities on both sides.
God promises to …
1. make a great name for David (2 Sam 7:9)
2. secure David’s possession of the land and protect it from enemy attacks (2 Sam 7:10-11);
3. maintain a perpetual royal dynasty among David’s descendants (2 Sam 7:11-16)
4. ensure that David’s successor, i.e., Solomon will build the Temple that David envisions (2 Sam 7:13)
The Northern Kingdom
falls to Assyria
Assyria attacks the
Southern Kingdom though
does not prevail.
Prophecy in Israel
Babylonians attack Jerusalem. Upper class deported from Judah.
Temple is destroyed.
Persian Empire conquers
King Cyrus II of Persia releases the Jews, funds the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple.
~ 175-164 BCE:
Features of Apocalyptic Literature
After the king had taken up residence in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king, “Whatever is in your heart, go and do, for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell David my servant, Thus says the Lord:
Is it you who would build me a house to dwell in? I have never dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up from Egypt to this day, but I have been going about in a tent or a tabernacle. As long as I have wandered about among the Israelites, did I ever say a word to any of the judges whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?
I will assign a place for my people Israel and I will plant them in it to dwell there; they will never again be disturbed, nor shall the wicked ever again oppress them, as they did at the beginning, and from the day when I appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies.
Moreover, the LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you
: when your days have been completed and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, sprung from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom. He it is who shall build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. If he does wrong, I will reprove him with a human rod and with human punishments; but I will not withdraw my favor from him as I withdrew it from Saul who was before you. Your house and your kingdom are firm forever before me; your throne shall be firmly established forever.
2 Samuel 7:1-16
A prophet is one who claims to be God's messenger. In Israel, the prophet interpreted historical events in light of the covenant relationship, called for social and religious reform, and expressed hope that God will deliver.
~ 332 BCE:
Alexander the Great conquers Palestine.
~ 323-199 BCE:
Judea is ruled by the Ptolemaic Empire out of Egypt.
~ 199-143 BCE:
Judea is ruled by the Seleucid Empire out of Syria.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes rules over Judea
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Because of this, my spirit was anguished and I, Daniel, was terrified by my visions. I approached one of those present and asked him the truth of all this; in answer, he made known to me its meaning: “These four great beasts stand for four kings which shall arise on the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship, to possess it forever and ever.” (NABRE)
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. (NABRE)
The gospels, meaning "good news" tell the story of Jesus. They are Greco-Roman persuasive biographies. There are 4 gospels in the New Testament.
The Great Revolt
~ 66-73 CE:
The province of Judea revolts against Roman rule.
~ 70 CE:
The temple is destroyed, resulting in dramatic changes in Jewish belief and practice.
From Jesus to Christianity
The Early Jesus Movement
Judaism in the 1st century
For each of these questions, look at the following passages. What clues are there to help us understand how the earliest followers of Jesus understood his identity and what it meant to be his disciple.
1. Who is Jesus?
2. What does it take to follow him?
Events Portrayed in the Bible
Formation of the Bible
The Christian Bible is a collection of books gathered together for use in worship and teaching.
The books in the Bible were written over more than a thousand years, and include a wide variety of genres: legal codes, court records, histories, folk tales, songs, love poetry, fables, letters, visions, and more.
The Hebrew Bible
The Christian Bible is composed of the Hebrew Bible (often called the "Old Testament") and the New Testament.
The Hebrew Bible is composed of three major parts:
1. The Law
2. The Prophets
3. The Writings
on the Bible
The Roman Catholic Church "holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself," but that since "God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion" the interpreter of scripture should pay attention to the literary forms and context of the text in question.
(Dei Verbum III 11-12)
The Law finalized after return from captivity
"A traditional story ... often fanciful ... designed to explain some kind of practice or ritual or custom or natural phenomenon" - Christine Hayes
Once upon a time...
Ritual & Religious Identity
Perspectives on Christianity: A Catholic Approach
Deliverance from Egypt
As reason to keep the law...
"You have seen how I treated the Egyptians and how I bore you up on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now, if you obey me completely and keep my covenant, you will be my treasured possession among all peoples, though all the earth is mine.You will be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation." Exodus 19: 4-6
Law & National Identity
As reason to worship only God...
"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall not have other gods beside me..." [continues with rest of commandments]. Exodus 20: 2-3
Genre of Exodus 1-20
Historical narrative interspersed with
descriptions of ritual and legal codes.
"A long time passed, during which the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their bondage and cried out, and from their bondage their cry for help went up to God. God heard their moaning and God was mindful of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God saw the Israelites, and God knew."
Is the slaughter of the Egyptian firstborn just? Why or why not?
[after describing the Passover celebration] “You will keep this practice forever as a statute for yourselves and your descendants. Thus, when you have entered the land which the Lord will give you as he promised, you must observe this rite. When your children ask you, ‘What does this rite of yours mean?’ you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice for the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt; when he struck down the Egyptians, he delivered our houses.’” Exodus 12: 24-27
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr giving the "I Have a Dream" speech, National Archives and Records Administration
I have a dream...No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.
1. The author writes under the name of a historical figure.
2. God reveals secret wisdom through an angel.
3. The revelations are often heavenly mirrors of earthly events.
4. The revelations are described in symbolic language.
5. The revelations assume that history will last for a determinate amount of time and that the course of history has been determined centuries in advance.
7 & 12
Peter Paul Rubens,
Daniel in the Lions' Den
In the next 2-3 minutes quietly answer the following question on a piece of paper:
What is worth dying for?
He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
What does Jesus mean when he says "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me?"
Texts to consider:
1:16-20; 2:13-15; 8:31-38; 9:33-37; 9:42-48; 10:17-31; 10:43-45; 11:24-25; 12:28-34; 12:41-44; 13:9-13
The Original Ending of Mark, 16:1-8
On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.’” Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
A funny thing happened on the way from the tomb...
Read over Chapter 7 with a buddy or two. Answer the following question on a piece of paper and hand in (or email firstname.lastname@example.org). You have 15 min.
1. What is described in the vision given to Daniel (7:2-14)?
2. What is the interpretation of the vision given to Daniel (7:17-18, 23-27)?
3. In the interpretation, who does the "Son of Man" / "one like a human being" represent?
woodcut by Hans Holbein
On Eternal Life
The Gospel of Mark provides us with the answer to 2 questions:
1) Who is Jesus?
2) What does it take to follow him?
Read the story of the rich man in Mark 10: 17-31. Based on this passage, and what you know of the Gospel of Mark as a whole, answer the following question:
According to the gospel of Mark, can a rich person enter into the kingdom of God?
Gospels written, ~70-120
Pauline epistles written ~51-60
The New Testament
The New Testament is composed of historical narratives (the Gospels and Acts), letters written by leaders of the early Church, and one apocalypse (the book of Revelation). The texts in it were written from approximately 50-150 CE.
Initially they were gathered together informally, but were initially recognized by Christians to be authoritative, that is useful for teaching and worship as the Hebrew Scriptures.
Dead Sea Caves
Pieter Brueghel the Younger,
Landscape with St. John the Baptist Preaching
The Prophecy of the Destruction of the Temple
The Conversion of St. Paul
Arch of Triumph
Reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple of Herod
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem
Moses and the Ten Commandments
The Egyptians Are Destroyed
James Tissot, Pharoah Pursues the Israelites
Paul and the
Early Jesus Movement
Questions for your notes
(Jot these down now, they will help you focus on what is important when we watch a movie later in class:
1. Why is "Early Christian Movement' a better term than "Christianity" for the earliest followers of Jesus?
2. Who is Paul?
3. What contributed to the early expansion of the Jesus movement?
3. What is the argument in the letter to the Galatians?
4. What apolocalyptic hopes did the early Jesus Movement have?
, from the Exodus Series
Icon of Christ Pantocrater,
St. Catherine's Monastary at Sinai
*This is not even close to being to scale
An introduction to the Early Jesus Movement and the apostle Saul/Paul in PBS's "From Jesus to Christ" Part II
The Early Jesus Movement
Ought gentile (non-Jewish) followers of Jesus circumcise themselves and follow other aspects of the law?
1. Read 2:15-20. How does Paul describe Gentiles? How does he say that both Jews and Gentiles are justified?
2. Read Galatians 3:1-6. What is Paul saying about the spirit? How does this figure in Paul's argument?
3. Read 3:16-29. What then, is the law for?
4. Read 5:13-26. What is the freedom from the law to be used for?
5. How would you sum up Paul's understanding of the law?
The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer
The Councils of
the Early Church
Nicaea I (325)
Adapted from Norman P. Tanner, ed., Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, vol. 1: Nicaea I to Lateran V (London and Washington, DC: Sheed & Ward and Georgetown Univ. Press, 1990), 5,
"What is not assumed is not saved"
Problems with Nicaea
Read more at http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/one-member-of-this-trinity-is-not-pulling-his-weight
"You’re just not pulling your weight. And to be honest, even in my boundless wisdom I’m not quite sure what it is you do around here."
- God the Father
What is the Holy Spirit?
If Jesus is fully God, is Jesus identical to God the Father?
We believe in one God the Father all powerful, maker [
of heaven and earth, and
] of all things both seen and unseen.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father, [
before all ages
,] light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, through whom all things came to be; for us humans and for our salvation he came down [
from the heavens
] and became incarnate [
from the holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
] became human [
and was crucified on our behalf under Pontius Pilate
]; he suffered [
and was buried
] and rose up on the third day [
in accordance with the scriptures
]; and he went up into the heavens [
and is seated at the Father’s right hand
]; he is coming again [
] to judge the living and the dead; [
his kingdom will have no end
And in the Spirit, the holy, [
the lordly and life-giving one, proceeding forth from the Father, co-worshipped and co-glorified with Father and Son, the one who spoke through the prophets; in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. We confess one baptism for the forgiving of sins. We look forward to a resurrection of the dead and life in the age to come. Amen
(Adapted from Sources of Catholic Dogma, trans. Roy J Deferrari (Herder & Herder 1957). Brackets indicate additions to Nicene Creed.)
So, following the saintly fathers, we all with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ:
the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity,
the same truly God and truly man, with a rational soul and a body;
consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity,
and the same one consubstantial with us as regards his humanity;
like us in all respects except for sin;
begotten before the ages from the Father as regards his divinity,
and in the last days the same one [was born] for us and for our salvation Mary, the virgin God-bearer, as regards his humanity;
one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, acknowledged
in two natures
, which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation;
at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather what is proper to each nature is preserved and comes together into a single
and a single
he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophets taught from the beginning about him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself instructed us, and as the creed of the fathers handed it down to us.
The council on settles on language for doctrine of the Trinity, which states that God is one being in three persons.
Mosaic of Christ Pantocrater, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
Modalism: One God in 3 costumes
Tritheism: Three Gods
The language does little but provide bumpers.
For the next 2-3 minutes, please quietly answer the following question.
Have you been a part of an organization that has had a creed or statement of belief/mission? If so, what was it?
Jesus is just alright with me. doo-de-de-doo-doo-doo-doo-dooooooooo
Constantine the great passes the Edict of Milan
"the fourth century is the first century for Christianity and Judaism"
- Rosemary Radford Ruether
Take 3 minutes to write down an answer to this question in your notes:
In your own understanding, what does it mean to be human?
With a partner, rewrite the definition of Chalcedon without using any religious jargon ("consubstantial", "natures," "hypostasis" etc.). Feel free to get creative and/or use slang.
At the end of the class turn in your creeds in person or via email at email@example.com
Take 3 minutes to write down an answer to this question in your notes:
At the beginning of Schneiders' article, she argues that a lot of people prefer to identify as spiritual, but not religious.
Why do you think this is so?
Religion & Spirituality: 3 Options
In the last paragraph on page 164, Schneiders mentions three ways of understanding the relationship of religion and spirituality.
What are the three ways and which way does Schneiders argue for?
Religion: "cultural systems for dealing with ultimate reality, whether or not that ultimate reality is conceptualized as God, and they are organized in particular patterns of creed, code, and cult" (169).
Spirituality: "the experience of conscious involvement in the project of life-integration through self-transcendence toward the ultimate value one perceives" (166)
"the argument I am making for religion as the most productive context for spirituality, for both the individual and the community, is that the quest for God is too complex, and too important to be reduced to a private enterprise" (177).
How might this creed nurture and protect Christian spirituality?
How might this creed threaten or diminish Christian spirituality?
"The Incarnation of God in Jesus and the sacramentalism it grounds are at the heart of the Christian faith. Herein lies the amazing revelation that divinity is available to us in and through humanity, not by flight from the coordinates of nature, materiality, and history" (80).
David Holgate, Statue of Julian of Norwich
Julian of Norwich
1. Is Julian playing by the rules of Chalcedon?
"Such symbols are but modest starting points for a more inclusive God-talk. As the history of theology shows, there is no "timeless" speech about God. Rather, symbols of God are cultural constructs, entwined with the changing cultural situation of the faith community that uses them. Developing these symbols today is a theologically central task for the whole church" (13).
God is one being in three persons.
Jesus is fully human and fully divine; 2 natures in 1 person.
God is not literally a dude
The language we use for God matters.
The Ascension of Christ
Icon of the Descent of Pentecost
Q. What is a sacrament?
Or, according to Pope Paul VI, "a reality imbued with the hidden presence of God" (McBrien 9).
In other words, it's where and when and how
God shows up.
Q. What is grace?
“the free, unmerited assistance that God gives to humans for their salvation, which is nothing less than participation in God’s life and love. In effect, grace makes a person a friend of God” (Mueller 155).
In groups of 4, answer the following questions:
1) In addition to Luther's arguments, what support could you add to his claim that salvation is by faith alone, and not by works? In other words, what is the best argument you can develop that he is right?
2) What criticism can make about Luther's claim that salvation is by faith alone, and not by works? In other words, what is the best argument you can develop that he is wrong?
3) Discuss with your group whether you buy Luther's argument or not. Write down whether there was a consensus, a split, or otherwise summarize your group's take on this text.
By faith alone!
(Vatican Council II, 1960s)
"3. ... For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect...But even in spite of [significant differences between churches] it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body,(21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.(22)"
Church and Sacrament
A. God's offer of friendship
A. "A visible sign of an invisible grace"
How we talk about...
Martin Luther & the Protestant Reformation
psst, it won't be until the 1960s until the Roman Catholic Church recognizes Protestants and other non-Catholic Christians as Christians
Catholic Social Teaching
A body of official Catholic texts and teachings beginning in the 19th century, that attempt to speak about social and political issues from the perspective of the Catholic faith.
Makes clear that Catholics are not merely called to charity--that is giving to the poor--but in working to effect just societies.
Social Justice and the Gospel
He Qi, Calling Disciples
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
Luke 4:18-19, Jesus is quoting Isaiah 61
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way."
Racial Justice and the Cross
Esteemed theologian, professor at Union Theological Seminary
1. What are the parallels between Emmett Till and Jesus?
2. How does MLKJr's Christology affect his activism?
3. What is the point of saying that Jesus's, and MLKJr's suffering was inevitable, but not willed by God (88-90)?
"How could the death of a Jew nearly two thousand years ago save blacks in the United States? In the history of Western theology, there were various classical theories of how Jesus' death brought redemption to humanity--none of them officially endorsed by the Christian church. King studied them in seminary. But in the end King did not turn to them for answers. For him, the cross represented the depth of God's love for suffering humanity, and an answer to the deadly cycle of violence and hatred" (84-5).
"Giving value to suffering seems to legitimize it. Whatever we may say about the limits of King's perspective on the cross and redemptive suffering, he did not legitimize suffering. On the contrary, he tried to end it, sacrificing his own life for the cause of others" (92).
If you had to choose, would you say that Christianity is a religion that prioritizes right belief (that is, believing the right things) or right action (that is, doing the right things)? Defend your answer by referencing at least one thing we learned in this class.
Judgment & Salvation
"Fundamentally, the social task is to develop a society in which no human being is deprived of human dignity or of basic human needs that impeded the necessary freedom to develop his or her full human potential. Concern for the poor is not about feelings of compassion. It is about concrete and persevering decisions to change the social economic and political structures that marginalize and oppress any human person" (Mueller 207).
Definition: Social Justice
The Life and Dignity of the Human Person
The Call to Family, Community, and Participation
Human Rights and Responsibilities
The Common Good & Care for Creation
The Preferential Option for the Poor
The Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
The Principle of Solidarity
"Sin...is more than personal acts of disobedience, dishonesty, laziness, lust, greed or envy. Evil caused by social interactions or by social factors rooted in human institutions is also sinful, for example, sweatshops, child labor, toxic dumping, and unsafe working conditions, to mention only a few. This implicates sincere and good persons who, by their uncritical acceptance and support of such institutions, indirectly cause the suffering of others" (Mueller 209).
Definition: Social Sin
"It is the biblical concept of the image of God that makes black rebellion in America human. When black persons affirm their freedom in God, they must say no to white racists. By saying no, they say yes to God and their blackness, affirming at the same time the inhumanity of the white neighbor who insists on playing God. Black theology emphasizes the right of blacks to be black and by so doing to participate in the image of God.
The image of God refers to the way in which God intends human beings to live in the world...In a world in which persons are oppressed, the image is human nature in rebellion against the structures of oppression. It is humanity involved in the liberation struggle against the forces of inhumanity" (Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation 93-4).k
"[Black Christians] felt something redemptive about Jesus' cross--transforming a "cruel tree" into a "Wondrous Cross." Blacks pleaded, "Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross," because "Calvary," in a mysterious way they could not explain, was their redemption from the terror of the lynching tree" (73)
As reason to care for the alien
"You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans...You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt". Exodus 22: 21-24; 23:9
21 I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
I saw the Lord standing beside the altar. And he said:
1 Strike the capitals
so that the threshold shakes!
Break them off on the heads of them all!
Those who are left I will slay with the sword.
Not one shall get away,
no survivor shall escape.
7 Are you not like the Ethiopians to me,
O Israelites?—oracle of the Lord—
Did I not bring the Israelites from the land of Egypt
as I brought the Philistines from Caphtor
and the Arameans[c] from Kir?
8 See, the eyes of the Lord God are on this sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the face of the earth—
But I will not destroy the house of Jacob completely—
oracle of the Lord.
In the next 2-3 minutes quietly answer the following question on a piece of paper:
In the reading last night, what are the kinds of things Amos says that the Lord is mad about?
If you had to sum up the basic message of the Hebrew scriptures in one sentence, based on our reading in class, what would it be?
In the next 2-3 minutes quietly answer the following question on a piece of paper:
Based on the reading from last night, if you had to use one adjective to describe Jesus, what would it be? Why?
Collins, "Messianic Expectations"
""The Dead Sea Scrolls make clear that the typical Jewish expectation around the turn of the era was that God would raise up a warrior messiah who would slay the wicked (especially the Romans) and drive them out of the land of Israel." (Collins 325)
On the Covenant
Look at each of the following passages and examine what they have to say about Jesus' understanding of the Mosaic Law: 1:40-44, 2:23-28, 3:1-6, 7:1-13.
The Gospel of Mark
Son of Man
Leaf from Gunda Gunde Gospels, 16th century Ethiopia
13 As I watched in the night visions,
I saw one like a human being
coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
and was presented before him.
14 To him was given dominion
and glory and kingship,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not pass away,
and his kingship is one
that shall never be destroyed.
15 As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. 16 I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: 17 “As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever—forever and ever.”
Daniel 7: 13-18
Peter Paul Rubens,
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel" (Galatians 1:6 NRSV)
can Jesus be both God and human?
In short, how do the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all relate?
Apollinaris imagines instead of a human soul or mind, Jesus has God inside him instead.
Since body and soul/mind are united, humanity and divinity would be united in Jesus as well.
A 14th-century English mystic,
Julian's writings come from the visions she had.
"And so I saw our Lord Jesus languishing for long, because the union in him of the divinity gave strength to his humanity to suffer more than all men could...
...And in this he partly brought to my mind the exaltedness and nobility of the glorious divinity, and at the same time the preciousness and tenderness of his blessed body united with it, and also the reluctance that there is in human nature to suffer pain. For just as he was most tender and most pure, so he was most strong and powerful to suffer."
Revelations of Divine Love
Imagine that Sandra Schneiders is a time lord who travels back in time to talk to Martin Luther. What do they agree about regarding the role "creed, code, and cult"? What do they disagree about?
In groups of 2-3, write a short conversation between the two of them (you may write the dialogue like a play, or draw it comic book style).
Hand in a copy or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Temple of the Holy Ghost
James Tissot, The Flight of the Prisoners
Amos: propet active in the middle of the 8th century BCE
11 On that day I will raise up
the booth of David that is fallen,
and repair its breaches,
and raise up its ruins,
and rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 in order that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations who are called by my name,
says the Lord who does this.
13 The time is surely coming, says the Lord,
when the one who plows shall overtake the one who reaps,
and the treader of grapes the one who sows the seed;
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
and all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them upon their land,
and they shall never again be plucked up
out of the land that I have given them,
says the Lord your God.
In apocalyptic literature, a genre of writing common to ancient Jews and Christians, the author(s) interpret contemporary events by placing them in visions given long ago to famous people. In doing so, they proclaim God as the one who is truly in control over history.
Apocalypse in Israel
Read the two parables in Ch. 4: 26-34. What "kingdom" would Jesus' listeners be hoping for? What does Jesus compare the kingdom of God to? Why do you think he does this?
On the Kingdom
We believe in one God the Father all powerful, maker of all things both seen and unseen.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten from the Father, that is from the substance of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, through whom all things came to be, both those in heaven and those in earth; for us humans and for our salvation he came down and became incarnate, became human, suffered and rose up on the third day, went up into the heavens, is coming to judge the living and the dead.
And in the holy Spirit.
1. How many times are the following words or phrases used:
a. "begotten" or "son"?
b. "from the substance" or "consubstantial" (which means sharing the same substance)
c. the formula "X from X"
2. Where can you see this creed responding to Arius?
3. What is said about the holy spirit in this text?
1. Why would the folks at the council want to avoid saying that there were three gods?
2. Why would the folks at the council want to avoid saying that there's one God who just "pretends" to be three?
Nestorius envisions the incarnation like this:
Is Mary "Theotokos"?
Jesus' humanity and divinity are like two pillars of his identity. Mary gave birth to the human, not the divine.
In addition to publishing this creed, the council of Constantinople specifically condemned a number of heresies, including Apollinarianism.
Nestorius is condemned at the Council of Ephesus (431)
"The great sacrament of our encounter with God, and of God's encounter with us, is Jesus Christ. The Church, in turn, is the fundamental sacrament of our encounter with Christ, and of Christ with us. And the sacraments, in turn, are the signs and instruments by which that ecclesial encounter with Christ is expressed, celebrated, and made effective for the glory of God and the salvation of all" (McBrien 10).
"The Eucharist is the 'source of the Church's life and the pledge of future glory' (Decree on Ecumenism, n. 15). 'No Christian community can be built up unless it has its basis and center in the celebration of the most Holy Eucharist' (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, n. 6). It is the 'summit' and the 'fountain' of the whole Christian life (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, n. 10).
For the Catholic tradition, the Eucharist is a liturgical event in the ritual form of a commememorative, sacramental, sacrificial, and eschatological meal, in which the Church remembers, reenacts, celebrates and proclaims Jesus' sacrificial life, death, and resurrection, and anticipates the heavenly banquet that awaits us. At the heart of the event is the offering and receiving of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, truly present in the sacrament of consecrated bread and wine," (McBrien 1068).
He Qi, The Risen Lord
Christina Saj, Last Supper
In 1971, a Peruvian theologian named Gustavo Gutiérrez published a book called A Theology of Liberation. In it he argued that salvation is a matter of both political and spiritual liberation, and that Christianity requires a preferential option for the poor.
The Rise of Liberation Theology
In the 1950s and 1960s a theological movement arose in Latin American, which held fast to Jesus' promise that the gospel is "good news to the poor" (Luke 4:18).
Groups of poor Christians united in "Ecclesial Base Communities." They saw in the story of the Exodus and the ministry of Jesus a God who cares not only for the soul, but for the material conditions of those who are poor.
Archbishop of San Salvador,
martyred for his decision to stand in solidarity with the poor against the government's death squads.
More on The Preferential Option for the Poor
People today often talk about contextual theologies but, in point of fact, theology has always been contextualv... all theological investigation is necessarily carried out within a specific historical context. When Augustine wrote The City of God, he was reflecting on what it meant for him and for his contemporaries to live the Gospel within a specific context of serious historical transformations.
Our context today is characterized by a glaring disparity between the rich and the poor... There was a time when poverty was considered to be an unavoidable fate, but such a view is no longer possible or responsible. Now we know that poverty is not simply a misfortune; it is an injustice.
All quotes taken from "Remembering the Poor: An Interview with Gustavo Gutiérrez" by Daniel Hartnett of America Magazine available at http://americamagazine.org/issue/420/article/remembering-poor-interview-gustavo-gutirrez
The poverty to which the option refers is material poverty. Material poverty means premature and unjust death. The poor person is someone who is treated as a non-person, someone who is considered insignificant from an economic, political and cultural point of view. The poor count as statistics; they are the nameless. But even though the poor remain insignificant within society, they are never insignificant before God.
God’s love has two dimensions, the universal and the particular; and while there is a tension between the two, there is no contradiction. God’s love excludes no one. Nevertheless, God demonstrates a special predilection toward those who have been excluded from the banquet of life. The word preference recalls the other dimension of the gratuitous love of God—the universality.
In English, the word merely connotes a choice between two things. In Spanish, however, it evokes the sense of commitment. The option for the poor is not optional, but is incumbent upon every Christian. It is not something that a Christian can either take or leave. As understood by Medellín, the option for the poor is twofold: it involves standing in solidarity with the poor, but it also entails a stance against inhumane poverty.
What does Romero mean by the "political dimension" of faith?
In what way is Romero's
argument motivated by
Principles of Liberation Theology
1. Recognizes suffering as contrary to God's will.
2. Engages in and reflects on praxis.
3. Is conscious of humans as social creatures, and therefore sin as social as well.
4. Uses social analysis (political science, sociology, etc.).
5. Is motivated by theological understanding AND reform of unjust structures.
6. Hopes and works for the initiation of the kingdom of God.
Christ the Liberator
The fundamental insight of liberation Christology is that Christ is not one who passively accepts the reign of evil, but one who goes to radical lengths to dismantle it. The resurrection is the final declaration that God will not let evil stand, and that those who are lowly will be lifted up.
For more see Elizabeth Johnson, Ch. 6 of Consider Jesus
"..we now have a better understanding of what the incarnation means, what it means to say that Jesus really took human flesh and made himself one with his brothers and sisters in suffering, in tears and laments, in surrender" (299).
"It is within this world devoid of a human face, this contemporary sacrament of the suffering servant of Yahweh, that the church of my diocese has undertaken to incarnate itself" (295).
1. What does Romero mean by "the political dimension of the faith" (293, 298)?
2. Why is "the world of the poor" the "key to understanding the Christian faith" (294)? How does Romero define the poor (295)? What is the "option for the poor" and how does it relate to faith (298-301)?
3. Again and again Romero uses the word incarnation to talk about the political dimension of faith (see 294-5, 298, 299-300). Why does he use this language?
4. What do you think Romero means when he decries "false universalism" and "false pacificism" (299)? Why does he say that "neutrality is impossible" (300)?
email to email@example.com or hand in
Is Christianity more about
right belief or right action?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Group 1: 10 minutes
Group 2: 10 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Group 1: 5 minutes
Group 2: 5 minutes
Discussion: 10 minutes
Vincent De Paul and the Vincentian Tradition
Engraving of St. Vincent De Paul (1581-1660)
Group 1: Right Belief
Group 2: Right Action
Your job is to draw from the materials from this class to make a case for your group's side.
Keep in mind that you not only want to develop your own arguments, but you will need to anticipate the other group's arguments as well.
For each of the four gospels, write a brief summary of the picture you get of who Jesus is based on just the introduction. How does each gospel start? What is mentioned? Is there anything noticeably absent? Why might the writer of that gospel have started it this way?
Matthew 1-3. Mark 1, Luke 1-3, John 1
He Qi, Pentecost
Pack away everything in your bag and under your desk except for pen/pencil, snacks, tissues, etc.
Write your name on your blue booklet.
Be quiet once the exam is passed out.
Stay in the room until you are finished (no bathroom breaks).
Spelling and grammar will not be counted against you.
Don't worry about making the essay pretty--focus on content rather than "fluff"
Show off! Use as much evidence, with as many details as possible, to support your argument.
If you get stuck, tell me everything you know related to the topic.
When you are done fold your exam inside your booklet and bring up to me.
Good luck and have a great weekend!
Martin Luther's "Concerning Christian Liberty"
1) How does Luther describe the relationship between the body (the "outer man") and soul (the "inward man")?
2) Why does Luther say that "whatever works can be done through the body" are useless for salvation?
3) What does he mean in saying that the soul is justified by faith alone?
4) Does Luther think that Christians can act anyway they want?
Giusto de' Menabuoi,
God is not a thing like other things in this world (not even a
thing), but the creator of the world.
Reflection on Moral Responsibility
Attempts to provide answers to these questions:
Do humans have free will?
Where does evil come from?
Does God create evil?
In the next 2-3 minutes quietly answer the following question on a piece of paper:
Can a fictional story (say, harry potter) communicate anything true? Why or why not?
Disney's "Paul Bunyan" (1958)
The Priestly Account
Worships the creator God as the one who establishes order in the universe
Likely part of an ancient liturgy (that is, a script for worship).
Hieronymous Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights
The Jahwistic Account
A folktale that reflections on human moral responsibility and relationship to God.
Offers etiologies (origin stories for rituals, facts of life, etc.).
The Two Accounts
Comparing Ancient Near Eastern Creation Myths
1. Who creates humans? Describe the creator(s).
2. Why are humans created?
3. How are humans created?
Relief of Marduk from Mesopotamia's heritage in Musée du Louvre via wikimedia
In the next 2-3 minutes quietly answer the following question on a piece of paper:
Do you think humans are ultimately good or bad? Why? What difference does this belief make in how you live your life?
What kinds of things does Jesus do? (i.e. "heal")
What terms are used of Jesus (by others and himself)
Bartolomé de las Casas
Anonymous, 16th century
(General Archives of the Indies)
At many points in his life, las Casas argued with successive Kings of Spain and other Church leaders over the rights of colonized peoples.
Imagine you are in the role of las Casas. What is the best case you could make to that people (particularly Catholics!) ought to respect the rights of colonized peoples?
Prepare 3-5 min. speeches in groups of 3-4.
The Old Rugged Cross
Tantum Ergo Sacramentum
Neo-gothic solar monstrance at the hermitage church of Warfhuizen
Priest kneeling before monstrance
Corpus Christi Church in Poznań, Poland.
the Catholic Church
Pope Francis lifting up monstrance
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NRSV)
Southern Catholic author whose collection of short stories won the National Book Award for Fiction (1925-1964)