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Christianity
 

Christianity

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    Christianity Christianity Presentation Transcript

    • What Is Christianity? A Review of the Essentials
    • Introduction:
      • Christianity is a major world religion ,
        • A“Western” religion (w/ Judaism & Islam)
        • The largest world religion today (ca. 2 billion)
      • It is based on belief that Jesus of Nazareth is the “ Christ ” ( “Messiah”) & the “ Son of God .”
      • Like most other major world religions, Christianity has several core aspects :
        • I) History & Development
        • II) Core Beliefs & Practices
        • III) Structures & Regulations
    • I-A: History
      • Historical Background: Abraham , Israelites, Hebrews, Jews, OT
      • Historical Foundation : Jesus of Nazareth ( crucified ca. AD 30 ) & his first disciples/apostles
      • Historical Development: Tradition preserved/adapted 2000 years ( interplay of both old & new, ancient & modern )
    • I-B: Branches & Subdivisions
      • Major Christian Branches : (Eastern) Orthodox, (Roman) Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Restorationist, etc.
      • Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants: O: by nation & language: Greek, Russian… A: by nations: esp. former British colonies P: by leaders/theologies: Lutheran, Reformed…
      • Groups within Catholicism: religious orders & societies (monastic, mendicant, apostolic, etc.), lay groups
    • I-C: Demographics
      • Number of Christians World-wide: ~ 2 billion in 2000; ~ 33% of world population
      • Subdivisions: 1 bill. Catholics; 500 mill. Protestant/Anglican; 250 mill. Orthodox; 250 mill. Other
      • % of Populations: 48% Africa; 85% N. America; 93% S. America; 9% Asia; 76% Europe; 85% Oceania  
    • II-A: Foundational Texts
      • The Bible : official collection of books, in two parts: both Old Testament & New Testament
      • The Creeds : short professions of faith, defined by first two Ecumenical Councils: Nicea & Constantinople
      • Other Writings : writings of Church leaders throughout history, esp. founders of orders & denominations
    • II-B: Core Theological Beliefs (Dogmas & Doctrines)
      • One God in Three Persons (Trinity) : Father / Almighty / Creator Son / Jesus / Christ / Savior / Lord Holy Spirit / Giver of Life / Paraclete
      • World & Humans : created by God, in God’s image, with free will; originally good, but corrupted by sin/death;
      • Church, Salvation, Eschatology : community of believers; body of Christ; resurrection of the body; eternal life
    • II-C: Core Ethical Teachings (Commandments & Precepts)
      • Foundational Principles : do good & avoid evil; love God, others, self; develop an “informed conscience”
      • Sexual Morality : dual purpose of sex; consistent ethic of life; human relationships; central role of family
      • Social Ethics : dignity of each person; common good; care of the poor/needy; work, participation, property
    • II-D: Religious Practices
      • Calendar, Feasts, & Festivals : Advent & Christmas ; Lent & Easter ; saints’ days; local & universal festivals
      • Public / Communal Worship : official liturgies, rites, rituals, Sacraments, esp. Baptism & Eucharist; Sunday worship
      • Private / Individual Spirituality : prayer, devotions, pilgrimages, asceticism, retreats, pious/spiritual practices, etc.
    • III-A: Church Organization
      • Churches & Denominations: historical divisions: always! esp. 1054, 1517 but also reunifications & mergers
      • Structures with each Church : indiv. parishes/congregations, local dioceses, national conferences, international associations
      • Leaders within each Church : bishops (incl. Pope, cardinals), priests, deacons, lay ministers; pastors, elders, etc.
    • III-B: Internal Regulations
      • Membership : Who can join? What is the process? (evangelization; catechesis; initiation)
      • Leadership: How are leaders chosen? Who is eligible?
      • Discipline : What are members’ & leaders’ obligations? Sanctions and punishments? (Canon Law)
    • III-C: External Relations
      • Ecumenical Relations : dialogues between Christian denominations; bilateral & international groups (WCC)
      • Inter-religious Relations : dialogues with other major world religions; esp. with Judaism & Islam (historically close)
      • Church/State Relations : cooperation or tensions with political, social, economic, and other secular institutions?