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The notion of theosis is characteristic of church fathers Irenaeus second century A. Though the idea of human deification waned in the Western church in the Middle Ages, it remained very much alive in the Eastern Orthodox faith, which includes such Christian sects today as the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches. Maximus, as of all Eastern theology, [was] the idea of deification. Is the subject of deification truly a closed question?

After all, echoes of man becoming like God are still found in the work of later and modern writers in the West. For instance, C. Related to the claim that Latter-day Saints are not Christians because of their belief in deification is the assertion that if they hold to some kind of belief in deification then it must be that Church members do not view Jesus as uniquely divine.

Such an assertion is totally erroneous. The argument that Latter-day Saints cannot be Christians because they practice baptism for the dead presumes that it has been definitely established that 1 Corinthians [ 1 Cor. The practice was condemned in A. Mormon temple ritual in general is another source of controversy, largely because many think that the reticence to talk about it is not Christian. The historian Tertullian second century A. As a result, the demeanor of these heretics becomes frivolous, merely human, without seriousness and without authority.

The pagan critic Celsus second century A. In his response to Celsus, Origen third century A. In the earliest period of the Christian church, it is difficult to see a distinction being made between canonical writings and some books not in the present Protestant canon. The so-called Muratorian Fragment, dating from the late second century A. Clement of Alexandria, writing around A. Only one is mentioned in the Synoptics. Both outlines are plausible, but a ministry of more than two years leaves more questions unanswered than does one of a few months. The term seems to have passed from an original local and chiefly political sense, in which it was used as early as BC, to a technical and religious meaning in the Judaism of the New Testament epoch.

Cohen , Jesus's failure to establish an independent Israel, and his death at the hands of the Romans, caused many Jews to reject him as the Messiah. Their language was Greek, their organization Greek, their writers Greek, their scriptures Greek; and many vestiges and traditions show that their ritual, their Liturgy, was Greek. Two Insights for explanations on the phrase "third day.

After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. There was a burgeoning movement of Judaizers in the area that advocated adherence to traditional Mosaic laws, including circumcision. Paul considered it a great threat to his doctrine of salvation through faith and addressed the issue with great detail in Galatians 3. Baur early Christianity was dominated by the conflict between Peter who was law-observant , and Paul who advocated partial or even complete freedom from the law. Dunn has proposed that Peter was the "bridge-man" between the two other prominent leaders: Paul and James the Just.

Paul and James were both heavily identified with their own "brands" of Christianity. Peter showed a desire to hold on to his Jewish identity, in contrast with Paul.


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He simultaneously showed a flexibility towards the desires of the broader Christian community, in contrast to James. Marcion and his followers stated that the polemic against false apostles in Galatians was aimed at Peter, James and John , the "Pillars of the Church", as well as the "false" gospels circulating through the churches at the time. Irenaeus and Tertullian argued against Marcionism's elevation of Paul and stated that Peter and Paul were equals among the apostles.

Passages from Galatians were used to show that Paul respected Peter's office and acknowledged a shared faith. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions

InterVarsity Press. Niswonger, Richard New Testament History. Zondervan Publishing Company. Peterson , "Christianus. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. Sanders Zondervan Academic Blog. HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Retrieved 2 May Mitchell and Frances M. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. Oxford University Press, Bromiley, ed. Fully Revised. Two: E-J. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. Early Christianity and Greek Paideia.

10. Timeline of the First Century Church - Biblical Timeline

Harvard University Press. Retrieved 26 February Palo Alto: Mayfield. Retrieved 28 October According to Ronald Y. Fung , scholars point to evidence that Christian communities such as Rome had many bishops, and that the concept of monepiscopacy was still emerging when Ignatius was urging his tri-partite structure on other churches. An introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity.

Cambridge University Press. The Oral Gospel Tradition. The Earliest Christian Confessions. Translated by J. London: Lutterworth.

1st Edition

Reading the New Testament: An Introduction originally published Mahwah NJ: Paulist Press. For the early Christians, the agape signified the importance of fellowship. It was a ritual to celebrate the joy of eating, pleasure and company. Uncommon Youth Parties. Gospel Light Publications. During the days of the Early Church, the believers would all gather together to share what was known as an agape feast, or "love feast.

Baker Academic.

So strong were the overtones of the Eucharist as a meal of fellowship that in its earliest practice it often took place in concert with the Agape feast. By the latter part of the first century, however, as Andrew McGowan points out, this conjoined communal banquet was separated into "a morning sacramental ritual [and a] prosaic communal supper. Agape love feast , which ultimately became separate from the Eucharist ACU Press.

Changing Landscapes of Faith: Latin American Religions in the Twenty-First Century

Around AD the lovefeast and Eucharist seem to separate, leaving the Eucharist to develop outside the context of a shared meal. Retrieved Peterborough, England: Methodist Publishing House. The Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Audet in JTS , v1, pp. Newman, Ehrman Oxford University Press. The New Testament contains twenty-seven books, written in Greek, by fifteen or sixteen different authors, who were addressing other Christian individuals or communities between the years 50 and see box 1. As we will see, it is difficult to know whether any of these books was written by Jesus' own disciples.

Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster. Clement I". Meier 's A Marginal Jew , v. Universe Books, , p.

Bibliographic Information

Bird, Michael F. Oxford University Press Past and Present. Croix, G. Davies , Paul and Rabbinic Judaism 2d ed. Eerdmans Publishing Een historische benadering Was mit Jesus wirklich geschah. Feiten, mythen en motieven. Who Wrote the New Testament? Bulletin for the Study of Religion. Supplements to Novum Testamentum My Jewish Learning. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 17 December Jacob Immanuel.

Consequently, my fundamental response to the question, "Why study religion in the twenty-first century?

We can easily recognize that religion has begun in recent years to receive ever more attention in public media and governmental-policy circles around the globe; the post-Enlightenment certainty that reason would replace religion proved wildly off the mark. Yet still, religion remains one of the least well understood sectors of life for the majority of persons in any and every society. Of course, we all may think we understand religion, or at least our own variety of it, but there is much evidence to suggest rather strongly that this is not actually so.

Take the American case. Religious Knowledge Survey" of , atheists and agnostics scored highest, with Jews and Mormons a close second and third, among all Americans in their ability to answer basic questions about the core teachings, histories, and leading figures of major world religious traditions—and these results were after controlling for differing levels of education. And, while these three groups averaged only between 20 and 21 correct answers to the 32 questions in the survey, all other groups averaged only between There are probably a number of conclusions one could plausibly draw from these results, but the overall picture is one of relative ignorance in our society about the faith of other persons.

Only 47 percent of Americans know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist, only 38 percent can identify Shiva and Vishnu as associated with Hindu traditions, and only about 27 percent know that the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia, has a Muslim majority in its population.

In fact, when you look at the more specific findings of the survey, societal ignorance about Americans' own religious traditions looms even larger: 53 percent of American Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the main figure inspiring the Protestant Reformation; 45 percent of Catholics did not know that their Church holds to transubstantiation of the Communion bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ; only 43 percent of Jews recognize that Maimonides, one of the greatest figures of Jewish learning and faith, was Jewish.

I could go on, but the gist is clear: If knowledge about religion—our own and others'—is important, we could surely use a better-informed public where religious matters are concerned. Well, that is again asking, "Why study religion in the twenty-first century? At the same time, according to a most interesting study, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us , written by my Harvard colleague Robert Putnam and David Campbell of the University of Notre Dame, it appears, counterintuitively, that despite their general ignorance about religion, Americans, especially younger Americans, are today becoming much more accepting of persons of other faiths than ever before.

If Putnam and Campbell are right, religious tolerance for one's fellows belonging to multiple faith traditions is increasing, even if knowledge about these traditions is rudimentary or even nonexistent. This is not a case of ignorance is bliss; rather, Putnam and Campbell attribute this to the simple fact that many more Americans today than ever before have increasing personal experience of colleagues, friends, and even family members who differ from them—often radically so—in their religious faith.

This aligns with the indications of the continuing growth of a religiously plural American society that Diana Eck's Pluralism Project has been documenting for years now. Even if there is increasing tolerance for persons of other faiths, such as Putnam and Campbell argue for, the Pew study and any glance at our national media coverage of anything religious tell us that there is still a very high level of incomprehension and ignorance about religion generally and about religious commitments and practices other than our own in particular, not to mention a frightening sector of our population that harbors an intense conviction that only their own religious tradition is valid or true.

So we still desperately need instruction, at all levels of our educational system, that teaches future citizens about religion as a global and human, not a sectarian and parochial, reality. By "religion," I mean the myriad ways in which human beings around the globe and across the centuries have dealt with the meaning of life and the values by which to order one's personal life, one's family life, one's social organization, and one's dealing with other human beings—both within and outside of one's own particular religious, national, racial, ethnic, linguistic, or socioeconomic group.

Why do we need more instruction? The answers are fairly simple but very crucial. Four come at once to mind:. Even persons of good intentions and expansive tolerance still need to know much more about the religious motivations and values of their neighbors at home and abroad. And militant Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and others need to recognize that the energy spent trying to convert others to their religious points of view or confessions—much less killing the others—could be better spent proving by thoughts, words, and actions that their own religious code is authentic, productive, and a blessing rather than a curse on humankind.

I firmly believe that religious literacy, 2 like other kinds of literacy, is an important part of the knowledge-and-ethics toolbox of the liberally educated woman or man. I use the word "liberal" here in the sense of broad- or open-minded, and not to designate a political position: arguably there are, or at least used to be, liberal-minded political conservatives as well as liberal-minded political liberals. Study of religion is not just for divinity schools and religion departments.