REL 121 PAPER 1

REL 121 PAPER 1 - Yuen 1 Jonathan Yuen Professor Hock...

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Unformatted text preview: Yuen 1 Jonathan Yuen Professor Hock Religion 121 21 October 2008 History as Perceived: Observation and Analysis of the Urban New Testament World The urban world of the New Testament was a not a simple, one dimensional society as one might perceive. It was an integrated political structure that formed an organized community. This structure was formed around a leader and his household, the aristocratic household. This household was the central institution in the urban setting, the polis. Daily activities within the polis revolved around this central institution. During the day, aristocrat males would spend most of their time in the theater handling civic duties and their personal business affairs. In the evening they would tend to leisure events such as watching plays at the theater or attending the symposia. Young aristocratic men that attended the symposia were often accompanied by a female escort called a hetaira. Hetairai were of a social marginal class, they did not belong to the aristocratic household. Another important constituency in the cultural infrastructure of the New Testament urban community Yuen 2 was Cynic philosophy. I t was during the Socratic shift, a break from Ta Physika to Ta Ethika, that various schools of thought were spanned, one of the most prominent schools of thought that had been birthed during this time period was Cynic philosophy. Cynic philosophy, along with the symposia and the hetairai, each constitute to an integrated society that has shaped the behaviors and lives of many people during the New Testament era. First we will look at the symposia. The symposia was a social event that allowed the aristocrats to relax and socialize. I t was the central entertainment within the polis any day of the month. This event was usually held in the andron, meaning “the men’s room.” I t was the largest room in the aristocratic mansion and was the most decorated of the rooms within. The andron had easy access to the street for guests to enter and leave the symposia easily. Usually, the symposia was held for special occasions. In the case of Lucian of Samosata’s reading, “The Symposium, or The Lapiths,” we see Aristaenetus, the host, had held a symposium in the event of intending to give his daughter, Cleanthis, away in marriage to Eucritus’ son Chareas. I t was major milestone during the New Testament time period to give away ones daughter in marriage within the aristocratic household, thus a special occasion to hold a symposium. Another example of an important Yuen 3 occasion to hold a symposium is in the event of a marriage. In Longus’ story “Daphnis and Chloe,” Megacles, along with Dryas, Nape and Rhode, hold a symposium for Daphnis and Chloe’s marriage celebration. Although the symposium was not held in the andron, it was a pastoral festivity, as requested by the married couple, Daphnis and Chloe, otherwise if held in the city, it would have been at Megacles’ mansion....
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2009 for the course REL 121 taught by Professor Hocke during the Fall '08 term at USC.

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REL 121 PAPER 1 - Yuen 1 Jonathan Yuen Professor Hock...

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