Lecture Wk 1, REL132FA16

Lecture Wk 1, REL132FA16 - Religion In America Week 1...

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Religion In America Week 1 Lecture (Readings: RAC 1-14; TGC Cpt. 1, & Appendix A) Overview (5 mins) When my wife and I visited the Czech Republic the summer of 2014, we took a walking tour of Prague’s old city. A young college-age Czech who was our tour guide weaved us through the coble-stone streets and at seemingly random moments he’d stop and point out a building or statue. He proceeded to help us see its significance for the Czech Republic and its people. Some objects were easily noticeable like the statue of Saint Wenceslas of Christmas carol fame. But others were far less noticeable like the 2”-brass squares randomly set in the pavement of homes that had had sir names of Jewish families with their birth dates and their deportation date to Nazis concentration camps. Without our guide, we never would have seen those tiny brace squares and if we had, we would not have known their significance. For this semester, I hope to be such a guide for you in Religion in America as I point out key people, key definitions, and pull together key ideas. Key People (Who, When, & Why) : Key Definitions: Religion; Secular; Culture; Worldview Key Ideas: Working Definition for Religion; Working Definition for Culture; 10 Key Themes of Religion in American Culture; Overview of Syllabus Learning Outcome 1: Working Definition for Religion (45 mins) 1 1
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Religion In America Week 1 Lecture (Readings: RAC 1-14; TGC Cpt. 1, & Appendix A) 1.1 Martin Luther, John Calvin 1.2 Key Definitions: Religion, Secular 1.3 Synthesis, Working Definition for Religion 1.1 Key People: Martin Luther, John Calvin Though both these men never set foot on American soil, their ideas, particularly their thoughts about God and the Bible, their theology, greatly shaped American culture. The Puritans, particularly John Calvin’s influence with his doctrines that shaped the worldviews of many of our founding fathers even though Deists wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights with Calvinistic thinking, shaped the very fiber of American psyche. These two men set the trajectory for our American democracy and the very culture we have today. 1.11 Martin Luther (1483-1546) In that year, 1517, when he nailed his ninety-five theses on Wittenberg door calling for reform in the established, state, Catholic Church, he began what became known as the Reformation, which resulted in Protestantism that eventually shattered state/church control in Europe. 1.12 John Calvin (1509-1564) He was founder of Calvinism, reform theology, who “established a model for Christian rule in the independent city of Geneva, Switzerland” (RAC, 17). The important role for American culture, besides his theology, was forming a model for a Christian church and state, which some of the original Puritan colonies attempted to copy in order to establish God’s kingdom in the new world. This was high 2 2
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Religion In America Week 1 Lecture (Readings: RAC 1-14; TGC Cpt. 1, & Appendix A) establishment between religion and state, an on-going tension in American culture ever since.
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