Lecture 4 - RELIGIOUS STUDIES 90A Professor Nicklaus...

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RELIGIOUS STUDIES 90A Professor Nicklaus Largier 9/08/09 Lecture 04 ASUC Lecture Notes Online is the only authorized note-taking service at UC Berkeley. Do not share, copy or illegally distribute (electronically or otherwise) these notes. Our student-run program depends on your individual subscription for its continued existence. These notes are copyrighted by the University of California and are for your personal use only. D O N O T C O P Y Sharing or copying these notes is illegal and could end note taking for this course. ANNOUNCEMENTS Some of you have expressed concern about the midterm; please do not worry about it for now. I will explain in detail what it will be important for you to know for the midterm, which will be based on the lectures and readings. I just suggest that you do the readings and attend lectures and sections. The lectures are also being taped and podcasted, which means I am likely to speak more as a lecturer; it may also encourage some of you not to come to class, since you can listen to the lectures at the gym or elsewhere. I encourage you to come to the lectures, which I hope you will enjoy. We are a little behind the syllabus; I will do my best to catch up. LECTURE Augustine and Anthony . Both texts we are reading this week have been very important in shaping the Christian imagination and view of the religious life and how the self should relate to the self in a Christian life. Augustine ties faith to the act of reading scripture; faith comes from engagement with reading for Augustine. Without the practice of reading scripture, there is no faith for him. You may have noticed that I included Chapter 9 in the Reader, whereas the syllabus only says we are reading chapters 6-8; I decided to add Chapter 9. Next time we will talk about the reading about St. Anthony, which illustrates another form of Christian practice, known as asceticism, which involves a harsh isolation from society and such things as fasting, praying and radical monastic life. He became a hermit in the desert and engages energetically with the devil; this is a very famous text. Augustine’s Threshold Position . I want to return to Augustine’s basic position as someone who is on a threshold. On the one hand he is influenced by Greek and Roman philosophical positions about the nature of the good life, which is dominated by the Platonic perspective. He has an intense desire for life guided by contemplative uplift where he can contemplate the divine and be one with it. This is a kind of turning upward and backward from the world to the divine. He wants to turn backward to a lost overarching unity of being, and away from the everyday. But he also finds a bridge to the Christian tradition and scripture and faith. So he relies on both rational understanding and faith; these are the 2 poles in his understanding. What I find remarkable is the way that what we in
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2010 for the course CHEM 21234 taught by Professor Frechet during the Spring '10 term at UC Davis.

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Lecture 4 - RELIGIOUS STUDIES 90A Professor Nicklaus...

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