HUM 2 Lecture 14 - Lecture 14 May 13, 2010 I. Njal a. Why...

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Lecture 14 May 13, 2010 I. Njal a. Why is Njal Protagonist? i. He is the principal actor after chapter 95, which is pretty late ii. He has been an advisor on what to do, but he hasn’t really been an actor up until then iii. In trying to get Hoskuld a chieftainship, he pulls it off, and becomes the main character iv. He is killed not too many chapters later and he disappears again v. Why does the author name the work for him? b. The Conversion i. We have been dealing with the coming about of Christianity, which has mostly been conversion in Paul and Augustine ii. These are critical of how a life story is supposed to take place, but here we don’t have any of that iii. Many people such as Njal convert, but when they do, it is more of a “matter of fact”, with no long struggles about sin and transformation of life iv. The author focuses on the conversion is the conflict conversion creates, and the threat to society it creates v. The conflict is between those how hold the old views, and those who accept the new religion, and the law is dependent on a common faith vi. One must take oath based on their gods, because no one knows whether one will break an oath or not, it is God who can be relied upon to enforce an oath vii. The gods give consequences for someone who breaks the oath, and the fear of the consequences makes people takes oaths honestly viii. The oath swearing is called into question c. Author picks up on how the Germans should convert to the church i. At the end of the 6 th century, Pope Gregory sent missionaries to England, giving them instructions 1. Use whatever you find in the society of the pagans to use that to convert 2. Do not try to suppress the older traditions, but transform them into something Christian 3. Missionaries built churches right on top of the sacred sites of the pagan holy places 4. Pope Josiah tried to take all the high places to make all people pray to God in a centralized place, and Gregory says to not do that ii. Berserkers were always men, who are very dangerous 1. Thangbrand can control the berserk and demonstrates the power of his God iii. The author wants to talk about the function of Christianity, and how Christianity grows in the world 1. Augustine went on after his conversion to think about the whole course of human history 2. How did the human race relate to God over time?
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3. He created a Christian version of history, meaning he assigned certain events as critical events in human history, and what changes matter 4. For Augustine, what matters is the relationship between man and God, regarding the Hebrew Bible as history 5. The things that matter were where God revealed and instructed mankind 6. Moses, the handing down of the law to the people, changes the relationship of the Jews to God, puts them under divine positive law, the kind of law that are not self evident and are arbitrary 7. Jesus comes and changes the relationship between man and God 8. In the second coming, the relationship will change again
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HUM 2 Lecture 14 - Lecture 14 May 13, 2010 I. Njal a. Why...

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