week 9 final exam - 1 John Sherrow Hum 130/ Final Exam...

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1 John Sherrow Hum 130/ Final Exam RANDI JO MCLEOD Thursday, May 05, 2011 World Religions
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2 This paper presents research of the beliefs and practices of Roman Catholicism; describes the worship space of the church; summarizes an interview conducted with a believer; and finally, compares Roman Catholicism to Islam. The Roman Catholic Church’s origins come directly from the teachings of Jesus and his disciples, as do all denominations of Christianity. “Jesus sent his disciples out in to the world, and Paul had opened the church to the Gentiles. In a sense catholic Christianity was simply a development of Jesus’ plans and Paul’s efforts”. (Shelley, 1995) When Constantine became the first Christian Roman emperor in 313 A.D., Christianity became free from persecution and later even became the official religion of the Roman Empire. This however; marked the unofficial end of the unified church as power plays and politics became as much a part of the church as the gospels themselves. In 1054, the Eastern Orthodox Church split from the unified Church over the principle of supreme authority being held by the Bishop of Rome (better known as the Pope). During this time, the Roman Catholic Church also established its own authority to teach and interpret scripture. “Individual believers are not encouraged to read the Bible and seek its meaning; instead the church will decide that and teach it to the believer”. (Anonymous, 2010) By the sixteenth century, the Protestant churches separated from the Roman Catholic Church as well. Although many religions and their varying sects have many beliefs and principles in common, a number of practices, beliefs, and political matters differ enough to warrant a split from other denominations. Sunni Muslims hold different beliefs from Shiite Muslims. Protestants have dissimilar practices to Lutherans. Baptist sermons are decidedly different from Catholic masses. Just as dissimilar denominations have different practices and principles, so too do the interiors of their worship space differ.
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3 With this in mind, the catholic parish that I visited is vast with many appealing attributes. The walls are a soothing gray color that hints at the age and grandeur of its architecture. Black and white checkerboard tiles line the floor of the church and a small receptacle of holy water greets parishioners as they enter. Located high up on the north and south walls are large sets of stained glass windows and three larger stained glass windows are above and behind the altar on the eastern side of the building. Images of various saints, angels, and other Biblical figures adorn the windows. A large wooden cross adorns the area above the windows behind the altar, and
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week 9 final exam - 1 John Sherrow Hum 130/ Final Exam...

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