British Culture 7

By Leo Fox,2014-06-27 14:03
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British Culture 7

; British Culture 7 Religion and beliefs

    Outline for This Part

    ; I. General Introduction to Christianity

    ; II. The Christian Church in Britain

    ; III. The Decline of Religion

    ; IV. Superstition

    ; I. General Introduction to Christianity

    all the doctrines and religious groups based on the teaching of Jesus Christ ; 3 major groups

    ; Roman Catholic Church

    ; Orthodox Eastern Church

    ; Protestant Church

    Jesus Christ

    ; a Jew who lived in Palestine 2000 years ago

    ; accepted by Christian as the son of God

    ; conceived by a virgin named Mary

    ; preached and performed miracles

    ; His teaching conflicted with the orthodox Jewish laws and doctrines ; executed by crucifixion at the age of about 32

    ; Resurrection and Ascension

    ; Jesus rose from death to life and ascended into heaven.

    ; sent his spirit into the heart of his twelve apostles to inspire them to spread his teaching

    ; Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles at the Last Supper

    Christ’s Teaching

    ; based on love: love of God; love of our neighbor, i.e. of all our fellow men regardless of

    race --- universal brotherhood

    ; Love, humility, repentance and prayer lead to everlasting happiness in heaven ; the Bible

    ; the Old Testament: Jewish writings before the coming of Christ ; the New Testament: four accounts (“gospels”) of the life of Christ & the writings of early


    Contributions of St Paul

    ; the Trinity: the union of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. They are 3 elements of the same one


    ; Jesus Christ was God in the form of a man.

    ; In dying, Jesus took upon himself the punishment of the sins of men.

    ; The coming of his spirit enables God to be revealed to anyone who believes in


    Brief History of Development

    st; originated from Judaism, founded in the 1 century in Palestine

    ; A.D. 29 crucifixion of Jesus

    ; 34-64, Saint Paul developed it from a Jewish sect to a separate religion. ; 250-260, a decade of brutal persecution of Christians by the Romans ; tolerance and development

    ; 392, Christianity was made the state religion of the Roman Empire ; 1054 the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Eastern Church ---

     different in matters such as ceremonies, holy days, the display of images, the rights of the

    clergy etc.)

    th; 16 c. the Protestant Reformation

    the Roman Catholic Church

    the Christian Church headed by the Pope in Rome

    ; Catholics throughout the world recognize the supreme holy authority of Pope in Rome

    and of the Church or priesthood in general

    ; in the Middle Ages

    ; dominated Europe spiritually and politically

    ; corruptions and evils

    th; the Religious Reformation / Protestant Reformation (16 c.)

    ; 1517, Martin Luther, Germany: a series of theses that challenged Roman Catholic

    teaching, e.g. the selling of indulgences 赎罪券

    ; The Protestants stressed the Bible as the source and the norm of their teaching instead of

    the Pope as a source of authority.

    3 Major Divisions of Protestantism

    ; Lutheran

    ; Man could be saved through faith alone.

    ; Calvinist

    ; John Calvin 1509-1564, a French theologian, carried out the reformation in


    ; God’s law must be strictly obeyed

    ; Puritan

    ; later development, tend to be radical

    II. The Christian Church in Britain

    the Church of England / Anglican Church

    ; the established church of England / the official state religion ; one of the Protestant sects

    ; temporal / non-priestly head: the Queen

    ; religious head: the Primate of All England / the Archbishop of Canterbury ; divided into 2 provinces: York and Canterbury

    ; 26 of its highest priests sit in the House of Lord

    ; position in the UK: established only in England; a minority even in England ; its textbook: the Thirty-nine Articles / Book of Common Prayer ; Roman features retained in the Church of England

    ; the appointment of bishops

    ; The queen as its head symbolizes the requirement for conformity in religious


    ; the Difference Between Church of England and Roman Catholic Church ; in spiritual matters

    ; The Church of England has no strong central authority.

    ; It relies more on the Bible and leaves many questions to individual conscience

; in doctrines

    ; generally rejected certain Roman doctrines

    ; e.g. the central one concerning the celebration of Holy Communion A Brief Chronology of Its Development in Britain

    ; 55BC-411AD, first introduced by the Romans

    ; 597, the formal establishment of Christian church in England: St. Augustine and his

    fellow monks landed in Kent and built the first church at Canterbury, the religious capital

    of England.

    ; Remains of St. Augustine’s monastery at Canterbury

    ; 871-901, King Alfred the great, made or directed the translation from Latin to Old

    English many important religious books

    ; 1042-1066, King Edward, the building of Westminster Abbey

    ; the Poets’ Corner

    ; all the coronation ceremonies ever since the Norman Conquest ; William the Conqueror

    ; made himself head of the bishops in England

    ; refused to accept the pope in Rome as overlord of his kingdom ; conflicts between the king and the Church

    ; Thomas Becket, elected by Henry II (1154-89) Archbishop of the Canterbury


    ; opposed the king’s control of the Church

    ; got murdered and honored as a saint

     14th c. Wycliffe & the Lollards (a group of Oxford reformers)

    ; background: the Black Death (1348-49) & the Peasant Uprising (1381)

    ; demanded reformation of the church

    ; confiscation of the wealth possessed by the monasteries

    ; the study of the Bible itself & the right to private judgment in religion

    ; value thrift, despise display of wealth and oppose worldly pleasures

    ; fertilized the soil for the growth of Protestantism in England, esp. Puritanism

    th; 16 c. Protestant Reformation in England

    ; carried out by Henry VIII

    ; 1534 the Act of Supremacy 最高权威法案: the king was declared to be the only

    supreme head of the Church of England

    ; conflicts between Catholics and Protestants after the death of Henry VIII

    ; 1553-58 Queen Mary I, a Catholic, persecuted Protestants as retaliation

    for the Catholics

    ; 1558-1603 Queen Elizabeth I’s policy concerning the Church of England

    ; pro-Protestantism

    ; denied papal supremacy by declaring herself “defender of the faith”

    ; imposed the Common Prayer Book / Thirty-nine Articles, the English selection of

    the Bible

    ; moderation in the suppression of Catholics

    ; 1603-25 James I

    ; The King James Bible 1611

    ; “Divine Rights of Kings”

    ; 1625-49 Charles I, ready to restore Catholicism

    ; persecution of the extreme Puritans and the Pilgrim fathers in American history

    ; started in Elizabethan Age

    ; Neither government nor bishops should interfere with their religious affairs.

    ; 1620 Mayflower, the “new world”

    ; English bourgeois revolution, also called Puritan revolution

    ; 1685-88 James II, ready to re-establish Catholicism

    ; 1688 Glorious Revolution

     1689 the Bill of Rights

    ; Non-conformist / Free Churches

    ; agree on the essentials of Christianity

    ; have different methods of organization or forms of service of points of interpretation and


    ; 1. the Presbyterian Church

    ; governed by the presbyters / elders, all of equal rank

    ; refuse church ceremonies, even regard church as redundant

    ; Church of Scotland is presbyterian in organization

    ; 2. the Congregational Church

    ; started in late 16thc. and early 17thc.

    ; no bishops or presbyters

    ; Each congregation / local church has free control of its own affairs, with Jesus

    alone as its head.

    ; 1972, in England, united with the Presbyterian Church into the United Reformed


    ; 3. the Methodist Church

    th; originated from the teaching of John Wesley in early 18 c.

    ; conduct their lives and study by certain “rule and method”

    ; 4. the Baptist Church

    ; holds baptism (圣水洗礼) for believers old enough to understand its meaning

    ; Baptism should be by immersion (being covered completely with water).

; 5. the Quakers / Religious Society of Friends

    th; originated in the 17 c. , in England, George Fox

    ; holds informal meetings instead of formal church services --- refuses any

    authority of church or priest, believes the Holy Spirit enters each individual’s


    ; believes in complete equality

    ; opposed to violence or war; active in social welfare

    ; Puritanism

    ; at first an extreme Protestant sect, determined to purify the English Church of all the

    thcorruption and ceremonial pomp of the Roman Church of the16th and 17 century.

    ; based on Calvinism

    ; today refers to an attitude of mind or a characteristic

    ; its influence on the politics, economy and culture of Britain and American ; major doctrines

    ; All men were predestined. Achievement through hard work is a sign of salvation.

    ; hard work, self-discipline, thrift

    ; stern simplicity: plain food and clothing

    ; temperance: disapprove of strong drink, even smoking, dancing and games

    ; strict morality: absolute honesty; looking upon many earthly pleasure as sinful

    ; strict in religion: e.g. keen to protect the Sabbath

    ; Smaller Sects in Britain

    th; sects that originated in 19 c. American

     the Christian Scientists

     the Seventh-Day Adventists

     the Jehovah’s Witnesses

     the Latter-Day Saints / Mormons

    ; the spiritualists: on the edge of Christianity

    ; Non-Christian Religions

    ; Judaism: the only one that is widespread in Britain

    ; Islam

    ; Buddhism

    III. the Decline of Religion

    ; freedom of religious conscience in the UK

    ; A large proportion of people are not really interested in religion at all. ; major causes

    ; the success of modern science: e.g. Darwin’s theory of evolution

    ; the general improvement in social conditions and the variety of modern


    ; confusion in the belief of God

    ; charitable work and volunteer services

    ; IV. Superstition

    ; The relics of superstition found in Britain are connected chiefly with good luck and bad


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