We'll more or less wrap up our new material on Christianity today. As long as you don't annoy me too severely, my plan is to give you a copy of the Christianity quiz to do in class using notes/resources near the end of the hour.
Trends Within Modern Christianity: This is by no means a complete listing. Notice that we are largely avoiding denominational differences here.
DISCLAIMER: I suppose this probably isn't necessary, but I want to make it clear that these links are here to provide a variety of perspectives, and none of them carry any sort of endorsement by me or the class or the school or whatever... Consider them "primary" sources, and interpret them as you see fit.
Ecumenism: Ecumenical movements within Christianity strive to recognize the diversity among Christian groups and work toward reconciliation. (In its most idealistic format, an ecumenical movement may seek to do the same among different religious traditions.)
- Unitatis Redintegratio - Decree on Ecumenism - Vatican Conference II
- Ecumenism - Here's an update from a very Christian-based organization calling itself the Jeremiah Project
- World Council of Churches - Homepage
Evangelicalism: Broadly speaking, this refers to the teaching of Christian gospel in an attempt to convert others to Christianity. This tends to be associated with Protestant denominations. One modern manifestation of this movement has been the spread of "televangelists" with which many of you are familiar. Some of the most prominent (and controversial) have included Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, and Jerry Falwell.
- "What is an Evangelical?" - Here's an essay from the "Worldwide Church of God."
"What does it mean to be born again?" - This is from a site called GotQuestions.org
- Current Televangelists - The TelevANGEList Network Here's a list of links to many of the current crop of televangelists.
- "Where does world-famous televangelist's money go?" - This is the transcript of an NBC News/Dateline report focusing on Benny Hinn, one of the most well-known of modern televangelists. He is perhaps best known for his claim of being a "faith healer."
Fundamentalism: Within any religion, a fundamentalist is one who interprets scripture and belief at a literal level. Again, this would be more commonly heard in reference to certain Protestant groups.
- Christian Fundamentalism - A List of Resources - Jerry Seay (College of Charleston)
This contains a number of resources, both from within and outside of the fundamentalist viewpoint.
Liberation Theology: "What must be done? as opposed to "What must I believe?" This movement grew out of the Catholic Church in the 1960s. It attempts to address and redress inequalities and oppression through a Christian perspective. Most of the early focus of the movement was in Latin America, but it has certainly spread to other areas. Later, other groups adopted the principles of the movement to seek similar reforms.
- Liberation Theology Resources Online
- Preliminary Notes on Liberation Theology - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (You might know him better as Pope Benedict XVI...)
HOMEWORK for next session - Monday, December 17th
You could begin making progress reading the Islam chapter in Huston Smith's The World's Religions.
The Christianity Short Essay questions are posted. Thursday, December 20th seems like the logical due date to set for those.