Category Archives: Religious Studies

2000-3000 word exegesis paper

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2000-3000 word exegesis paper

Exegesis Paper

You will complete an exegesis of a passage from the New Testament (employing methods of interpretation and perspectives, such as literary and historical context, literary form, and structure). Exegesis means to expound upon a text, to unpack a text of its many meanings. Elements of various types of criticism will be employed to further develop your ability to interpret the Bible. The paper should be 2000-3000 words in length and follow MLA style.

Select one of the following passages as the basis for your exegesis:

  •   Matthew 17:1-13
  • Follow the outline below and answer the questions in each section using recommended sources. Keep the outline headings below as the subheadings of your exegesis.
  1. Literary Criticism
    1. Context: What follows and precedes your passage? Are your pages affected by this context?
    2. Form criticism: What is the literary form of your passage? Are there other places in the Bible(or related text) where this form is used and which help to interpret this passage?
    3. Structure: Do you detect any particular structural pattern (e.g., parallelism within yourassigned book of the Bible)? Describe the parts of your passage.
    4. Redaction criticism: Has your passage come through an editorial process? What changeshave been made? Explain why certain changes have been made.
    5. Key words: What are the theologically important words in the passage? Do these wordsevoke any other parts of the Bible? Are these words used in a new way by the author of this passage? What do these words mean?
  2. Theological Analysis
    1. What does this passage say about the relationship with God?
    2. What questions might this passage have addressed in the community for which it was originally written?

Compare two Asian religions or practices

Compare two Asian religions or practices

Please explain your reasons to why you chose to examine these two particular religions, and the details of their similarities and differences. A total of 6 pages, double spaced and 12 pt. font Times Roman.

Deadline: Friday of the fourth week of our Summer session.

Peacemakers Project Instructions

Peacemakers Project Instructions

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”

Francis Bacon – The Advancement of Learning

Conflict Resolution is an essential element of life, but a task filled with so many diverse issues that not many can engage it without feeling a bit unprepared. Through the grace of God we have been given a wonderful ministry of reconciliation and direct commands to live at peace with others. The core outcome of this project is to allow you to practice the principles of conflict resolution laid forth in the Peacemakers text.


  • The final presentation of the project will be a 12-page paper. (a minimum of 12 pages should be dedicated to the 12 sections involved with the project—1 page per section)


  • The structure of the paper should follow the 4-part outline provided in the Peacemakers Workbook* Each part includes 3 sections of questions that will lead you to apply and communicate the principles of addressing a personal conflict in your life.*


*Since this project is of a sensitive nature, you can count on the confidentiality of the instructor as they interact with you for this assignment.


  • Step 1—Submit a 1-page proposal describing the situation and person with whom you have a personal conflict that is unresolved. This personal conflict can be within the scope of your ministry, family, or vocation. This is due in Module/Week 3. Review the Peacemakers Workbook to help determine the conflict you need to address.


  • Step 2—Begin to answer the questions in the Peacemakers Workbook as you read through the Peacemakers text. Note the schedule of reading on Course Schedule.


  • Step 3— Meet with the person with which you have the conflict to address the issues involved. This brings the “theory” of the course to “reality.”


  • Step 4— Review/edit** your project presentation and submit it in no later than 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 7.


*MBS does have the package (you get the workbook with the package)  Resolving Everyday Conflict Resource (Access Code), MBS Direct SKU# 1364783.*  Please call Customer Service   1-800-325-3252 or one can get it directly from Peacemakers @ 800-711-7118 (ask for Gene Walth and let him know you are a LEAD 610 student @ LU)


**Be sure to include a title page, introduction, and subheadings under the 4 parts for each of the 12 sections, a minimum of 6 footnotes, a conclusion, and a Bibliography page.



Conflict Resolution is an essential element of life, but a task filled with so many diverse issues that not many can engage it without feeling a bit unprepared. Through the grace of God we have been given a wonderful ministry of reconciliation and direct commands to live at peace with others. The core outcome of this project is to allow you to practice the principles of conflict resolution laid forth in the Peacemakers text.

• The final presentation of the project will be a 12-page paper. (a minimum of 12 pages should be dedicated to the 12 sections involved with the project—1 page per section)

• The structure of the paper should follow the 4-part outline provided in the Peacemakers Workbook* Each part includes 3 sections of questions that will lead you to apply and communicate the principles of addressing a personal conflict in your life.*

*Since this project is of a sensitive nature, you can count on the confidentiality of the instructor as they interact with you for this assignment.

• Step 1—Submit a 1-page proposal describing the situation and person with whom you have a personal conflict that is unresolved. This personal conflict can be within the scope of your ministry, family, or vocation. This is due in Module/Week 3. Review the Peacemakers Workbook to help determine the conflict you need to address.

• Step 2—Begin to answer the questions in the Peacemakers Workbook as you read through the Peacemakers text. Note the schedule of reading on Course Schedule.

• Step 3— Meet with the person with which you have the conflict to address the issues involved. This brings the “theory” of the course to “reality.”

• Step 4— Review/edit** your project presentation and submit it in no later than 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 7.

Be sure to include a title page, introduction, and subheadings under the 4 parts for each of the 12 sections, a minimum of 6 footnotes, a conclusion, and a Bibliography page.

The Abstract have been posted of which you will use for the project that have been approved by the teacher. Also follow the instructions that have been given. Any questions please let me know.

Gender Roles in Regards to Religions in China

Gender Roles in Regards to Religions in China

Paper Instructions:

Paper Format: APA

# of Sources: 5 sources 

In the paper you must present your thesis statement (your main argument), supported by well-organized evidences from your research.  You can certainly modify your earlier abstract and topic.  You can also elaborate your response journal or presentations, or you may find something more interesting as a result of discussions, but you have to go beyond these to do your own library research.  You are more than welcome to turn in your thesis statements and turn in your outlines well before the final due date to seek the instructor’s advice.

For paper: It must show:

  1. Clear and original thesis
  2. Use evidence from your research to support your thesis
  3. Comprehensive and to-the-point analysis of the evidence to support the main thesis
  4. Good format (including notes and bibliography) and organization of the paper.Required Textbooks/Sources

    Susan Brownell, Jeffrey Wasserstrom eds., Chinese Femininities/Chinese Masculinities: A Reader. University of California Press, 2002.

    Jinhua Jia, Xiaofei Kang, and Ping Yao, eds., Gendering Chinese Religion: Subject, Identity and Body. State University Press, 2014.

    Other readings can be found on blackboard, under Course Documents, or through Gelman library’s e-databases.

    Class Schedule:

    1/15 Overview of course, methodology and review of Chinese history.

    1/22 Where do we start?

    Joan Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis (JSTOR, Library e-database);” Rita Gross, “Studying Women and Religion: Conclusions Twenty-Five Years After,” (blackboard); Brownnell and Wasserstrom, “Introduction,” Jia, Kang & Yao, 1-22.

    1/29 Cosmology, Gender and Space

    Alison Black, “Gender and cosmology in Chinese correlative thinking,” in Gender and Religion ed., C.W. Bynum; Guisso, “Thunder Over the Lake: The Five Classics and The Perception of Woman in Early China;” Francesca Bray, “The Inner Quarters: Oppression or Freedom?” in House Home Family: Living and Being Chinese, ed Ronald G Knapp and Kai-yin Lo, 259-79 (blackboard)

    2/5 The Gendered Body

    Furth, “Blood, Body and Gender” and Chen, “Embodying Qi”” in Brownell and Wasserstrom, 291-330; Raz, “Birthing the Self,” and Valussi, “Female Alchemy,” in Jia, Kang and Yao, 183-224.

     2/12 Marriage, Chastity, Law and Gendered Identity 

    Theiss, “Femininity in Flux: Gendered Virtue and Social Conflict in the Ming-Qing Court Room”; Sommer, “Dangerous Males, Vulnerable Males, and Polluted Males: The Regulation of Masculinity in Qing Dynasty Law;” Mann, “Grooming a daughter,” in Brownell and Wasserstrom, 47-119.

    2/19 Women in Buddhist and Daoist Tradition

    Yao, “Tang Women in the Transformation of Buddhist Filiality,” Grant, “Writing Oneself into the Tradition,” Jia, “The Identity of Tang Daoist Priestesses,” Cheung, “A Religious Menopausal Ritual.” In Jia, Kang and Yao, 25-70, 103-32.

    2/26 Deities, Spirits and Female Power

     Sangren, P. Steven. “Female Gender in Chinese Religious Symbols: Kuan-yin, Ma Tsu, and the ‘Eternal Mother'” Signs 9 (Autumn 1983): 5-25 (Gelman E-database); Emily Ahern, “The Power and Pollution of Chinese Women.” (blackboard); Xiaofei Kang, “Foxes and Sprit Mediums” (blackboard); Erin Cline, “Female Spirit Mediums and Religious Authority in Contemporary Southeastern China” in Modern China 36:5 (2010), 520-555 (Gelman E-database).

    3/4  Christianity, the West, and Changing Gendered Practices

    Kang, “Women and the Religious Question,” 491-502 (blackboard); Kwok Pui-lan, “Chinese Women and the Protestant Christianity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.” (blackboard) Patricia Ebrey, “Gender and Sinology: Shifting Western Interpretations of Footbinding:’ in Late Imperial China, vol. 20.2 (1999), 1-34; Angela Zito, “Secularizing the Pain of Footbinding in China,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 75.1 (2007), 1-24. (both in Gelman ArticlePLUS).

    3/11 Abstract and Bibliography Report and Exchange

    3/14-18 Spring Break

     3/25          Modern Reconstruction of Women, Gender and Religion

    Kang, “Women and the Religious Question,” 502-17; Lu Xun, “New Year’s Sacrifice” (; Glosser, “The Truth I have learned” Brownell and Wasserstrom, 120-144; Emily Honig, “Christianity, Feminism, and Communism: The Life and Times of Deng Yuzhi.” (blackboard).

    Women, Gender and Religion in the Communist Revolution

    4/1 Roxanne Prazniak, “Mao and the Women Question in an Age of Green Politics: Some Critical Reflections,” 23-58 (blackboard); Kang, “Women and the Religious Question,” 517-32,

    Kang, “Revisiting White-haired Girl” in Jia, Kang and Yao, 133-156; Zhao Shuli, “The Marriage of Young Blacky.” (blackboard)

    Women and Religion in post-Mao times and in Greater China

    4/8 Kang, “Women and the Religious Question,” 532-end; Julia Huang, “Gendered Charisma in the Buddhist Tzu Chi (Ciji) Movement, Nova Religion 12.2 (2008) (Edatabase); Bunkenborg, Mikkel. “Popular religion inside out: Gender and ritual revival in a Hebei township.” China Information 26.3 (2012): 359-376 (edatabase); Wong, “Negotiating between Two Patriarchies,” in Jia, Kang and Yao, 157-82.

    4/15 Guest Lecture by Professor Anna Sun: “The Return of Confucianism in Contemporary China.” Sigur Center of Asian Studies, Suit 505, 12:30-2pm

     4/22 Gender, Ethnicity and Religion

    Louisa Schein, “Gender and Internal Orientalism in China;” (blackboard) Litzinger, “Tradition and the Gender of Civility,” in Brownell and Wasserstrom, 385-34; Ben Hillman and Lee-Ann Henfry, “Macho Minority: Masculinity and Ethnicity on the Edge of Tibet,” Modern China

    Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), pp. 251-272 (Gelman e-database)

Religious Studies, Will Adam echopsychology

Religious Studies, Will Adam echopsychology

Subject or discipline: Religious studies
Title: Will Adam echopsychology
Number of sources: 5
Provide digital sources used: No
Paper format: APA
# of pages: 3
Spacing: Double spaced
# of words: 825
Paper details:
Will Adams states in his article that “what is normal is far from healthy” (277). Carefully explain what the considerations are behind such a statement. Which other authors we have read might agree with such a view? Analyze the positions on the issue of normalcy and deviance/pathology of at least one additional author.
Comments from Support Team: I would like to edit the TOPIC & PAPER DETAILS;

TOPIC:Gender study in the field of psychology of religion

PAPER DETAILS: What is the distinctive contribution of “feminist voices” (8) concerning the psychology of religion, and in what ways does this approach parallel themes in cultural and comparative concerns? Discuss in particular some feminist critiques of Freud (or Jung) in terms of the distinctive contribution. In your view, what are the most important aspects of studying gender in the context of psychology of religion? *The article is in the book Religion and Psychology: Mapping the Terrain – November 8, 2000 by Diane Jonte-Pace, William B. Parsons

Comparing Mencius and Zhuangzi Philosophies on Religion


Comparing Mencius and Zhuangzi Philosophies on Religion

  1. Introduction

The work allows one to analyze and understand the two version of the Warring States Confucianism period. The thinkers are Confucian philosophers that analyzed the nature of humans concerning morality, death, character, life among others. The aim of this work is to analyze the similarities and differences between the content of Mencius and Zhuangzi on human nature and to identify which is the greatest in the Chinese Confucian.

  1. Similarities
  • Both philosophers believe that humans are the same naturally but different in the behaviors.
  • They both believe that human nature is good, and the environment determines the characteristics of humans
  • Both philosophers discussed people and identified that their character value happiness in their life.
  • The scholars agreed that human nature is fundamentally good. Human nature is close to one another but become distant with time.
  • Both philosophers argue that it is important to learn and reflect what one gained during the learning process. They argue that if humans learn without revealing they will get lost, and if they reflect without learning, they will be in danger.
  • Differences
  • Zhuangzi argues that humans should be natural while Mencius believes that people should be moral.
  • Mencius thinks that you cannot judge a benevolent person by looking at them but by studying their character while Zhuangzi argues that one has to purpose to be generous as the characters are not natural.
  • Zhuangzi argues that, in human nature, laughter should come first since happiness is better than resources while Mencius claims that that happiness depends on sprouting of a virtue, and once the attribute establishes itself, then humans can enjoy enough joy.
  1. Conclusion

The aim of the discussion was to identify the comparisons between the arguments of the two Confucius philosophers. The similarities and the differences rotate around the nature of humans as an aspect of religion.


Works cited

Chan, Alan Kam-Leung, ed. Mencius: Contexts and Interpretations. University of Hawaii             Press,   2002.

Hong-liang, G. U. “Modern Understanding Mencius’ Theory of Personality [J].” Qilu         Journal 1 (2004): 013.

Lau, Dim Cheuk. Mencius. Chinese University Press, 2003.

Rainey, Lee. “Mencius and his vast, overflowing qi (haoran zhi qi).”Monumenta     Serica 46         (1998): 91-104.

Raphals, Lisa. “Skeptical Strategies in the” Zhuangzi” and” Theaetetus”.”Philosophy East and West 44.3 (1994): 501-526.

Rapp, Jennifer R. “A Poetics of Comparison: Euripides, Zhuangzi, and the Human Poise   of         Imaginative Construction.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion (2010):          lfp092.

Skaja, Henry G. “How to interpret chapter 16 of the Zhuangzi.” Wandering at Ease in the             Zhuangzi (1998): 116.

Van Norden, Bryan W. “Competing interpretations of the inner chapters of the”     Zhuangzi”.” Philosophy East and West (1996): 247-268.

Wong, David. “Crossing Cultures in Moral Psychology.” Philosophy Now 36 (2002): 7-     10.

Zhi-hui, L. I. “A Comparison of Mencius and Zhuang Tzu’s Ideas on Human and Heaven             [J].” Journal of Huaihai Institute of Technology (Social Sciences Edition) 3 (2006): 006.

The Accidental Buddhist Book Assessment

The Accidental Buddhist Book Assessment

Worth 100 points

It’s now time to turn in your Accidental Buddhist Assessment.

The supplemental book you have been reading, The Accidental Buddhist, by Dinty Moore, can be assessed in two different ways. Some students’ strength is in memorizing and preparing for an exam. For other students, they would rather not have a time constraint and be able to write their thoughts out in an analysis or reflection. Therefore, this assessment appeals to both types of learning and gives you the opportunity to choose what works best for you in showing me you did indeed read this book! In other words, it is your choice in how you wish to be evaluated – so choose wisely!

You’ve been reading this book for weeks now and are probably either finished or finishing up now.  Ideally, you have also been preparing for  writing your reflection.

Write a 4-5 page Book Reflection, untimed, responding thoroughly to the chapters in the book.  If you choose this option, do not just regurgitate the author’s writings (and do not DARE copy a review from another source (an automatic fail)– this reflection is to be your own words, thoughts and analysis).  Follow these guidelines:

  1. Give me your personal reflections and questions in response to reading this book. What parts spoke to you and what sections didn’t?
  2. Highlight sections of the book that relate to the material we’ve learned about in class (you may use the study guide below to help you with organization!)

Be sure your summary addresses themes in all the chapters (in other words, show me you read this book thoroughly! Do not skip huge sections and expect to earn full points).

The Origins of hindusim:

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The Origins of hindusim

Looking at a map of India (Figure 3.1, p. 76) you can see that this subcontinent, shaped like a diamond, is isolated. Two sides face the sea, while the north is bounded by the steep Himalaya Mountains . There are few mountain passes, and the only easy land entry is via the narrow corridor in the northwest, in the vicinity of the Indus River , where Pakistan now lies. It is the relative isola tion of India that has helped create a culture that is rare and fascinating. India ’s climate, except in the mountain regions, is generally warm for most of the year, a l lowing people to live outdoors much of the time. Indeed, some people may even claim that the climate has helped promote religious values that, at least for some, minimize the importance of material goods such as clothing, housing, and wealth. Although hot and dry in many parts, India has many rivers and streams. Most important is the Ganges, which flows out of the Himalayas and is enlarged by tributaries as it moves east toward the Bay of Bengal . By the time the Ganges has reached the town of Benares (also known as Varanasi and Kashi), the river is eno r mous; in fact, after the summer monsoons, the river becomes so wide that often one cannot see to the other side. Because the water of the Ganges is regular and dependable, it has enabled civilization to flourish across much of northern India . It has also given Indian culture a sense of security, protection, and even care, which has led to the popular name for the river, Ganga Ma (“Mother Ganges”). The religious life of India is something like the river Ganges . It has flowed along for tho u sands of years, swirling from its own power but also from th e power of new streams that have added to its force. Hinduism, the major religion of India , has been an important part of this flowing energy. Many influences—early i n digenous religion and influences from later immigrants—have added to its inherent momentu m. It has no one identifiable founder, no strong organiz a tional structure to defend it and spread its influence, nor any creed to define and stabilize its b e liefs; and in a way that seems to defy reason, Hinduism unites the worship of many gods with a beli ef in a single divine reality. In fact, the name Hinduism can be misleading. Hinduism is not a single, unified religion; it is more like a family of beliefs. But the limitations of Hinduism may also be its strengths. It is like a palace that began as a two -room co t tage. Over the centuries, wings have Copyright | McGraw-Hill Higher Education | Experiencing the World’s Religions | Edition 6 | | Printed from been built on to it, and now it has countless rooms, stairs, corridors, statues, fountains, and ga r dens. There is something here to please and astonish—and dismay—almost everyone. In fact, its beliefs are so ri ch and profound that Hinduism has greatly influenced the larger world, and its infl u ence contin-ues to grow. In this chapter we will explore the various elements of this religion’s foundation and the stages in which add i tions were made to the sprawling hous e of Hinduism. Copyright | McGraw-Hill Higher Education | Experiencing the World’s Religions



The Earliest stage of Indian religion:


In the early twentieth century, engineers who were building a railroad dis-covered the ruins of an ancient culture in the Indus River valley. Today, most of the Indus River lies in Pakista n , but it traditionally formed the natural border of northwes t ern India —in fact, the words India and Hindu derive from Indus. The culture that archeolog i cal workers uncovered there flourished. before 2000 bce and is named the Harappa culture, after one of i ts ancient cities (Timeline 3.1). Archeologists were amazed by the type of civilization they found. The cities contained regular streets and solid brick houses. Pots and coins were discovered, as well as evidence that running water was used for toilets and baths. As one hi s torian remarks, “no other ancient civilization until that of the Romans had so efficient a system of drains” 1 —a genuine sign of technical deve l opment. This complex culture ha d also invented a writing system, which scholars are still wor k ing to decipher.



The Religion Of the vedic period:


The ancient scriptures of India are called the Vedas. They give a great deal of informat ion about gods and wo r ship during what is often called the Vedic period, generally thought to cover about 2000 to 500 bce. The origin of the Vedas and of the religion they describe, however, is unce r tain. In the late eighteenth century, Western scholars re cognized that Sanskrit—the ancient language of India and the language of the Vedas—was related to Greek and Latin. They also rea l ized that many of the gods mentioned in the Vedas were the same gods who had been worshiped in Greece and Rome ; they discovered , as well, that gods of similar names were mentioned in Ir a nian sacred literature. Later scholars theorized that a single people, who called themselves Ar y ans, moved from present-day southern Russia about 2000 bce in two directions—westward into Europe and east-ward into Iran and India . Entering new lands, these people were thought to have carried their language and religion with them. Scholars initially believed that in India the outsi d ers imposed their social order quickly and violently on the older cultur e. According to this theory, called the “Aryan invasion theory,” the Vedas were believed to be the religious writings of this inva d ing people.



The vedas:

The Vedas, which ori ginally were preserved only in oral form but eventually were written down, are the earliest sacred books of Hinduism. The name means “knowledge” or “sacred lore,” and related words in English are vision and wisdom. Although scholars date the earliest versi ons of the Vedas to about 1500 bce, Hindus consider them to be far more ancient. They say that the Vedas were r e vealed to rishis (holy men of the distant past), who did not create the Vedas but heard them and transmitted them to later generations.


The Upanishads and the axis age:


Around 500 bce, Indian civilization experienced such widespread and important changes that the period is known as the Axis Age, meaning that everything turned in a new direction at this time. Interestingly, great ch anges were taking place in other religions and cultures as well: it was the time of the Buddha, Conf u cius, major Hebrew prophets, and early Greek philosophers. Copyright | McGraw-Hill Higher Education | Experiencing the World’s Religions | Edition 6 | | Printed from


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The Protestant and Catholic Reformations


The Protestant and Catholic Reformations had an enormous impact on Europe, not only in the religious realm, but additionally in the political and social structures, during the 16th and 17th centuries. The consequences of these religious confrontations were a series of bloody wars throughout Europe. Every stratum of society, religious, military and political suffered division and the creation of new religious organizations such as Lutheranism and Reformed churches. But, like every important break point or change in history, we have to understand that there was a background of confrontation between the Church and different groups and leaders that preceded Martin Luther, the central figure or leader who triggered one of the most significant changes in the history of the Western civilization society. The purpose of this paper is to understand the causes of Reformation in Western Civilization and the birth of new religious concepts and ideas.

How could the Roman Catholic Church´s authority be challenged in such an unprecedented way?

Religious feuds started and, after all these centuries, still last. In a certain way, the Church’s role as an intermediary was not needed anymore. The grace of God could be approached through a more personal bond with him. Many no longer saw the Pope as God’s right hand and, instead, started to see him as an exploiter. Worshipers from every social stratum thought that Rome was more an institution that cared about making money, than leaning to the spiritual necessities of his disciples. All over Europe- the Electorate of Saxony, small stets of central Europe, Switzerland, England- the masses started to believe less in the Church and Christian unity was broken.

Even religion itself was questioned. This anticlerical feeling spread quickly throughout Europe. In response to the newfound spiritual awakening experienced by many, Europe began to see the birth of new religious teachers and groups all over. Names like John Calvin, Erasmus, Sir Thomas More, among others, became familiar to many. There is a significant paradox in the whole Reformation/Roman Catholic confrontation. Despite the fact that Roman Catholic Church was powerful, Martin Luther and John Calvin were the only two men who were able to ignite a wick that is still burning today. Throughout this paper, we will try to demonstrate the causes that led to such an enormous religious, political and social upheaval.


For my paper about the causes of the Reformation in Europe, I will be using bibliographic sources mainly from our Sawyer History database, and I also plan to use proven Internet sources. I have been browsing through different journals, books and articles for the American Sociological Association, Cambridge Histories Online,, the Andrews Studies in Reformation History, World History in Context and the History Guide. I have chosen individual sources based, first, on a broad historical view of the causes of Reformation and the context of its historical, religious and political moment. Other sources will give me a more detailed aspect of the thesis.

I had a first look through the history of Reformation between the periods of 1520-1600.  I also ran through the expansion of the Reformation and the history of Christianity from XVI to XVII century. In order to understand what happened, I was interested in reading something related to the uprising: the strata involved, who were the insurgents and how it developed. I also wondered what role young people had those days; whether the students had something to do with this turning point in history. For this idea, I found and interesting article in the American Sociological Association.

I have been frothing through the web and also found  fascinating materials in IIIM Magazine Online or that focus on more detailed facts such as the economics in those days or even aspects like a certain melancholy in the society of the XVI century that could also work as a matter of booster to change the religious, political and social system of Europe and the world.


Europe’s societal structure in the time of reformation was characterized by differences in terms of religious lines caused by the growing protests against the Roman Catholic Church. European politics before the time of reformation was a preserve of the Roman Catholic Church which drew a way forward for the Europe’s societies and governments at that time. England under the kingship of Henry the VIII used to observe the papacy of the Catholic Church. The answerability of Henry’s kingship to the Catholic Church took a drastic turn when the papacy refused Henry’s intention to divorce his wife-Catherine and be allowed to remarry because she could not bear him a son who becomes his heir. The move therefore led to the crackdown of the Catholic Church in England; following the king’s directives, Catholic Church’s wealth and possessions were impounded by the king. In the quest to have a church that will not deny him to divorce and remarry, king Henry the VIII formed the Church of England which became the church of choice for the English society.

German society was not spared either by the sweeping wave of change against Catholicism; Martin Luther an iconic figure led the pack of reforms throughout Germany. Just like the English, the German structure was characterized by the leadership of Catholicism. Luther’s role in Germany did not only lead to the shock waves across German Catholic structure. The infamous 95 theses published by Luther became the genesis and the cause of widespread protestation against the Catholic structure. The main concern raised by Luther was the issue of paying the money to the Catholic Church so as to be forgiven the sins through the intervention of the papacy, which Luther interpreted as going against the principles of the doctrines (Keller 123).

Luther further noted that the central authority in which Christians ought to observe and obey is the Bible – the scriptures rather than the interpretations or the leadership of the pope. The differences sparked a lot of protests which later led to the killings of almost 40% of German citizens. The two main opposing sides included: those against the Catholic Church inspired by Luther’s position about the church, and also those who led the reformation of the Catholic Church. The protests prompted the Catholic Church to reform under the papacy of Pope Paul III. The church sought to absolve itself from the allegations of corruptions and papacy lusts (The Cambridge History of Christianity Volume 6: Reform and Expansion 1509).

In the move to achieve this, the Catholics came up with the Society of Jesus, or simply the Jesuits (1534) their main aim was to counter the reformation of the church. The Jesuits became the main body which undertook persecutions of reformers and retaliation; they were also killed by the reformers. The Jesuits also constituted the missionaries who were sent out by the Catholic Church to undertake the missionary work around the world. Swiss and France societies were not spared by the strong wave of reformation across Europe, in Switzerland; Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) and John Calvin through the inspiration of Disiderius Erasmus (1456-1536) teachings and also Luther’s doctrine of 1541 spread the word of reformation throughout Switzerland and Scotland.

The strata for the reformation were witnessed through the splinter groups that emerged as a form of protest against the Catholic Church. The stratum began with the emergence of Lutherans under the leadership of Luther, and then the Church of England formed by the English king then, King Henry VIII, other significant protestants of the time were the reformed church, Anglicanism, Methodism, Adventism, Pentecostalism and orthodoxies. The emergence and these splinter groups led to the spread of Christianity throughout the world. The changes that the reformers portray include: the removal of Mary as a saint or simply a call for the intercession of saints; the Bible was recognized as the only central authority in which the sermons are made and preached; and also the fact that they do not recognize is that there has to be a saint to intercede for a Christian, but every Christian can reach to God direct without having to seek for anybody’s intervention (Hyo 77).


Religious: In the dispensation of change the church suffered from a number of ungodly systems that significantly threatened the good church standing and the church members. The whole structure of the church right down from the priests up to the Pope was involved in impropriety and corruption. They took the keen interest on politics while neglecting their diocesan call of service. A number of the clergymen had amassed enormous material possession and were living a luxuri­ous life.

The clergymen often involve themselves in hunting activities and dissipating parties and completely overlooked their primary duties, the call to serve. In brief the Church consisted of ‘unholy individuals in holy orders’. Usually, the clergy traded using the church.. They had come up with a number of deeds for this determination. Thus, the ordinance office was overtly sold and quite conflicting men were designated as leaders.

The clergymen tried to make significant money as practicable and issued indulgences liberally or forgivement certificates against payment. This system of issue of indulgences adversely brought criticism and was labelled as the ‘payment for warrant to commit sin’.

Masses were also unhappy and dissatisfied with the leadership of the Pope and church. This proved that they were completely unhappy with the unending corrupt practices in the church and also the critical grounds for which the church taxed helpless innocent men but also condemned its intervention in the materialistic reasons.

This led them to earnestly look for individual to provide them with a reason for a demonstration of revolt against the leadership of the church. The other leaders extremely stayed unhappy with Pope’s patronage and vehemently protested against Papal intermeddling in the issues of politics affecting their countries. Hence their willingness to give assistance to any movement that was propelled against the authorization of the Pope.

Economic Causes:

The coming up of powerful middle classes also significantly hastened reformation process. Protests against the old church domination entirely made up of the upper class of people continued by the middle class church goers. The upper classes primarily administered the old church in a way to protect their own interests. People who were artisans, lawyers, merchants, doctors and other professionals in the middle class received cold welcome form these clergy.

Further, the so called intermediate levels greatly never liked the practice of taxation by the clergy. They had no option other than to pay their taxes thereby sparing the church leaders of the time. The middle class hoped to separate the church from the wealthy class and lead it in the right direction without looking down upon anyone at all. In their desire, they hoped to care for both the weak and strong across all classes. Also all European royalties are not happy of the way the pope lead the religious group and claimed their outlay of revenue in a considerable manner. Besides, the ordinary people were uninterested with the clergy who ate into their pockets through burdensome demands and hardly exchanged anything for the contributions.

Political Causes:

The emergence of new States and kingship that majored in establishment of their kingdoms absolutely contributed to significant reformation. Various Monarch representations like Henry VII viewed church dominance as a severe check on their authority because it was in differently working outside their authorities and the church property was spared from taxation by the royals.

Further still, Bishops provided the administration of equity in the ordinance in according to the Canon Law. Flowing of vast sums of wealth from the country’s revenue reserves into the treasury of the papal administration was their own conviction. This is the greatest reason for the leaders to utilize the chance offered by pedagogies of Martin Luther, Wycliffe and other reformers challenging the church’s influence with a particular view of strengthening their power in the country.

Protestant churches were established in several municipalities of the Germany and people were told to respect its authority. Their leaders accepted to respect other authorities especially the political ones. Areas where the protestant churches were planted included many German principalities, in Holland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and England.

New Learning and Spirit of Enquiry

The spirit of learning and inquiry was renewed and set in rolling by the Renascence also significantly contributed to the Rehabilitation. Assertively, people began to acquaint themselves against blind beliefs and dysfunctional religious rituals and commenced.

Additionally, their reasoning made them critically thoughtful of their prevailing practices and selling their indulgences in terms of pardon certificates, non-enforcement morality codes among the known clergy, papacy interferences in the affairs of the secular nature.

Schism in Church:

Schism in the church during the fifteenth century in a significant manner lowered their prestigious lifestyle. Instead of electing one pope to lead the church, they began electing two. One was elected by the French cardinals whereas another one got elected by the Italian cardinals.

As a result, the pope’s prestige greatly got undermined and the physiques lost faith and veneration for the divine institution. Could the people really serve two gods? The things were more hampered when the Cardinals in 1409 through a common convening decided to select a third Pope. This is supported as the Great Schism of Western.

Undoubtedly, this Schism was joined when the Constance Council dethroned all the existing popes and elected a Pope in a fresh manner. However, the new developments certainly weakened the church powers and prestige.

Considering the fact that the leadership of the reform during the 16th and 17th centuries was predominantly young: Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and Disiderius Erasmus among others, the personalities began their protests against the Catholicism. They also were learned, given that they were scholars and professors of various universities. It can, therefore, be concluded that through their representation, young people in the time were centrally involved in the reformation of the church. Counter reformers, popularly known as the Jesuits who were majorly involved in the missionary work of the reformed Catholic Church, also constituted the youth (Arnold 110). They took part in the erection of schools, health facilities and churches in several parts of the world.


From the historical revisit that the paper has presented, it is right noting that the protestations and Catholic reformations are far from over. The events witnessed in the mid-16th centuries and the whole of 17th century culminating to insurgencies and killings that took place in the early 18th century show that the protestation and reformation is an ongoing processes. The insurgency witnessed in the 18th century that sent the shock wave of killings happened simply due to the different ideas raised by Luther claiming that Catholics, and more specifically the papacy, were antichrist. This has an implicative translation even to the modern churches that still have reservations about the Catholic papacy.

Works Cited

Arnold, Jack L. The causes and result of Reformation.March 14, 1999. IIIM Magazine Online.

Web. 9 March 2015

Hyo Jung Kima and Steven Pfaff. Structure and Dynamics of Religious Insurgency:

Students and the Spread of the Reformation, April 2012. American Sociological

Review. Web. 9 March 2015

Keller, Adolf. American Society of Church History, Cambridge University Press. Web. 10


  1. Holt, Mack. The Social History of The Reformation. 2003, Journal of Social History (133-

144) Web. 10 March, 2015

Protestant Reformation.Renaissance, 2004, World History in Context. Web. 19, Feb.


The Cambridge History of Christianity Volume 6: Reform and Expansion 1500–1660, 2007.

Cambridge Histories Online. Web. 9 March 2015.

Comparison chart of the Abrahamic Religions

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HIS 1111

Spring 2016 – Planned Due Dates B term


General Directions for Written Assignments – see the CONTENT tab.

Essay Assignments          75 points each due dates noted below for each assignment

  1. All assignments are to be typed (font size 12): always cite your sources (never use Wikipedia as a source). Use the dropbox when available.
  2. Be sure that your: a) complete name, b) course number, and c) time of your class is on assignments. You may single space/double space between paragraphs.  Staple multiple pages and/or print on both sides for in-class submissions.

Note that the textbook is a source, but when doing essay assignments, do not rely on the text exclusively!

I prefer that assignments be submitted via dropbox, not in class or via email attachment

Comparative Chart:

  • Chart may be designed within Word document (Insert, table, insert table: 4 columns, 26 rows) Remember font size 12!
  • Typed, cite your sources either in the respective cell or in a List of Sources at the end


Essay Assignment 1 – 75 pts   Due: March 24 (Thursday)   6pm

This assignment has several parts.

Read the excerpts from Hammurabi’s Code.  You do not need to answer the questions following the reading.  The reading includes laws and punishments, and other social details you will pick up as you read!


Part I – These questions need to be addressed in your response:

  1. Why are codes of law necessary? What purpose(s) is(are) there to the codification of law?
  2. Why have laws if they are not enforced?

Part II – Inspired by one of my former students, this part of the assignment calls for some creativity on your part!  Design 10 laws, and punishments, fitting for today!  Your laws would reflect current experiences, values, and necessary deterrence.   Why you chose the law/punishment should be part of your narrative for each.


Essay Assignment 2 – 75 pts        Due: April 5 (Tuesday) 6pm

 Rites and Rights of Passage

As we study some of the ancient societies such as the Greeks and Romans in lecture, we will encounter incidents of “when a child reaches a certain age”.  Given this concept of benchmarks in society, I feel it is good to review our own experiences to see if there are rites (ceremonies) or rights (entitlements) in our lives.  These events may be related to culture, tribe, religion, nationality/ethnic origins.  Some of these rites/rights may be based upon religious beliefs, some may be points/markers of age or maturity in a given tribe, culture, or society, and denote the achievement of responsibility or accountability. They can be celebrations marking specific maturity.  I am reasonably sure that all have observed some rite/right of passage.


How do you see these rites/rights of passage in your own life?  This is the point of the assignment. Our origins and backgrounds are necessarily different because our cultural heritage differs.  While it may overlap in some areas, we are each unique in our expression and the significance given these experiences.  Remember, these rites/rights are symbolic of the values of our civilization.  You may take a personal, or an academic/analytic approach to this assignment.


Comparison chart of the Abrahamic Religions – 100 pts                 Due April 19 (Tuesday)  6pm

I am presenting this assignment given the gravity of world circumstances these days, in order to foster a better understanding (as opposed to ignorance) of the role of religion in our secular Western civilization.  Since these particular groups form part of the body of study in Western Civilization I thought it would be a good assignment especially for our future in a world with more than 1.5 billion Muslims.


The Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) serve as a major portion of the foundation of Western societal mores and values. At times these institutions have had a partnership with the prevailing government.  They have had an impact on the development of the character and image of Western civilization today.  In recent years, destruction of Christian churches in Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt, and Iran took place because someone supposedly defamed a Qur’an or other questionable justifications.  A recent news item involves an Iranian, turned Christian minister, arrested, freed, and re-detained.  Islamophobia is a current buzz word in the West, and the image of many people is that Muslims are violent, intolerant terrorists.


This assignment requires that you compare or contrast these 3 religions using 25 factors (of your choice).  You may look at their beliefs, practices, religious structure, forms of and days of worship, the basis and aspects of law, gender responsibilities, music, dietary laws, clothing, the number of divisions within the specific religions.  You can look at aspects of faith that these religions profess and compare them.  One good source for the project is: Lewis Hopfke’s World Religions.


Format:   a typed chart (you can do this by designing a chart with 4 columns, 26 rows.  Use 1 column for each religion and I would put the religions in columns according to which appeared first! Use the first column to identify the item being considered.  Use the top row as a header to repeat from page to page as necessary.  The cells should expand as you type so that when reading across, the cell will be your discussion of each religion’s aspect of the factor you listed in column 1).


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