March 18, 2015 rl 221-1 Midterm

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Caryn Bondi

March 18, 2015

RL 221-1 Midterm



1) What 4 ancient textual sources does Norwich indicate for establishing the presence and/or execution of both Christians (1 source) and Simon Peter (3 sources) under the Emperor Nero in 64CE? What does each of these sources explicitly say? Is there any archeological confirmation of this and if so what?

There is one ancient textual source provided by Norwich establishing both the presence and execution of Christians under the Emperor Nero. It was written by Tacitus, and states “to be rid of this rumour, Nero fastened the guilt on a class hated for their abominations, which the populace called Christians. Mockery of every sort accompanied their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn apart by dogs and so perished. Others were nailed to crosses or consumed by the flames. Nero even threw open his garden for the spectacle and mounted a performance in the circus” (Norwich 2).

There are three ancient textual sources declaring the presence and/or execution of Simon Peter under Nero. These three texts are the Acts of the Apostles, Peter's First Epistle, and a message written by Clement. The Acts of the Apostles, written by St. Luke, states Simon Peter “departed, and went to another place” (Norwich 3). Peter’s First Epistle says “she [presumably the Church, such as it was] that is in Babylon… saluteth you” (Norwich 3). Norwich then goes on to explain that Babylon was a symbolic name for Rome. Clement, writing to the Church at Corinth, says “Let us set before our eyes our good apostles: Peter, who because of unrighteous jealousy suffered not one or two but many trials, and having thus given his testimony went to the glorious place which was his due. Through jealousy and strife Paul demonstrated how to win the prize of patient endurance: seven times he was imprisoned; he was forced to leave and stoned; he preaching in the East and the West; and, finally, he won the splendid renown which his faith had earned” (Norwich 4).

Excavations of the sacre grotte indicate there were most likely Christians buried there from the first and part of the second centuries. There is also indication that there was a shrine there that had lots of visitors. Other than this, there is no solid proof establishing the presence of Simon Peter, or the execution of Christians and Simon Peter under Nero.
2) Why, according to Norwich, did Charlemagne really object to the final decision of the 7th ecumenical council of Nicaea II in 787 CE?

Charlemagne rejected the decision of Nicaea II because he wanted complete control, including over the Pope and Church. He did not want there to be a separation of power, but more importantly, he did not want anyone to have power over him. With his refusal to follow the decision of Nicaea II, came an evident show of his lack of total power. He was not able to gain influence over the council to vote for the filioque clause, nor was he able to prevent Pope Leo III from demanding he follow the council's decision.

3) Describe the encounter between Pope Leo Magnus and the barbarian chieftain Attila the Hun as recounted by both Norwich and Bokenkotter. (Why did Attila ultimately not sack Rome?)

Bokenkotter provides a vague account of Pope Leo Magnus' and Attila the Hun's encounter. He says “in 452 he [Pope Leo] traveled to Mantua to meet Attila and dissuade him from attacking Rome. Attila turned aside and Rome was saved” (Bokenkotter 86).

Norwich provides a more detailed account of the encounter, or at least several ways the encounter could have gone. He states “but no sooner had Attila begun his march on Rome in 452 than he suddenly halted. Why he did so we do not know. Traditionally the credit has always been given to Pope Leo, who travelled to meet him on the banks of the Mincio river- probably at Peschiera, where the river issues from Lake Garda- and somehow persuaded him to advance no further; but the pagan Hun would not have obeyed the Pope out of mere respect for his office; so what arguments or inducements did Leo offer? A substantial tribute is the likeliest answer. But there is another possibility too: Attila, like all his race, was incorrigibly superstitious, and the Pope may well have reminded him how Alaric had dies almost immediately after his sack of Rome, pointing out that a similar fate was known to befall every invader who raised his hand against the Hoy City. It is possible, too, that his subjects themselves were partially responsible for persuading their leader to retire; there is no evidence to suggest that, after their devastation of all the surrounding countryside, they were beginning to suffer from a serious shortage of food, and that disease had broken out within their ranks. A final consideration was that troops from Constantinople were beginning to arrive to swell the imperial forces. A march on Rome, it began to appear, might not prove quite as straightforward as had at first been thought” (Norwich 22-23). A year later Attila died, stopping his quest to sack Rome forever.
4) According to Norwich and Bokenkotter, how and where did Pope Gregory the Great combat “paganism” particularly in England and Sicily?

According to Norwich, Pope Gregory the Great combated “paganism” in Sicily by “dividing the Patrimony up into fifteen separate sections – two of them in Sicily alone – each to be administered by a Rector appointed personally by the Pope. Within his section each Rector was all- powerful, being responsible not only for the collection of rents, the transport and sale of produce and the rendering of exact accounts, but also for all charitable institutions and the maintenance of churches and monasteries” (Norwich 41).

According to Bokenkotter, Pope Gregory stopped “paganism” in Sicily by protecting Rome. He “assumed the responsibility of feeding the Roman populace, of repairing the walls, and of mustering the troops. Several times by diplomatic maneuvers, he saved Rome from sack by the Lombards, and he finally led the way in bringing about a general peace” (Bokenkotter 101). By saving Rome, Pope Gregory was able to prevent the Lombards from continuing onto Sicily.

In order to save England from “paganism,” Norwich explains Pope Gregory instructed his Rector in Gaul to “recruit young English slave-boys to be trained as monks, whom he may well have seen as potential interpreters; and in the following year he despatched a mission of about forty monks to England, under the leadership of Augustine, Prior of St Andrew’s monastery in Rome – that same house in which he himself had been a brother. Warned, on his arrival in southern Gaul, of the dire perils that awaited him among the barbarian English, Augustine turned back to Rome with the suggestion that the mission be abandoned; but Gregory put new heart in him, gave him letters of recommendation and set him back on the road” (Norwich 45).

Bokenkotter provides an explanation for England that is similar to Norwich's. Bokenkotter simply states Pope Gregory “personally commissioned a Roman monk named Augustine to convert the Angles and Saxons and was elated at the speedy conversion of King Aethelbert of Kent” (Bokenkotter 101).
5) What are the 2 fundamental issues to consider when analyzing the figure of Jesus? One of these leads to a further distinction creating 2 other issues. What are those 2 issues, and how does the Gospel of John chapters 20 and 21 highlight this? What was the issue regarding this at the first ecumenical council of Nicaea I, and how did that council “resolve” the issue (lecture material)?

The fundamental issues are whether Jesus was just a historical figure, or Jesus was the Christ. Jesus being Christ leads to the debate over whether he is divine or a demigod. This is highlighted by John when he wrote “(They [the apostles] still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)” (John 20:9). This shows Jesus was at the very least a demigod. John shows that Jesus is a divine being by saying “Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' Now none of the disciples dared ask him, 'Who are you?' They knew it was the Lord” (John 21:12).

At Nicaea I the debate was over Jesus as a demigod or Jesus as a divine being. The vast majority held Jesus was a demigod, but the council decided, due to Constantine’s heavy influence, Jesus is the son of God, making him divine. The council stated the son, or Jesus, is homousios consubstantia with the father.
6) What role does Jesus give to “Simon son of John” according to Matthew 16, and how is that role implied in Jn 19 and 21 and 1 Cor 15?

Jesus tells Simon Peter “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19). This establishes Simon Peter's role of evangelizing in order to build up the Church, and he was to be the leader of the Church.

This role is implied in John 19 when Simon Peter and another disciple run to the tomb to see what had happened to Jesus’ body, the disciple waited for Peter to enter the tomb before he enters. John further implies Simon Peter's role in John 21, both when Jesus appears to Simon Peter before appearing to any other disciple, and when Jesus asks Simon Peter three times whether Simon Peter loved Jesus. Each time Simon Peter confirmed that he loved Jesus, and Jesus responded by instructing Simon Peter to take care of Jesus' followers. Simon Peter's role is also implied in I Corinthians 15 when Paul says Jesus appeared to Simon Peter, or as Paul calls him, Cephas, before appearing to any of the other twelve apostles.
7) What is the earliest creed or “mission statement” for Paul in 1 Cor 15? How does Paul demonstrate the ecclesia catholica at the universal and local levels in 1 Cor 15?

Paul's “mission statement” is “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve” (1 Cor 15:3-5).

Paul demonstrates the ecclesia catholica at the universal level by saying Jesus “appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time” (1 Cor 15:6). He also refers to the twelve apostles, which can be thought of as being like the presidential cabinet for Cephas. Paul shows the ecclesia catholica at the local level by referring to James, the bishop of Jerusalem. He also acknowledges the apostles, which are representative of James' advisors. Finally he talks about Jesus appearing to a single person.
8) What are the 2 fundamental components to Paul’s “legal case” for believing in Jesus Christ in 1 Cor 15?

Paul's “legal case” consists of eyewitness testimony and legal precedent for believing in Jesus Christ.

9) What are the 3 physical objects in which John and Matthew show so much interest in their resurrection accounts of Jesus of Nazareth?

John refers to both the othonia, or strips of linen, and sudarion. Matthew refers to the sindon, or shroud.

10) What is the real reason, according to Bokenkotter, that Jerome left Rome and travelled to Palestine?

Jerome wrote many letters against bishops, priests and “pseudo-virgins,” causing many enemies. He was, however, protected by Pope Damasus, but when he died and Pope Siricius came to power, he was no longer protected. Jerome's “enemies struck back. Some kind of formal charge was brought against him by the authorities, involving among other things his relations with Paula, it seems; and Jerome, while indignantly rejecting the accusation, found it necessary or expedient to leave the eternal city for good” (Bokenkotter 70).


1) Identify and explain the paradigm structure for how any human society forms itself. Identify the five hermeneutics and explain each thoroughly, and provide an example of each.

A society first is formed on needs. There is an immediate need to water, then food and sun, which allows the food to grow. Essentially, a society forms in order for individuals to survive. Once the basic needs of the individuals within the society is met, there are wants that start to shape the society. The first want is that of oikonomia, or economy, in order to create a way in which the society will work. From oikonomia comes the desire for politics. Politics can be used by some people to gain more than others. It starts out as some wanting to gain more water or food, but can change to other desires for more. Religion is then developed from both politics and oikonomia as a means to gain the desired control and justify the system that now governs the society.

There are five hermeneutics, which are philological, epistemological, metaphysical, historical, and cultural in nature. Philological means the love of words, which comes from philo, meaning love, and logical, meaning reason. Philology involves the studying of words. For example, in the Greek translation of the bible, specifically in the Kolve in line 9 the word ecclesia appears. The writers of the bible used this term to refer to church, but the ancient Greeks used ecclesia to refer to their congress or parliament. Philology would study the reasoning behind the choice to use ecclesia to refer to church when that was not the original meaning of the word.

Epistemological refers to the approaches to knowing. Things can either be learned a priori, or from prior knowledge, or a posteriori, or empirically observed through a scientific method. An example of a priori would be solving a mathematics problem because one needs to have prior knowledge of concepts in order to solve a new problem. An example of a posterior I would be discovering the figure hidden in the shroud of Turin.

Metaphysical refers to beyond the physical. In other words, the belief or disbelief in a being existing that is not in a physical form. The levels in belief are agnosticism, atheism, antitheism, deism, or theism. Agnosticism is the belief that one cannot empirically know whether there is a god, because there is not enough evidence to make a decision. Atheists know God does not exist. Antitheism is the belief that a divine being does not exist. Deism is the belief that there is a divine intelligence that designed everything. Theism states a divine being exists. Theism can be divided into two subgroups: polytheism and monotheism. Polytheism is the belief in many divine beings, and monotheism is the belief in a single divine being.

Historical is divided into temporal and dialectic. Temporal refers to time, whether it is chronos, or measurable time, or kairos, or eternity. We live in chronos, and some people believe after they die, they will live in kairos, either in heaven or hell. Dialectic refers to a situation, or thesis, a synthesis, or two side of a situation conflict, and an antithesis, or the result of the end of the conflict. An example would be that of the “Baptismal Controversy”. The thesis would be when a baptism is valid. The synthesis would be, one the one side, all baptisms done “by the power and grace of the name of Christ going forth” (John 20:31) are valid, and on the other side would be only baptisms performed by a bishop who has not been excommunicated is valid. The antithesis is that of all baptisms performed properly, regardless of who performed the baptism is valid.

Cultural comes from cultus, or cult. It involves text criticism, archaeology, and art history. Text criticism is done to determine the authenticity of the text, and to analyze the content, in order to determine the meaning of the text. Archaeology allows the discovery of objects from previous persons. Art history is the re-presentation of person, place, event, etc. Essentially, it is a re-presentation of text. An example of culture through art history would be the various paintings depicting the crucifixion of Jesus.

2) While the Catholic Church experienced its own internal crisis (viz. the baptismal controversy), the Roman Empire experienced the beginning of its own downfall in what scholars refer to as its own “Third Century Crisis”. What are the three phenomena that characterize that crisis?

The “Third Century Crisis” was characterized first by an increase in the military expenditure to build walls around the Roman Empire as a means to provide protection. The second characteristic is an increase in taxes throughout the Empire, which caused inflation then devaluation. The final characteristic is agriculture and trade was not protected.

3) While the Roman Empire experienced its “Third Century Crisis”, the Catholic Church experienced a crisis of its own, viz. the “Baptismal Controversy”. Explain (hint: Cyprian of Carthage vs. Pope Stephen I of Rome). How did Augustine of Hippo “resolve” the issue?

The “Baptismal Controversy” had two sides to it, that of Cyprian of Carthage, and that of Pope Stephen I. Cyprian believed those who were baptized by an excommunicated bishop, were not baptized. Stephen believed those who were baptized by an excommunicated bishop were actually baptized. This was due them being baptized “by the power and grace of the name of Christ going forth” (John 20:31). This debate is not resolved until Augustine of Hippo states baptism, and all other sacraments, are not ex opera operantis, or not based on the person performing the sacrament, but are ex opera operato, or out of the sacrament itself. Baptism, if performed in the correct form and with the correct matter, is valid. The correct form would be the words that are said, namely “I baptize you, so-and-so, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. The correct matter would be the use of water.

4) The Roman Empire determined that four empire-wide “supplications” were necessary in the third century CE. This created a problem within Catholic Church creating a debate over the “Lapsi”. Explain what happened using the terms lapsi, libellus, thurificati, sacrificati, and libellatici as well as “rigorists”, “laxists”, and traditores in your response.

During the “supplications” police would show up at one's door and request a court appearance. The person would have three chances to deny they were Christian. If the person maintained they were Christian and was a citizen, they would have three choices: execution by decapitation, execution by suicide, or exile. If the person maintained they were Christian and was not a citizen, they would either be imprisoned, sent to the mines, tortured, or executed. If the person denied they were Christian after acknowledging they were Christian, they were forced to either throw incense in front of statues or slaughter sacrifices. Some people would try to bribe the magistrate for a libellus. This led to the excommunication of the person from the Church, and the labelling of the person based on their choice. If they chose the incense, they were labelled as thurificati. If they chose to make a sacrifice, they were labelled as sacrificati. If they chose bribing the magistrate, they were labelled as libellatici.

Eventually the person would try to go to the episcopus in order to enter the Church again. This led to the debate whether the person should be allowed back in the Church after entering the order of penitents. Those in favor of allowing the person back in were called laxists. Those who thought one strike and you're out, thus against letting the person back in, were called rigorists.

During the fourth “supplication” those who denied they were Christian were labelled lapsi. A special group within the lapsi were labelled traditores because they provided accounts and names of other Christians to the courts.

5) Explain the development of the office of Pontifex Maximus with these dates/names as anchors in your answer: 186 BCE/Bacchanalia, 63 BCE/Julius Caesar, 13 BCE/Caesar Augustus, 81 CE/Domitian, 313 CE/Constantine, 381 CE/Theodosius I, 451 CE/Leo Magnus, 754 CE/Stephen II/Pepin the Short, 800 CE/Pope Leo III/Charlemagne.

In 186 BCE, the Roman Senate suppressed the Bacchanalia, or cult of Dionysus, in order to protect the power of the elite. In doing so, they took on the role of Pontifex Maximus. In 63 BCE, Julius Casear was elected Pontifex Maximus. Caesar increased the number of pontifices to sixteen. Caesar Augustus took over the position of Pontifex Maximus in 13 BCE, thus establishing the precedent that emperors would also become Pontifex Maximus when they become emperor. In 81 Ce, Domitian became emperor, thus he also became Pontifex Maximus. He was the emperor when the Coliseum was completed, and would watch the games. It gave the games a religious element because the Pontifex Maximus was watching the games. In 313 CE, a year after Constantine sacks Rome, he makes Christianity legal. This is done using the power of Pontifex Maximus, and through his edict of toleration. The edict also created religious freedom because it applied to all superstitions. In 381 CE Theodosius I outlawed all religious cults throughout the empire, and Christianity was made the only legal cult and the official religion of the empire. This made church and state even closer, through the office of Pontifex Maximus. Theodosius I was also the last emperor to use the title of Pontifex Maximus. In 451 Theodosius II called an ecumenical council, and asked Pope Leo Magnus to preside over the council. Leo refused, sending a letter and his Tome. He signed the letter Pontifex Maximus, thus shifting the title from emperor to pope. In 754 CE Pepin the Short drives the Lombards to Sicily under the request of Pope Stephen II. Pepin then gives Stephen the Papal States as a gift. To show his gratitude, Stephen makes Pepin Patricius Romanorum. On December 25, 800 CE Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, which begins de iure divino versus de iure pontificio.

6) Identify the 6-point concept of unitas as developed by the Roman Latin Stoics.

The first point in the concept of unitas is that unitas is not plurality. The second point is unitas is not unus, or one alone, but is unum, or one thing only. The third point states unitas is not composite, but is uninterrupted continuity cohering in itself. The first part of the fourth point is unitas requires a fons, or source. The second part states unitas requires a vinculum, or bond. The fifth point is everything in the kosmos comes from, contains, and returns to unitas. The final point is tension is a fundamental component within unitas.

7) Identify the 6-point concept of unitas trinitatis as developed by the North-African Tertullian.

The first point in the concept of unitas trinitatis, or trinity, is that it is not plurality because of its unitas. The second points is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are unus, while the trinity is unum. The third point is oikonomia trinitatis, or the way the trinity works. The fourth point has two parts. The first part is sacramentum oikonomiae trinitatis, or the entry point into the way the trinity works. The second part is origio, or origin. The fifth point was deus, or god. The final point was dilectio.

8) Identify the 6-point concept of unitas ecclesiae catholicae as developed by Cyprian of Carthage.

The first point of the concept of unitas ecclesiae catholicae, or simply ecclesiae catholicae, is that it is not plurality because of its oneness. The second point is each member is unus, but together as ecclesiae catholicae, it is unum. The third point is members are all connected, even though they look different, and there is no interruption in ecclesiae catholicae. Cyprian made several analogies to make this point, one of them being fons to rivus to mare, which shows it is all water but at different stages it looks different. The first part of the fourth point is Christ is the origio and ratio. The second part is Peter and his successors are the origio and exordium. When both parts are combined, it states Peter and his successors are vicarius for Christ. The fifth point is sacramentum baptismae, or those who are baptized become divine. The final point is vinculum of fraternal concord and charity, or caritas.

9) In the end, Tertullian and Cyprian had very different ideas as to how the Catholic Church is constituted. Identify their opinions.

Cyprian believed the “bishop is in the Catholic Church [because of baptism], and the Catholic Church is in the bishop.” Tertullian believed the Catholic Church is not the numerum episcoporum, or the number of bishops, but is of the spiritus through a spiritual man.

10) Explain the development of the doctrine of the “Christ” and the “patriarchates” during the first four ecumenical councils. How was the seventh ecumenical council related to Arianism and Islam, and how did the council precipitate the Great Schism?

In the first ecumenical council, Nicaea I, there was a debate over whether Jesus is Christ. Jesus was, historically, a person from Nazareth. The debate came in determining whether he was divine or a demigod. On the divine side was Nicene, and they believed he was the son of God. On the other side was Arianism, in which Jesus was thought to be a superhuman or demigod. Arianism was the majority position, but the council decided Jesus was divine. In the second ecumenical council, Constantinople I, it was decided the Holy Spirit proceeds ex patre, or from the father. The Holy Spirit is homgousios consubstantial with the father and son. It was also decided Christ was born of the Virgin Mary and became man by the power of the Holy Spirit. The third council, held in Ephesus, was called to determine whether the Virgin Mary is Christotokos, mother of Christ, or Theotokos, mother of God. It was decided she is the mother of God. The fourth council, held in Chalcedon, through a letter sent by Pope Leo the Great, that Christ is one persona, one substantia, and has two natura.

Before the first ecumenical council, the patriarchates all believed the same thing. There was little difference among the theologies of the different patriarchates. At each subsequent council, the views of the patriarchates slowly digressed from each other. By the end of the fourth ecumenical council, there were three patriarchates. One was Antioch, which was the patriarchate of the East. Another was Alexandria, which was the patriarchate of the West. The third was Rome due to Rome being the headquarters of the Church and was the old capital of the empire.

The seventh ecumenical council was called to discuss the iconoclastic controversy, or the intentional forceful destruction of Christian icons. This was brought about by Arianism making a comeback, probably due to the spread of Islam. Both believed Jesus was not divine, thus using Jesus to depict God was not possible. The council decided the destruction was not orthodox. God can be represented because of the incarnation of Jesus. The council precipitated the Great Schism by driving a wedge between the East and West. The West would follow the belief that the destruction of Christian icons was a heresy, and the filioque clause, added by Charlemagne, was correct. Conversely, the East would believe God could not be depicted. Therefore, the destruction of Christian icons was orthodox. The East would also hold that the filioque clause did not belong in the creed.

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