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Final Exam Questions Church History


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When and how did Christianity reach China?
1. 5th century Nestorian church missions
2. 7th century christian merchants traveling the silk road
3. 10th century T'ang Dynasty ended/church also disappeared.
4. Marco Polo reported finding Christians in Kubla Khan's court in 13th century, though Christianity seems to have radically declined after Khan's death.
5. Late 16th, early 17th century: Matteo Ricci and other Jesuits
Describe Celtic Christianity
1.Ireland was never part of the Roman Empire/worship of spirits.
2. 5th century: Patrick was English or Scottish - Christian "Romanized" Briton captured by Irish raiders and held as slave for six years before he escaped.
3. Returned as missionary to Ireland: preached "the God of three faces" to the Irish/not an angry Celtic God but a loving God who provided sacrifice.
4. Centers of learning were established for the copying of books, espc. scripture.
5. 6th centrury: Columba took Christianity FROM Ireland to Scotland which had been only partially Christianized in 5th/6th cents. Built monestary in Iona which served as base for further outreach: Aiden to Northern England and Columban to the continent.
6. Think: Celtic crosses & "The Island of Saints and Scholars"
Outline several main facts about Christianity in Africa during the medieval period
1. 1000 to 1500: think "survival"
2. Three main centers: Egypt, Nubia, and Ethiopia
3. In Egypt, Christianity survived, despite disadvantages, under Muslim rule.
4. In Nubia (present day Sudan), Christianity reached its peak of greatness during this time, then declined and colapsed after 1500 after colapse of favorable government.
5. In Ethiopia, Christianity survived and became deeply rooted, reaching its height in the 15th century.
Discuss the accomplishments of Gregory the Great
1. Gregory I (540-604): Pope from 590
2. Great missionary pope: extended the limits of the church by carefully planning missions strategies.
3. Sent St. Augustine of Canterburry to Briton.
4. Transmitter of the wisdom of the ancient world to the medieval world. Considered one of the four great doctors of the Catholic Church in moral theology.
Who was John of Damascus? Why is he important?
1. 675 to 754
2. Maybe most important of the Eastern Theologians
3. Grew up in Syria in a Christian family in Muslim controlled country.
4. Served in government but was bold enough to write a strong treatise against Islam.
5. Retired from public life and entered monestary and wrote on theology.
6. Most important book: "The Orthodox Faith" - first and most important systematic theology of Orthodox church.
7. Also wrote hymns: "The Day Of Ressurection" and "Come Ye Faithful."
Describe the conversion of Russia. What is the important date?
In 988, legend says Prince Vladimir of Kiev wanted to find a new religion for his people. He sent emisarries to study Judaism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Greek Orthodxy. His acceptance of Greek Christianity was supposedly on the basis of the beauty of its worship. Included in the agreement of conversion for Vladimir was his marriage to Anna, the sister of the Byzantine emperor. In 988 Christianity was proclaimed the official faith of the realm, and baptism was ordered for Vladdimir's subjects.
List the reasons for the division between the Eastern and Western churches. (Early cause)
1. The Primacy Conflict: Constantinople (381) and Chalcedon (451) acknowledged that Constantinople possessed "equal rank in ecclesiastical matters" with Rome but Roman Popes (Leo the Great 440-61) clamied supremacy saying "the care of the universal church should converge toward Peter's one chair" The RC church became increasingly monarchial throughout the middle ages while the Eastern church became increasingly conciliar. Eastern churches are "autocephalis" or independent - the "Patriarch" is only an honorary title.
List the reasons for the division between the Eastern and Western churches. (Later cause)
The Filioque Controversy: "Filioque" is the Latin word meaning "and the Son." From about the time of Augustine on, the Western Church used "and the son" after "proceeded from the Father" in the Nicene Creed. (This didn't become official language until Benedict VIII in 1014.) The Eastern church objected to this "double procession" because they wanted to safegaurd the understanding of the unity of the Father, and because they say the Father is principle: He begets the Son/breaths the Spirit. The Western chuch said the Father begets the Son and BOTH breath the Spirit, in order to guard the equality of the Father and Son. The East also felt that to add anything to a creed was as objectionable as adding something to the Bible, while the Western church viewed creeds as human/maleable documents.
List the reasons for the division between the Eastern and Western churches. (Final causes leading to a permanent division)
1) Photian Schism (863-67)the result of a dispute between the Byzantine patriarch, Photius (c. 820-891), and Pope Nicholas I in which the two leaders excommunicated one another.
2) The mutual anathematizing of the two churches in 1054
3) The attack on Constantinople in 1204 by Catholics of the fourth Crusade.
What were the crusades? What did they accomplish? How would you evaluate the importance of the crusades?
The crusades were a series of wars launched by the church from the 11th to the 13th centuries with the purpose of recovering the holy lands that had fallen under the control of the advancing Muslim armies. Some small Latin kingdoms were set up after the first crusade, but these were quickly lost. There's not much in the history of the crusades for the church to celebrate, only much to forgive. The resulting bitterness toward Christianity of the Muslims, Eastern Christians, and Jews has had lasting results even into today.
Describe the major theological contributions of Anselm.
1033-1109 Anselm was an Italian monk who became archibishop of Canterbury.
He was like a bridge from the old to the new approach to theology: he used an older, devotional approach to theology, but combined it with new scholastic approach. He wrote in the form of a prayer but used rationality and logic. Two great contributions to theology were his books on Evidences and Atonement:
A) Book 1: Proslogion contained the ideas that you believe in order to know and argued that
1) you know God because of his creation, the cosmological view of God
2) we move from thought to God: God is "That than which nothing greater can be conveived" - ontological view
B) Cur Deus Homo ("Why the God Man?") About the atonement and why God became man as nescessary for our salvation. Man has obligation to pay for sin but no ability; God has ability but no obligation. In Christ, the two combine.
Who was Bernard of Clairvaux? What is his importance?
1093-1153 Cistercian. (Cistercian's reformed the Cluniacs, who were reforming Benedictines.) Major figure of middle ages - sometimes called the "Last of the Church Fathers" or the "Uncrowned Emporer of Europe." Seemed to have more influence than any king or Pope/was a dominant personality of his time. He was a
1) Reformer: Wrote "On Consideration" - handbook for new pope. "Lordship is forbidden, ministry is bidden." showing concern for church reform. (Luther said all popes should know this book by heart.) Felt the church was too rich/extravagent and given over to pomp and ceremony.
2) Preacher - "Doctor Mellifluous" (Doctor whose words were like honey)Said "Pasce verbo, pasce vita" - Feed with the Word and your life.
3) Mystic - Wrote "On Loving God"
4) Theologian: Wrote "On Grace and Free Choice" in which he showed himself a true Augustinian - greatest work on grace in the 900 year period between Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Bradwerdine of Canterbury.
5) Hymn Writer: "Jesu, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts" and "Jesus, The Very Thought Of Thee."
Discuss briefly the significance of Thomas Aquinas for Western Christianity.
1224-74 Culmination of Scholasticism. "The Prince of the Scholastics" Wrote two very important books - the two "Summa"
A) Summa Contra Gentiles - Summary Against The Gentiles - Book of Apologetics with chiefly philosophical (but also theological) emphasis. Designed to be a book Christians could use in debate: used natural reason since opponents won't accept authority of scripture. Argued for God as origen and goal of all things: cyclical principal. Creation mirrors creator. Five Ways:
1) Things experience a mover: God
2) Effects have a Cause: God
3) Contingent beings depend on a necessary being: God
4) The truth comes from the True: God
5) The world has a designer: God.
B) Summa Theologiae - Summary of Theology - book of theology with chiefly theological (but also philosophical) emphasis. Attempted to harmonize Aristotle with Christianity. Three distinctives in this book that show Thomas' approach:
1) There's a place for theology AND philosophy: faith and reason are independent but complementary. (You understand some through reason and some through faith)
2) The principle of analogy: God is revealed in our terms without being reduced to our level.
3)Precise definitions: concern for speaking very clearly, technically and scientifically.
Thomas is the preeminant theologian of Catholicism.
Luther admired Thomas as a Christian but didn't think much of him as a theologian.
Calvin pretty much ignored him. Francis Schaeffer pointed out that Thomas had an incomplete view of fall, saying will was fallen but intellect was not... However, some theologians today (Sproul and Gerstner) see him as a hero. In the end, Aquinas still uses percentage theology, though he makes our percentage very small.
Who was Duns Scotus? Why is he important?
John Duns Scotus 1265-1308 was a late Medieval theologian, sometimes known as "The Subtile Doctor" for his intricate thought. Proponant of Voluntarism, which says that the primary characteristic of God isn't how He thins, but what He chooses to do. (The Divine will take's precedence over the divine intellect - God does anything He chooses.) Critical of philosophy of Aquinas which attempted to harmonize Aristotle with Christianity. Argued that faith was a matter of will and could not be supported by logical proofs: we can only know the existance of God by faith. Had the effect of pulling apart rationality and faith.
Who was Thomas Bradwardine? Why is he important?
(c. 1290-1349) "Doctor Profundus" Archbishop of Canterbury in 1349. Influenced Wycliffe, who was 19 years old when Bradwardine died of the plague after being archbishop for only 40 days. Wrote "On the Cause of God Against The Pelagians" Attacked Pelagianism and stressed God's grace and irresistible will as the ultimate cause of events - paved the way for later development of the doctrine of predestination and helped begin the recovery of a full Augustinianism.
List the medieval Roman Catholic sacraments.
Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist,Penance, Extreme Unction, Marriage, Ordination
Describe the doctrines of purgatory and indulgences as held by the late Roman Catholic church.
The doctrine of purgatory teaches that Heaven is only for those who have made full and faithful use of the church's sacramental graces. The wicked or excommunicated go straight to hell, but most of the baptized go to purgatory, where they will be cleansed of their remaining sins and enter heaven. The doctrine of indulgences, a part of the sacrament of pennance, says that most people don't do enough good works for themselves. But some, the saints, do extra producing a large treasury in heaven which the Pope has access to. When an indulgence is purchased, the Pope prays that God will apply some of the extra good works to the purchaser.
What was the Investiture Controversy?
Power struggle between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire during the late 11th and early 12th centuries; it began with a dispute about the lay investiture of bishops and abbots. Such prelates held land and often exercised secular as well as ecclesiastical functions; for this reason, lay overlords had an understandable interest in their appointment and frequently invested (formally presented) them with the symbols of their various offices. The main quarrel was between Pope Gregory VII (1075)and German king and Holy Roman emperor Henry IV (reigned 1056–1106).
Define and evaluate scholasticism.
Scholaticism was the theology and philosophy taught in the medieval schools from the eleventh to fourteenth centuries and which tried to reconcile faith and reason, philosophy and revelation. It was concerned with demonstrating reasonableness of faith and to organize the Christian doctrines and thus defend the Christian faith against critics. It used a dialectical method based on Aristotelean Logic in which a question was proposed and then became a matter of debate. This is the period during which theology came to be known as the "queen of sciences." However, much of the work that was done was in the service of a church that had moved away from the authority of scripture as it's reason and center. Although theology was center stage, it became academic and abstract, moving away from the church, monestary, and people.
Define and evaluate medieval mysticism.
Medieval mysticism emphasized love and virtue over learning and knowledge. Three main themes of the Mystics were: union with God, love for Christ, and denial of self. Mystics sought union with God/absorption into God in a way that sounds like Pantheism. A positive aspect of mysticism is the concern of the mystics for loving God and for quietness and humility. However, the danger of making faith too much of an individual endeavor and the tendency toward self-righteousness or works's righteousness is important to consider as well.
Define and evaluate medieval humanism.
Medieval humanism expressed itself as the revival of human learning and the rebirth of classicism. It emphasised the essential goodness and greatness of the human nature. It was not nescessarily anti-christian or anti-god, although it was at times anti-institutional church. However, the revival of classical languages that accompanied this movement benefited biblical studies.
Explain the via antiqua and the via moderna.
The old way and the modern way of doing philosophy/theology. The via moderna usually refers to the nominalist ideas held to by thinkers like Ockham, while the via antiqua refers to the theology of Thomas Acquinas and Duns Scotus.
What is nominalism?
Nominalism is a philosophical school of thought which says that universals are just names, existing only in the human mind, and are unnecessary. William Ockham, a medieval theologian who is a nominalist, proposed the theological/philosophical principle (known as Ockham's razor) that things should be kept as simple as possible: less assumptions are better. Nominalists grant no universality to mental concepts outside the mind.
What is the modern devotion?
The modern devotion was a movement based around the writings of Thomas a Kempis and others from the Brothers of the Common Life. The group stressed meditation and the inner life, attaching little importance to ritual and external works, and downgrading the highly speculative spirituality of the 13th and 14th centuries
What are the three "ages" of christianity (or cultural transmissions of the faith)included in Ancient and Medieval Church History?
Age 1: Jewish Christianity - centered in Jerusalem. Took the gospel to the Gentiles just before the Jewish Kingdom colapses.
Age 2: Christianity of the Roman Empire - took gospel to Northern Europe just before Roman Empire colapses.
Age 3: conversion of the pagan peoples of northern Europe.
Describe the opposition movement of the Waldensians to medieval Catholicism.
Sometimes, called the first Protestants, the Waldensians were like a light shining in the darkness of the 12th century. Waldo, a wealthy merchant from Lyons, gave away his possessions and began preaching around 1170. He memorized scripture and the church fathers in the Vanacular, then went out to preach by reciting. Others joined him and they were known as the "poor men of Lyons." Went to Rome to ask for perission to exist as a movement. Denied permission, moved to mountains between France/Italy. Persecuted by Catholics. Their theology centered around poverty, a strong commitment to translating, memorizing, and preaching the bible, lay preaching, the elevation of scripture and repudiation of church and tradition. Opposed the Donation of Constantine. Joined the Protestant movement around 1532 but later influenced by liberal rational thought.
Describe the Albigensian (Cathari) opposition to medieval Catholicism.
A heresy found in southern France in the 12th/13th centuries. Dualistic/Gnostic - like Manichiesm. The term "heratic" in the 13th c. was almost always synonymous with the Cathars.
Describe the Lollard opposition to mediefal Catholicism.
The Lollards were 14th century followers of John Wycliffe. The Lollards taught that piety was a requirement for a priest to be a "true" priest or to perform the sacraments, and that a pious layman had power to perform those same rites, believing that religious power and authority came through piety and not through the Church hierarchy. Similiarly, Lollardy also emphasized the authority of the Scriptures over the authority of priests. It taught the concept of the "Church of the Saved", meaning that Christ's true Church was the community of the faithful, which overlapped with but was not the same as the official Church of Rome. It taught a form of predestination. It advocated apostolic poverty and taxation of Church properties. It also denied transubstantiation in favor of consubstantiation.
Describe the Hussite opposition to the medieval catholic church.
After the burning of Huss (1415) and Jerome of Prague (1416), the Hussites continued as a powerful group in Bohemia and Moravia. They drew up (1420) the Four Articles of Prague, demanding freedom of preaching, communion in both kinds (i.e., both wine and bread) for the laity as well as priests, the limitation of property holding by the church, and civil punishment of mortal sin, including simony.
Argued for the "real presence" - actual body and blood of Christ through the transforming of the wine and bread - in the Lord's Supper debate of the 9th century.
Argued for the "spritual presence" view - that Christ was truly present but in a spiritual sense - in the Lord's Supper debate of the 9th century.
Peter Lombard
1100- 1160 Scholastic Theologian. Wrote "Four Books of the Sentences" - collected references from many sources and tried to come up with an understanding of theology. Became the standard theological text for the middle ages. Calvin thought Lombard obscured and corrupted the teachings of Augustine.
William of Ockham
Franciscan nominalist. True late medieval theologian. Ockham's razor: philisophical/theological principle that encourages simplicity. Less assumptions are better. Espoused the “via Moderna” or “modern way” of philosophy and defended the Christian doctrine of the freedom and omnipotence of God, saying that God had absolute power and was unknowable. He viewed salvation as being based on God’s covenant and on merit. Divorce between faith and reason.
In 1073 Hildebrand assumed the chair of St. Peter under the name of Gregory VII. Gregory held that, as vicar of Christ and representative of Peter, he could give or take away empires, kingdoms, and the possessions of all men. Everyone on earth, from the emperor down to the humblest peasant, had to acknowledge him. Credited with reform: wanted to do away with financial & moral corruption in the church. Insisted on clerical celibacy.
Fought against Henry IV, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, opposing lay investiture.
Leo IX
Leo IX (reigned 1049–54) was the first pope to impose his authority upon the church in general. Remembered for the mutual anathemas of the great schism: Excommunicated patriarch and eastern Christians in 1054; they in turn did likewise to the pope.
Innocent III
Pope from 1198-1216 set out immediately after his election to realize his ideal of the pope as ecclesiastical ruler of the world with some secular political power. "Just as the moon derives its light from the sun... so too the royal power derives the splendour of its dignity from the pontifical authority."
673-735 "Father of English History" (esp. English church history) "The Venerable Bede" Missionary from Rome to Britton - evangelized the Anglo Saxon invaders. Wrote Ecclisiastical History of the English People. Themes of Providence and Predestination with R.C. emphasis on merit of good works.
Alcuin of York
730-804 Benedictine Monk/Scholar. Head of Charlamagne’s palace school at Aachen, People from all over the continent came to be taught at this school by Alcuin, then went out to head monastic & cathedral schools in other parts of Europe. Saw to it that classical and Christian patristic texts were copied using a standardized style of handwriting called the “Carolingian minuscule.”
Peter Abelard
Scholastic theologian. Had love affair with his student Heloise, niece of Canon of cathedral in Paris, which resulted in her pregnancy & his castration. Said by doubting we question and by questioning we come to truth. His book of theology (Sic et Non) follows dialectic method of questioning and giving lists of arguements on both sides, but doesn't really try to resolve the questions. Emphasis is on the fact that perhaps we can't know.
(1452-98) Considered the fourth of the pre-reformers (along with Waldo, Wycliffe, and Hus) Dominican monk who came to Florence in 1482 and became prior of San Marco in 1491. Became known as a great preacher although he was very ungraceful in his preaching. His Lenten sermons in the Duomo moved the whole city. After the overthrow of the Medici in 1494, Savonarola was the sole leader of Florence, setting up a democratic republic and characterizing it as a "Christian and religious Republic.” Preached message of grace (“Faith is a gift which God bestows on man through grace alone.”) and repentance, calling for radical reform that included the burning of the “vanities. Florence soon tired of his reign and in 1497 he was excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI. In 1498, he was simultaneously hanged and burned, in the same place and manner that he had condemned others.
Identify, with field of missionary activity: Patrick
English or Scottish grew up in 5th century Romanized Briton - captured when young by Irish raiders. Escaped, then returned as missionary to Ireland and preached "The God of Three Faces." Established centers for the copying of books, esp. scripture.
Identify, with field of missionary activity: Columba
521-97 Missionary from Ireland to Iona (Scotland)
Identify, with field of missionary activity: Columbanus
540-615 Missionary from Ireland to the Continent.
Identify, with field of missionary activity: Augustine of Canterbury
Missionary to Britton sent by Gregory the Great in 597 to evangelize the Angles & Saxons. Established center at Canterbury. King Ethelbert of Kent (South) converted in 601. King Edwin of Northumbria (North) converted in 627. Conflict with older Roman Church in Briton over things like the date of Easter and the shape of monks haircuts resolved by synod of Whitby in 663.
Identify, with field of missionary activity: Willibrord
657-739 British missionary to the Frisians (Belgium/Holland)
Identify, with field of missionary activity: Boniface (Wynfrith)
670-754 British missionary to Germany "The apostle to Germany" Cut down Oak tree to demonstrate God's superiority over Thor.
Identify, with field of missionary activity: Cyril and Methodius
862 - Missionaries from Constantinople sent to preach in Moravia (present day Austria) Produced alphabet and translated bible into Slovanik language. Different approach than Rome, who took Latin to the people, then taught them in Latin.
Identify, with field of missionary activity: Raymond Lull
1232-1315 Greatest of missionaries of this period. Born in spain on island of Majorca. Dedicated himself to be missionary to Muslims. Learned Arabic. Bold preacher: preached Christ and renounced Muslims. Started missionary colleges teaching people how to preach in Muslim settings.
Sketch the life and contributions of John Wycliffe.
"Morning star of the Reformation." “The Jewel of Oxford”
Criticized abuses and false teachings in the Church. In 1382 he translated an English Bible--the first European translation done in over 1,000 years.
Scholar saying very different and controversial things compared to others of his time:
All authority is gift from God and can be forfeited.
The Bible is the chief authority for every Christian.
Rejected sacramental system in favor of faith.
Saw preaching as the most precious activity of the church.
Salvation by grace was at the heart of his teaching.
Influenced by Thomas Bradwardine.
The Church expelled Wycliffe from his teaching position at Oxford. 1382 – the “Earthquake Council” condemned his teachings.
Wycliffe died a natural death in 1384 and 44 years after he died, the Pope ordered his bones exhumed and burned.
The Lollards, itinerant preachers he sent throughout England, inspired a spiritual revolution. Movement was short-lived. Intense persecution stamped out his followers and teachings.
In due time, men like Martin Luther resurrected the reforms of which Wycliffe dreamed.
Sketch the life and contributions of John Hus.
Jan Hus (1369- 1415 at Constance) Rector of the University of Prague and pastor of Bethleham Chapel in Prague. Religious thinker and reformer. Influenced by John Wycliffe. His followers became known as Hussites. Themes of his preaching include 1) Christ as head of church and preserver of church, and 2) Bible alone and Grace alone. Opposed sale of indulgences and did not allow them to be sold at Bethleham Chapel. The Catholic Church did not condone such uprisings, and Hus was excommunicated in 1411 and Prague was placed under interdict. Eventually condemned by the Council of Constance, and burned at the stake – it is said he died singing.
Describe the council of Constance.
Hus was invited to the Council under the Holy Roman Emperor’s assurance of safe conduct. No real hearing ever took place – Hus was not given the chance to preach for which he had hoped. The Emperor revoked promise of safe conduct when church convinced him he didn’t have to keep a promise made to a heretic.
Who were the four "pre-reformers" and what were their main contributions?
Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Girolamo Savonarola
Waldo: merchant of Lyons, renounced property and gave French Word of God in their own tongue; inspired a movement of street preachers; memorized copious amounts of scripture; obey God rather than man
Wycliffe: “Jewel of Oxford” “Morning Star of the Reformation”; Authority is gift of God; Bible is preeminent authority; Elevation of Preaching; Salvation by Grace; Influenced by Thomas Bradwardine. translated the Bible into English, and sent itinerant preachers (later called Lollards) throughout England; condemned at Earthquake Council in 1382; died a natural death but bones were later exhumed and burned by Roman Church.
Hus: Influenced by Wycliffe; Christ is head of and preserves the church; Scripture Alone and Grace Alone; Burned at stake 1415
Savonarola: Faith comes through Grace; bonfire of the vanities; hanged and burned in Florence 1498
Name four mystics and their centuries.
Johannes “Meister” Eckhart Late 13th/Early 14th
Julian of Norwich Late 14th/Early 15th
Walter Hilton 14th
Catherine of Siena 14th
Johannes Tauler 14th
Jan van Ruysbroeck 14th
Richard Rolle 14th
Thomas a Kempis 15th
Describe 16th century Roman Catholic missions.
.The Jesuits (see Jesus, Society of) were the great missionaries of the Counter Reformation. They went to East Asia (see Francis Xavier, Saint), to America, and to Protestant N Europe. It was the Jesuits who kept up the English missions in the 16th and 17th cent. Also in the 16th century, a legion of missionaries from Spain and Portugal went to America to evangelize, mainly from the Orders of Franciscans and Dominicans and Augustinians and Carmelites.

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