Introduction to christianity
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Introduction to Christianity. Founding. 33 AD Palestine Jesus of Nazareth Jewish carpenter The Bible Old Testament New Testament. Followers. Christianity is the largest world religion Why? Total: 2 billion people U.S.: 159 million (2001) 42% of Americans attend church. Vocabulary.

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Founding
Founding

  • 33 AD

  • Palestine

  • Jesus of Nazareth

    • Jewish carpenter

  • The Bible

    • Old Testament

    • New Testament


Followers
Followers

  • Christianity is the largest world religion

    • Why?

  • Total: 2 billion people

  • U.S.: 159 million (2001)

    • 42% of Americans attend church


Vocabulary
Vocabulary

  • Places of worship: church, chapel, cathedral, basilica

  • Spiritual leaders: pastor, minister, reverend, priest, bishop

  • “Twelve Apostles”: twelve original followers of Jesus

  • “Gospel of Matthew (Mark, Luke, and John)”: first four “books” of the New Testament



Major beliefs
Major Beliefs

  • One God

    • The Holy Trinity

      • Father

      • Son

      • Holy Spirit

  • Humans were created good but now born sinful

  • Afterlife: resurrection of body and soul, purgatory (Catholic & Orthodox), and eternal heaven or hell


Roman catholic
Roman Catholic

  • Only accepted church until the late Middle Ages – considers itself the “true” church

  • Largest denomination in world (not in U.S.)

  • Most formal, ritualized

  • Distinct beliefs:

    • Pope

    • Saints

    • Transubstantiation – body and blood of Christ


Eastern orthodox
Eastern Orthodox

  • Began as the eastern half of Christendom, the former Byzantine Empire (“Great Schism”)

  • 225 million followers (mostly in Greece, Turkey, and Russia)

  • Distinct beliefs:

    • More abstract and mystical – personal experience

    • Icons

    • Seven Ecumenical Councils – leaders


Protestant
Protestant

  • 53% of Americans

  • Branch of Christianity with multiple denominations and a wide theological spectrum

    • Denominations differ in the degree by which they reject Catholic beliefs (Anglicans and Lutherans are very close; Presbyterian and Baptist retain little of Catholic ceremonies)

  • 16th century Protestant Reformation


Major holidays
Major Holidays

  • Lent (40-day period prior to Easter)

  • Good Friday (last Friday before Easter)

  • Easter (Sunday – date varies) – April 8, 2012

  • Christmas (December 25)


Leading up to easter
Leading up to Easter

  • Fat Tuesday

    • Mardi Gras or Carnival

  • Lent

    • 40 days of fasting or sacrificing a sinful habit

  • Good Friday


Easter
Easter

  • Spring festival that celebrates the central event of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion

  • The entire liturgical calendar is centered around Easter


Religious observances
Religious Observances

  • Special church service (often at sunrise)

  • “Christ is risen”


Other observances
Other Observances

  • Easter Bunny

    • Rabbits and eggs were widely used pagan symbols

  • Easter Egg Hunts

    • - Eggs viewed by Christians as symbols of joy and celebration (they were forbidden during the fast of Lent)


Christmas
Christmas

  • Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ

  • Began to be observed in the late 3rd century AD as an alternative to pagan winter holidays

  • Jesus’s Birthday?


Religious observances1
Religious Observances

  • Special worship services (often at night on Christmas Eve)

  • Nativity Scene


Christmas trees
Christmas Trees

  • Christmas Trees

    • Modern tradition

    • “Christianization” of a pagan tradition involving evergreen boughs


Santa claus
Santa Claus

  • Santa Claus

    • A.K.A. Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Old Saint Nick, etc.

    • Popular image created in late 1800s


Why are we learning this
Why are we learning this?

  • Religion is one of the most important aspects of culture

  • Some of the greatest works of art, music and literature have been based on Christianity and the Bible


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