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