RELS-233

Christianity: A Historical Introduction
Spring 2010 MWF 11-12 Olin 108 Instructor: Nathan Rein Office hours: M 1:30-3pm, Tue 10 am-12 noon, and by appt. Olin 211, x. 2571, nrein at ursinus dot edu

Final assignment

Please choose one of the following key themes from the course: A. the mind and the body B. reason, knowledge, and emotion C. salvation and the transformation of the self D. the relationship between the Christian and the world E. defining the Christian community F. or, contact me to propose a theme of your own

Then, discuss the roles this theme plays in at least six of the primary texts we have read thus far. At least three of the texts must be numbered 9 or higher on the list below. To refresh your memory, eligible texts include: The Gospel of Mark 1. 2. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 3. The Martyrdom of SS. Perpetua and Felicitas 4. The Letter of St. Ignatius to the Romans The Martyrdom of Polycarp 5. 6. Selections from Tertullian Selections from Irenaeus 7. 8. Selections from Justin Martyr 9. The Confessions of St. Augustine The Rule of St. Benedict 10. 11. St. Anselm, selections from the Proslogion (proof of God's existence) and the Cur Deus homo (theology of the Atonement) 12. Selections from Thomas Aquinas 13. Selections from John Calvin 14. Balmer’s Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory 15. Jenkins and LaHaye’s Left Behind This assignment should have three primary sections. In the first section, explain which theme you have chosen to focus on and elaborate on it. In other words, the themes listed above are just names; in this section, which should be substantial (several pages), explain what you think this theme means, why it is important to the course material, and what you would look for in the texts to examine it. In the second section, go through each of the seven texts you have chosen and discuss the role played by these ideas in that text. Again, give each text a substantive discussion (at least a page). Use numbered subheadings. In the final section, give your own analytical conclusion based on your careful reading of the texts you

chose. In this section, pay careful attention to the tensions or contradictions you found in the texts (for example, some texts might emphasize inclusiveness and welcome, while others emphasize moral strictness and separateness — this would be an example of a tension within the texts). This section should be several pages long as well. For a total length, take 10-12 pages as a guideline (3000 words or so). Include a word count. You will be evaluated on your careful reading of and engagement with the texts and on the thoughtfulness and originality of your ideas. Due date: You have two options for this. Option one: you can turn it in on May 12, at 4 p.m. (not midnight this time) and be graded normally. Option two: you can turn it in one week earlier, on May 5, also at 4 p.m., and sign up for an oral exam time (sometime between May 5 and May 12). If you choose this option, I will ask you questions based on the work you hand in, and you will have an opportunity to explain your answers in person; in this case, I will determine your grade after we meet.

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