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RELIGION 2105: SPRING 2016 -- STUDY GUIDE FOR THE FINAL EXAM [MONDAY,
MAY 9, 4:10-7, 602 HAMILTON] ---- ON THE FINAL YOU WILL BE ASKED TO WRITE
TWO ESSAYS OF APPROXIMATELY 45 MINS. EACH; WORK OF THE FOLLOWING
WILL BE EXCELLENT PREPARATION.
1. Discuss varieties of religious life that appear in the Western Church in the late twelfth
and thirteenth centuries. Compare these forms of religious life with traditional Benedictine
2. The writings of Paul of Tarsus and Pope Innocent III each engage with Christian
religious authority, albeit in very different historical contexts. What are the main points
each writer makes? How does Innocent III, who wrote over a millennium after Paul,
expand his predecessor's ideas? Would Paul have approved of Innocent III's opinions?
3. Francis of Assisi and Martin Luther both engage with the question of the nature of the
Christian life. How do they view what it means to live life as a Christian? How do they
think the Christian ought to relate to other people? To authority? Situating their
perspectives in historical contexts and write an essay in which you evaluate their views
on the Christian life.
4. This semester we have frequently discussed two major themes -- the desire for
uniformity and unity across Christianity, and the persistence of differing varieties of
Christianity. Using historical examples from the entire scope of this class (from the New
Testament period through the sixteenth-century Reformation), discuss the tension
between unity and varieties of Christianity as it has played out theologically,
soteriologically, and communally.
5. Constantine I is often called the "first Christian emperor." In what ways did he influence
Christianity? Discuss the significance of Constantine for the development of Christianity
both in the fourth century and beyond.
6. The relationship between the Eastern and Western forms of Christianity changed
significantly from the early eleventh to the early thirteenth centuries; many scholars date
the schism between Rome and Constantinople to this period. Propose a date for this
schism and defend it with an essay analyzing key events involving the Eastern and
Western Churches during these centuries. Be sure to situate your discussion within the
context of their religious differences (theological, ecclesiastical, liturgical, etc.)
7. Compare and contrast Martin Luther's and John Calvin’s visions of Christian reform.
What do their views of reform look like theologically? Soteriologically? Ecclesiologically?
How do they view the Christian life? How might Gregory VII have understood and
evaluated these visions of reform? Where would he have differed with Luther and Calvin?