When exactly did Judaism and Christianity become two separate faiths? Did the process begin during the decades following Jesus’ crucifixion, or was it a process that occurred across several centuries? These questions are addressed in Partings: How Judaism and Christianity Became Two, a book recently released by the Biblical Archaeology Society. Seeking to tell the story of a complex and evolving “parting of the ways,” scholars address the points at which Jewish and early Christian communities were attracted and repelled by one another and the long process that saw them eventually going their separate ways. Utilizing essays contained in the symposium, this class will investigate the points of commonality between Jews and early Christians and the historical occurrences and issues that finally led to their parting. While purchase of the book is not required for the class, it would be helpful.
Carolyn Dipboye holds a PhD in Christian ethics from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. She served as an adjunct professor of courses in ethics and religion at Southern Seminary and Bellarmine College in Louisville, Carson-Newman, and Tennessee Wesleyan. She published articles on ethics and biblical studies and is the author of Women of Faith and currently serves as a pastor of Grace Covenant Church.
Five sessions: Wednesdays, 9:30 - 10:40 a.m, February 10, 17, 24; March 2 ,9
A culture’s myths contain its roots, the ideas and images that show how the world works, how people should live, what is important or valuable or divine. By listening to mythic tales of one culture, we can learn something of how its people see the world and their place in it. Listening deeply to myths of a variety of cultures, experiencing the differences and the commonalities among them, can bring us closer to the heart of the broader human condition. In this class, we will listen to (not read) some of the great myths and also some of the smaller ones, sharing the images and themes that resonate most for us. This will not be a course in classical or comparative mythology; it’s mostly a course in how to listen to a story. Bring a journal or notebook with you to hold notes, drawings, doodles, snatches of poetry, whatever pops into your mind while listening.
Kathleen Mavournin – See class 103 for bio information
Five sessions: Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:10 p.m., February 9, 16, 23; March 1, 8
Traditional Christian assumptions centering on human importance met significant challenges in the awakening of modern science. Made in the image of God, created to be a living soul, and set in a place of dominance over the garden of creation, the narcissistic tendency of the traditional, biblical views of the human met repeated insults in the development of modern science. Copernicus and Galileo removed the human planet earth from the center of the universe. Darwinian evolution challenged the traditional assumption of the unique and special creation of humanity. A contemporary and advocate of Darwinian evolution, Freud cut the legs from under the common assumption that we are the masters of our souls, responsible for our actions, rather than beings whose thought and behavior are determined by personal history and internal influences. Technology adds insult to injury, warning of the possibility of self-annihilation through overpopulation, abuse of the environment, and weapons of mass destruction.
Closely related to our fall study, “The Theological Problem of Evil,” Christian anthropology responds to the essential question of Psalm 8: “what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” Like the Psalmist, Christian theology raises the question before a Creator God, but we can no longer live by antiquated assumptions that ignore the insights of modern science in the contemporary age.
Larry Dipboye has served six churches in pastoral ministry in Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee since 1962. He has lived in Oak Ridge since 1988 and served the Grace Covenant Church since 2003. A graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, he received his PhD from Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1970 where he also later served as Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology.
Five sessions: Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:10 p.m., February 10, 17, 24; March 2, 9
Since religion is not really a Native American concept, this class will concentrate on the spiritual issues related to the culture and history of the Indian people. It is interesting that most native people do not ask about the religion of other cultures because their understanding is simple and deep; it is about the Creator and treating all things as their relations!
We will revisit the knowledge and the wisdom that has been passed down from generation to generation as we journey into the far corners of the ancient Medicine Wheel and listen to the stories that have been retold by the campfires and still burn brightly in the hearts and souls of the many who still practice the old ways.
This class will also offer more information on the prophesies of the Native American people and how they relate to the happenings in today’s world.
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Joni Lovegrove is a local artist and storyteller living in Oak Ridge. She is a former employee of ORNL and has worked with various organizations promoting land and water conservation efforts. She has given lectures throughout East Tennessee at numerous facilities requesting Native American stories and historical and cultural information. Being a native of East Tennessee with Cherokee ancestry, her enthusiasm for nature and the Cherokee culture is apparent within her artwork, storytelling and teaching.
Five sessions: Wednesdays, 2:30 - 3:40 p.m., February 10, 17, 24; March 2, 9
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