The History of Christianity

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TheHistory of Christianity

1.Describe, briefly, what you believe to be the most significantreligious barrier to the reunification of the Christian Church today.

Themain barriers preventing reunification of the Christian church is thedivisions within the religion. The differences emerge from thecultural norms that distinct Christian groups uphold within thereligion. Some of the differences originated from the two competingreligion factions based in Rome, The east and West factions. Thedifferences may appear trivial matters concerning the customs andpractices within the Christian church, but they are largely to blamefor the separation of the church. For example, the Eastern factionadvocated using leavened bread during mass while the westernmaintained that they had to use unleavened bread. Other majorcultural differences include bishops only to practice celibacy (west)while the East proposed that all priests should observe celibacy.Lastly, the East required the priests to rear beards while the westproposed that the priests should not wear beards. There are alsoadditional differences that arises from different translation ofchurches. Various church groups have changed the wording of the Bibleto give a slightly different meaning, which is opposed by othergroups. For example, the wording of the TheFilioque Clause causeda major break between the Eastern and the western church1.

2.Which of the various elements of practical piety practiced in themiddle ages still plays a dominant role in determining the nature ofChristian worship in modern times?

Oneof the practical piety in the middle ages that is influences worshippresently include the Eucharist. Christians, especially RomanCatholics, take the bread and wine in the church to symbolize theactual presence of Jesus in the midst. The bread in the body ofChrist while the wine is represents His blood2.

Thepenance sacraments is another critical piety from the middle agesthat is common in the modern church. Each time a Christian sins, heor she takes the sacrament to cleanse the wrongdoing3.

Traditionally,the Christians had mediators that reduced the distance between themand the divine God. The mediators were the saints such as Saint Johnthe Evangelist, Joseph, Sophia, Margaret and Adalbert. Presently, thepriests, pastors and bishops acts as the bridge between ordinarybelievers and the divine God4.

Lastly,monasticism was prevalent in the middle ages. For example, in thefourth and fifth century, desert ascetics such as Saint Jerome spentseveral years in the desert as a way of practicing Christianity inits purest form. In the modern churches, the nuns practicemonasticism by refraining from sexual intercourse and other worldlypleasures that may tempt them to get into sins5.

References

Etienne,Gilson, TheElements of Christian Philosophy,(New York: Doubleday and Co., 1960).

1 Etienne, Gilson, The Elements of Christian Philosophy, (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1960). P. 75

2 Etienne, Gilson, The Elements of Christian Philosophy, (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1960).p. 86

3 Etienne, Gilson, The Elements of Christian Philosophy, (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1960). P. 91

4 Etienne, Gilson, The Elements of Christian Philosophy, (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1960). P. 109

5 Etienne, Gilson, The Elements of Christian Philosophy, (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1960). P. 157