PartA: Early Christianity
Thereligious views of Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas and RobertSouthwell were seen to be different from other reformed thinkers.Typically, reformed thinkers come up with new views and approachesthat are meant to bring about change. However, for these men, theirreligious views only sought to strengthen the existing earlyChristian beliefs. For instance, Aquinas wrote the SummaTheologicathat was divided into three main parts. The first part described therelation of man with God, the second part was called ethics and thelast part Christ. Their approach seemed to place God above everythingelse and unlike other thinkers, they advocated for a personalrelationship with God. However, it is important to note that boththese religious thinkers and the reformists shared their belief inone God.
Thesecond difference is that their writings implored man to seekguidance and to commit his actions towards God. This is a significantdifference as their writings did not really encourage man to becomeindependent as other reformed thinkers have formerly advocated.However, through writings such as TheConfessionsby Augustine of Hippo and Southwell’s poetry, they both encouragefor religion to be a personal affair with God. This means that theyhad discovered the extent through which religious institutions wereusing the church to propagate political agendas. The churchinstitution went further to use violence and wars to execute andpunish believers who strayed away from the laws of the church.
Inessence, violence was used as a political tool by the corruptreligious institution in making intimidations to the people. A harshpunishment such as death was passed to the individuals who wentagainst the dominating religious teachings. Violence does not reallyfit in the religious context and teachings. However, the earlyreligious churches used the church and the religious leaders forpolitical gains and eventually pushing man further away from God.Naturally, politics involves diverse ideological differences andopinions which may cause violence erupt. Hence, since the church wasa direct political tool during that period, violence was inevitable.
PartB. Peer Responses
Response to Emily Krieger
Iagree with your sentiments on the power that was placed on religiousleaders particularly in Catholic Church. The early Catholic Churchseemed to share political powers and had a significant role in therule of law. For this reason, their position was highly placed in thesocietal settings during that period. In addition, your explanationsregarding the use of violence by religious institutions is spot on.The church used violence to bring about intimidation and fear amongpeople with alternative religious views. This was totally against theteachings that the Holy Scriptures advocated for. Violence ensuredsecurity in the powerful positions that they held in both politicaland religious spheres.
Response to Liz Wiegand
Youhave successfully highlighted key differences between the Catholicand the Protestant religious beliefs. The Catholic Church mainlydiffers with the protestant church on issues regarding the oldtestaments, the pope and his role in the church as well as themeaning of salvation in both religious institutions. In addition, Iagree that the early church played a significant role in politics andimplementations of land laws. This major relationship that existedbetween religion and politics sparked wars and violence. This was amajor religious setback that went away from the teachings of the HolyScriptures as provided in your article. These violence eventuallymade believers to be closed minded on other alternative religions.