Part A

PartA

Religiousviews of Augustine, Aquinas and Southwell

Thereligious views that Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas and RobertSouthwell had, were a little different from those of reformedthinkers. The three men had very deep religious faith and were fullydedicated to their religions. One fact that differentiates thesethree men from other reformed thinkers is the fact that theirthinking was deeply personal in nature. For instance, Augustine ofHippo wrote Theconfessionsthat were three books long which emphasized on the need to embraceGod and abandon the life of sensuality and fault beliefs. Aquinas onthe other hand wrote the Summaof Theologicawhich was divided into three main parts. The three main parts wereGod, Ethics and Christ. This book employs a philosophical and logicperspective, which depicts on the need for humanity to seek God’sguidance for their actions. Sothwell’s works demonstrated the needof having a deeply religious belief that is personal and differentfrom other religions or institutions.

Thereligious views expressed by these three men were very risky at thattime where religious wars and violence was common. One of the reasonsthat religious wars were fought was to enact one supreme religionthat would dominate all others. Religious leaders at that time hadpolitical powers as many institutions played significant roles inpolitics. In this regard, there was a need of establishing onereligion that would ensure that power was centralized. Violencebecame part of this picture in an effort of demonstratingintimidation to alternative thinkers on religious issues. Theviolence ensured the continuity of having one common religiousinstitution.

Violencefits in with the Christian context mostly as demonstrated by earlyhistorical settlers. It is important to understand that religion ismostly a deeply personal conviction held by the believer. Therefore,many believers were ready to undergo persecutions and personal harmso as to demonstrate their personal faith. Additionally, manypolitical larders during those early periods used religion to playpolitics in a forceful manner. Violence became an ideal strategy thatwould ensure that the people obeyed and respected them.

PartB: Responses to peers’ work

Responseto Amanda Rossol

HiAmanda,

Iagree with your article which implies that Augustine of Hippo, ThomasAquinas and Robert Southwell did not seek to change religion. This isa different trait that is not normally embraced by other reformedthinkers whose ultimate goal is to bring out changes. The three menhave very high regards for God whom they accord great respect asdepicted by their writings. In addition, you article mentions thatthe three men displayed the importance of obeying God’s commandsinstead of trying to understand Him. In this regard, they regard Godas a mystical Being and there are no direct answers to many questionsthat believers have.

Responseto Emily Krieger

HiEmily,

Iagree with your explanation on the key differences between earlyreformers and religious clergy. I think you are on point. It is verytrue that since religion was a highly placed institution in thosetimes, religious leaders were as a result very much respected. Thescriptures played a very important role in the lives of the people asmost land laws were drawn from them. In addition, your articleclearly points out the many disagreements that arise as a result ofreligion practiced with politics. Land laws dictated how every personwas supposed to worship and what religious institution to attend.This took away personal freedoms of many people who had differentreligious beliefs and caused violence.

PartA

EarlyModern Women

AemiliaLayer was raised in a family just in the outskirts of thearistocratic setting. During her period of existence, women werepowerless as they did not have the right of dictating who to love andwhere to get married. As a result of this, Layer opted for aforbidden affair with a man by the name Henry Carey, with whom shehad a son with. She was forced into marriage to cover this affairthat was regarded to be scandalous. In addition, Layer retreated towriting as it was the only way that she could voice out that whichshe felt. On the other hand Anne Vaughan Lock demonstrated herpowerlessness by translating and paraphrasing original work that wasdone by Jean Calvin. This was regarded as a “safe” form ofwriting that expanded the traditional roles of women at that period.

AemiliaLayer attempted to claim back her control through writing literallypoems that challenged the dominant roles of men. She createdliterally materials that demonstrated the power of women particularlyher famous piece titled “Hail God, King of Jews”, where sheguides and actually instructs the reader on the issue of feminism. Onthe other hand, Lock demonstrated her desire of taking back hercontrol by travelling to Geneva with the intention of translatingCalvin’s work. Through paraphrasing as well as translating, Lockwas able to make her voice felt through her work, which made thereader get to know her own perspective regarding matters of religion.

Thisdoubting of powerlessness affected early modern women who werereformists but did not have a platform of bringing change. Theexisting religious as well as land laws reduced them to mareindividuals with limited and insignificant roles. As a result, theyembraced writing as a means of gaining back control. The mainintention of doing so was to make available information to otherwomen, whether in their lifetime or thereafter. It was a hopeful wayof passing on their reformist ideas to other women with the aim ofbringing about change in the years to come.

PartB

Responseto Amanda Sawyer

HiAmanda,

Iconcur with your view about destiny and Calvin’s discouragingtheory that demonstrates hopelessness to humanity through religion.In addition, the article has demonstrated the effect that suchtheories had to women who were already hopeless under the culturaland land laws. This article has brought into light the works andpersonal lives of the two famous female writers effectively. However,I feel that this article misses out on the integral point ofdiscussion, which revolves around the lives and works of Anne VaughanLock and Aemilia Layer in regards to hopelessness. In my opinion, thearticle should have used their personal lives and works toeffectively demonstrate how they wanted to take back control or howthey lost control.

Thankyou

Responseto Emily Krieger

HiEmily,

HiI agree with you that the article’s presentation of the works andlives of both Aemilia Layer and Anne Vaughan Lock is spot on. Inaddition, the article has effectively demonstrated how these twofamous female writer’s lives and works demonstrated hopelessness.The article has attempted to bring into light how they tried to takeback control that they lacked during their period. The articlementions that they immersed themselves in religious works from wherethey felt that they needed mercy and salvation. In addition, I feelthat the article has successfully explained how doubting of powersaffected early modern women. In addition, the article’sexplanations regarding how Lock and Layer tried to claim back controlthrough writing is spot on. I feel that this article has effectivelyanswered the discussion questions.