Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King delivering his last sermon at Mason Temple (the Church of God in Christ), in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968. The following day, Dr. King was assassinated. Dr. King was in Memphis to support a strike by garbage workers. He was 39 years old.
Iconic symbols of the three Western monotheistic religions in chronological order based on when they were established: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Many important topics were covered in class, using various media including the songs played at the start of class: the John Legend/Common song Glory was the most significant. Major topics included Dr. King's prophetic "I have been to the mountaintop" speech (we analyzed meanings both literal and metaphorical); the history and nature of polytheism and monotheism with special focus on Ancient Egypt, the beginnings of Judaism, Ancient Greece and Rome; and the significance of the Second Commandment as it originated in Judaism and how it has been interpreted in all three religions. Next, I presented more detailed information in words and images, about in sequence: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with a focus on major values, and modes of worship, making comparisons one to the other.
In the class numerous connections between the early history of Jews and the Civil Rights movement was discussed. Another important feature of class was the emphasis I placed on key beliefs of the Ancient Greeks, and how they stressed harmony and symmetry and most of all - how their society championed humanism. Another important 'storyline' that I narrated in class was about the Virgin Mary and the interactions that Christians believe about the "Annunciation.' (We looked at Sandro Botticelli's Renaissance painting that can be found HERE. FYI: make certain you know what the word renaissance means. Also of great importance is what I discussed with you about the military campaigns that Greece and Rome launched against the early Jewish state. You need to know which ancient power (Greece or Rome) lost their war, and which power was victorious.
All of the material that I have listed above was presented and discussed during the first 55 minutes of class. After the break and announcements there were two more 'chapters' in the class: The first was a brief session of Skilled Observation during which time you observed and made comments on this photograph. This photograph was used to introduce the assignment I gave you that is due Monday in which you will analyze aspects of two Inaugural Addresses: the one by President Obama in 2009, and the one scheduled for tomorrow, Friday. Last, I shared with you photographs and information about 'Hidden People:' Coretta Scott King, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi, and Abraham Lincoln. I spent the most time with you discussing Representative John Lewis. Make certain that you came away from this class knowing the basic facts about him -- and that you know the most basic facts about each of the other people mentioned above.
Corrections to Class Content: Please note that invariably I will make errors, as will any teacher. Additionally there are times when students make errors of fact in what they say, that are not corrected by one of the teacher. We will do our best to make any needed corrections to these kinds of mistakes here. In class Wednesday, I was mistaken in what I said in the morning class: The photo was taken in January 2013, not 2009. Wikipedia says the following about the bibles: "After Barack Obama had recited the oath of office, where Obama had placed his left hand on bibles owned by American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr and President Abraham Lincoln, delivered his inaugural address." This text can be found HERE.
HOW TO DISCUSS/MAKE COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG POST:
1) Make certain you have read and that you understand the Blog Grading Criteria.
2) Pick any ONE topic out of all the topics I named above. Discuss them in accordance with the Blog Grading Criteria. I suggest you begin by posing a question to yourself, and then answering it. For example, you might say: 'I am asking myself why it was that so much controversy was generated by the interaction between President-Elect Trump and Congressman John Lewis.' Then go on to answer your own question. In this instance you would be able to cite information I related to you, and add to it information you find online.
A) If you find it relatively easy to do the above for ONE topic, then take on a second one. Points will be distributed based on the degree to which you succeed as measured by the all-important Blog Grading Criteria.
B) Once you have done #2 above, you may also describe to us what role religion has played in your life, in as personal a voice as you like.
Contrary to what it may say to the left of this post, it opened for your comments at 8 am on Thursday, January 19. This post will close at 10 pm on Sunday, January 22. OPEN TIME EXTENDED UNTIL 5 AM MONDAY MORNING!
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