Left to Right: Symbols for Judaism and Christianity, as well as calligraphic script and designs that are emblematic of Islam.
Before you think about questions and answers, take time to visualize the images we looked at last Wednesday. After a review of Faith, Beauty and Iconography Parts 1 & 2, we moved into the topic of spectacle. Among others, we looked at images of: pyramids, Moses, and at the locations that are held most sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. We then examined how some of the achievements of Ancient Greece fits into the timeline you had already learned about for Western monotheism. We the moved into present-day forms of spectacle and looked briefly at a few different stadiums. This led us to consider and look at images of the Roman Colosseum. Last we viewed about ten minutes from the film Gladiator.
As always, various subtopics emerged from the above major themes. The ‘subtopics’ included specific words and phrases, and a fair amount of history about Western culture. Your job in this post is to blog about (write about), those words, phrases, and history and the meanings we discussed in relation to them. Please LIMIT your comments to 225 words. To receive any credit for your comment here, you must first find out the word count using Microsoft Word or another kind of word processing software. (NOTE: you can access Word from free, from WMU. If you need help, go to a computer lab, or contact the university Help desk. This is your responsibility.
When you post your comment, do as follows: First comes your first and last name. Then AM or PM. Then the word count, which will be a number that is at most 225, of course! We look forward to reading your responses. One last thing: BE CERTAIN that you use a dictionary or run a spell check BEFORE you post your comment. AND: beware that spell check can cause problems. If you misspell the work “definitely,” it might correct it to, for example, “defiantly.” That would create a problem that is as bad as misspelling the word “definitely.” Good Luck. I know you can do an excellent job as long as you are patient and take your time.
IMPORTANT CAVEAT (a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.) ABOUT COMMENTING ON #1, #2, OR #3: Each of these involves your saying something about religion, or religions. If you choose to answer, you MUST contextualize (to place (something, such as a word or activity) in a context - which is defined in your Handbook), what you say by also stating what knowledge you have of the religion you are commenting on. For example, if you want to say anything definitive about Christianity, you could say, "I went to a Methodist Sunday school for 6 years and we learned a good deal about the creation of Adam by God." Or you could say, for Islam, "I have a close friend who is a Muslim from Bangladesh, and he explained to me his understanding of the Prophet Muhammad. If you have not relatable knowledge yourself, then you need to reference an outside source. Assuming you'll use the internet, then you MUST stick with websites that end in .edu.
Please pick ONE of the following questions/suggestions:
1. Discuss the fact that Mesopotamia, a few thousand years ago was an area that was perfect for the development of agriculture, and of new and sophisticated civilizations. What can you say about these new civilizations and the religions that were born there?
2. Discuss the specific icons for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. What do you understand from the presentation I made about them? Can you add something new to this conversation?
3. Why did the rulers of ancient Egypt, and much much later, the Catholic Church, spend what would now be billions of dollars to promote religion? Give an example. Can you think of ways that the US government or modern US religious groups spend tremendous sums of money to promote religion, or to promote other values?
4. What physiological responses did you notice within yourself watching Gladiator? IF YOU CHOOSE THIS QUESTION, you must first look up the word physiological on a website called vocabulary.com Once you understand the word well, please answer the question about your response to Gladiator. When you write your comment up, remember to consider ALL aspects of a film or video, such as sound effects, music, etc.
This post opened at about 3:30 pm on Friday. It will remain open until 11:59 pm on Tuesday.
Prof. Paul Solomon