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Christianity and the comparison of two professor's viewpoints - Essay Example

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This paper is dedicated in comparing the views of professors Mathews and Platt with the views of Professor Weber towards religion. Professor Mathews and Platt argue that Christianity is a religion that was developed…
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Christianity Different people hold different views on the idea of religion. This paper is dedicated in comparing the views of professors Mathews and Platt with the views of Professor Weber towards religion. Professor Mathews and Platt argue that Christianity is a religion that was developed based on the principles of the Judaism. They believe that discussing Christianity is like discussing Jewish religion or Judaism (Matthews & Platt 45).
The two Professors gave several claims that aimed at justifying the relationship between the Christianity and the Jewish religion. The first argument is that Christians, like Jewish, believe in supreme god called Yahweh. They both perceive Yahweh as a single, creating, universal God who spoke through cannons or sacred text. Christianity is anchored on the principles that God still acts in the world just like He used to act during the time of Moses. He builds a personal relationship with anyone who believes on him or any person who follows His laws. Because of this, every Christian is expected to keep God’s laws and live a holy life(Boardman, Griffin & Murray 225). Christians, like Jewish, are expected to set an example of holiness and morality to the rest of the world. They also believe that both Christians and the Jewish believe that social justice is an imperative requirement that forms the main basis through which ethical standards for Christianity is determined. The two professors believe that both the Jewish and Christian believes that the image of Jesus as messiah is framed within the context of Jewish prophetic literature (Matthews & Platt 53).
Additionally, just like Judaism, Christian believes that there is a divine savior at the end of time. The two professors believes that Christian religion is indebted in Judaism and that for one to fully understand the principles governing that Christian life, he or she must have background information related to the Judaism. The two professors believed that Roman Empire had a lot of influence on Christianity’s history. The Roman Empire had several doctrines that were appealing. Political solidity and communication over a large area helped missionary efforts to spread the religion (Guisepi, 2003, p.56). Therefore, in the Western Humanities, Professor Matthews and Platt feel that the main influences on Christianity were Judaism and the Roman Empire with other, smaller religions also having an impact (Matthews & Platt 61). They believed that Roman Empire adopted Christianity as a way of teaching Christ and its ideology. They asserted that Christianity was important to the empire in that was a way through which equality could be promoted during the imperial roman age. Christianity was a source of hope to the Romans because it enhances stability. Christianity played an important role in reviving the social order in the Rome (Boardman, Griffin & Murray 226).
Another professor who tried to shed the light on religion is Professor Weber. Professor Weber argues that unlike the philosophies laid by the philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, Christians believed in philosophies that were portable, easily learned, and plainly engaged with the fortunes and misfortunes of everyday life. Most of the Christian’s expectations, problems and answers were profoundly shaped under the influence of Hellenistic philosophy (Grant 121). The philosophy was based on a number of principles.
The first principle is that the world as a whole needs an explanation and therefore it requires thinkers or philosophers to unravel the mystery behind the world. Another principle is that there is a reason for everything and that this reason forms the basis for understanding human being. Additionally, the reason provides a basis for determining good life and good society (Grant 123). Weber argues that Christianity resulted in improvement about the earlier belief system in that it challenges the people on what life is. It reminded them of the mystery behind the life. Weber believes that the cultural context of the Hellenistic world greatly affected Christianity’s development. He believes that Christianity is based on the Greek’s culture. According to Weber, philosophy and art constitute the main cultures governing Christianity (Boardman, Griffin & Murray 234). Through philosophy and art, people got to understand the complexity of nature.
Weber asserted that the philosophers during Hellenistic period made significant contribution towards Christianity. They tried to make sense of Jesus and his teaching within the broader framework of Greek and Roman culture. Weber argues that the heart of the debate between Christianity and Greek philosophy was the fact that both the Christianity and the Greek philosophy believed on the fundamental philosophical issues such as the nature of reality and the nature of God. They also advocated on issues such as ethics and morality (Grant 121). An example justifying the association between the Christianity and the Greek philosophy is clear when the case of Justin Martyr is considered. Justin Martyr is one of the people who were trying to explain Christianity to the Greco-Roman world. Justin bases his explanation on the philosophical theories. Justin explained the nature of Christ and the nature of his relationship to God in terms of certain philosophical theories that postulate a dichotomy between speech that is external and thought that is internal. Justin argues that God was a transcendent king of being (Grant 122). He is a being who is very distant from human kind. Their religious viewpoint had that God was so far removed from the world. Consequently, God is utterly unknowable to the mortal minds. Unlike the former religion, Weber claims that Hellenistic philosophy made men to distinguish between the spirit and matter.
He asserted that Christianity made people understand the fact that truth comes neither from science nor from the reason. This means that the deductions from human minds are baseless and cannot be relied upon. According to Weber, the ultimate aim in life is to accomplish a mystic union with God. This means that one has to lose one’s self in the divine. According to Greek philosopher’s, truth comes from the revelation from God (Boardman, Griffin & Murray 227).
Another improvement that came out during Hellenistic philosophy is that the idea of polytheism was disregarded. The philosophers and Christians such as Justin argued that the custom of polytheistic belief and practice that dominated the Greco-Roman world was wrong, immoral, and philosophically inadequate. This argument concurs with the belief that the Greek philosophers had towards religion. This is because Greek philosophers believed that there was a single simple divine principle underlying all things (Boardman, Griffin & Murray 229).
Based on the claims made by these professors, I am convicted that Professor Weber gave the most insightful and systematic information regarding the Christianity. This is because his basis for Christianity clearly explores the fundamentals of life. Weber manages to distinguish between the spirit and the matter (Boardman, Griffin & Murray 230). This is the greatest fact that one must know as far as salvation and God is concerned. This is because the two are incompatible. By distinguishing the two, it would be easy for one to live a worthy and holy life. Additionally, Weber believes that Christian life is dynamic and hence calls upon philosophers who are portable, easily learned, and plainly engaged with the fortunes and misfortunes of everyday life (Grant 127). This clearly depicts the life of every individual. It shows that a true Christian should be ready to adjust his or her thinking according to the prevailing situations.
Weber’s arguments depict life as very dynamic phenomenon. It means that no one can predict about what would happen in future. Consequently, just as Professor Weber puts it, the idea of Christianity should involve people who are flexible. It requires people who are not fixed in their thinking. It requires people who can adjust to the situations. However, Professor Weber’s arguments are one-sided in nature. He did not clearly elucidate about the concept of Jesus and how people perceive Jesus.
Professor Mathews and Platt failed to explore such important principles. They just elucidate the relationship between the Judaism and Christianity. The two professors believed that Roman Empire had a lot of influence on Christianity’s history. They argue that the Roman Empire had several doctrines that were appealing. They asserted that the Political solidity and communication over a large area helped missionary efforts to spread the religion (Guisepi, 2003, p.56). Therefore, in the Western Humanities, Professor Matthews and Platt feel that the main influences on Christianity were Judaism and the Roman Empire with other, smaller religions also having an impact (Matthews & Platt 61). It is clear that most of the Roman culture failed to address the problems that affected the poor in the community but Christianity had the resources to address these through its values. Most of these poor people found their possible solutions in the Christian religion as it offered hope by promising remuneration after death. Consequently, I wholly back up the argument laid forward by Professor Weber (Boardman, Griffin & Murray 234).
Works cited
Boardman John , Griffin Jasper , Murray Oswyn. The Oxford History of the Classical World. Oxford University Press, USA; 1986. Print.
Grant, Fredrick. Roman Hellenism and the New Testament. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1962.
Matthews, Roy. & DeWitt Platt. The Western Humanities: Beginnings Through the Renaissance. Fifth edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004 Read More
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