Christendom s Ancien Régime - PDF

King s Meadow Humanities Curriculum: Modernity Lesson 1 Christendom s Ancien Régime Textbook Assignments Primary: Empire, pp. ix xxvi, Introduction Alternate: Western Civilizations, Chapter 11, sections:

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King s Meadow Humanities Curriculum: Modernity Lesson 1 Christendom s Ancien Régime Textbook Assignments Primary: Empire, pp. ix xxvi, Introduction Alternate: Western Civilizations, Chapter 11, sections: The Mongols and The Rise of the Ottoman Empire Lesson Synopsis Our study of Modernity begins with a review of Christendom s Ancien Régime, including the presuppositions and realities of what came before Modernity along with their effects on culture, the church, and society. Modernity is the result of a revolt against the maturity and wisdom of Christendom. Opportunity none Extra Resources A Contemplation of Liberty, by Andrew Kern 1 (the opening session of the 2010 CiRCE Conference, available from The God Who is There, Francis Schaeffer; The Consequence of Ideas, R.C. Sproul; Ideas Have Consequences, by Richard Weaver; The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, by Elizabeth Kantor (Chapters 1-5); for the whole course: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: many of the speeches and documents listed in the lessons can be found at Internet Modern History Sourcebook, a list of primary sources organized by topic, many of which fit the Modernity lectures: animated maps: Lesson Topics None this lecture Primary Source Material Martin Luther King: I Have a Dream speech; Abraham Kuyper: Inaugural at the Free University of Amsterdam speech; The Arbroath Declaration; The Four Articles of Prague Vocabulary adiaphora, patristic 1 While only the opening plenary session is listed, the rest of the sessions from this conference would be an encouragement and many dealt with many of the same historical and philosophical topics that Dr. Grant discusses in Modernity. Ed. 1 Timeline See lesson notes. [\[\[\ Christendom s Ancien Régime (1:06) For the Enlightenment revolutionaries, the civilization of Christendom was dismissed as the Ancien Régime. They were determined to pull down its great monuments as a prequel to what they imagined to be a New World Order. And thus was Modernity birthed, or rather, unleashed. ~Christopher Dawson 2 28 August 2008 The term Ancien Régime was used by Enlightenment thinkers to describe the era of Christendom. This Ancien Régime grew out of the thinking of Augustine, his manifesto The City of God, and the scholastics who followed him. 430: Augustine of Hippo died, exactly 46 years to the day before the capitulation of the West. Rome surrendered to the Ostrogoth Odacer, bringing to an end the western part of the empire and sending Emperor Romulus Augustus 3 into hiding in Ravenna and ultimately exile in Byzantium, the eastern part of the empire. 1749: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in Frankfurt am Main in central Germany. He became a chief Romantic author and thinker and took the ideas of the Enlightenment and translated them into popular culture in the same way Augustine had translated the ideas of Scripture into a popularly understood manifesto of Christendom. So the death of Augustine and the birth of Goethe can be seen as brackets surrounding the Ancien Régime. 1955: Emmett Till was found brutally murdered. A young man from Chicago visiting relatives, was found brutally murdered in a small town in Mississippi. His great offense was that he had looked at, some said whistled at, a white girl. He was a black man. His death fomented Civil Rights demonstrations which nurtured a vision of civil rights for all Americans. 1963: Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his I Have a Dream speech in Washington, D.C.. Looking out toward the Washington Monument before him with the Lincoln Memorial behind, he began his carefully worked out speech. Parts he had given before, but about halfway through, Mahalia Jackson, who had sung just before him, began to urge him, Tell them about the dream, Martin. Departing from his written text, 2 ( ; Dawson was an English historian, a disciple of Chesterton, and the author of a host of important, excellent books including, Understanding Europe, Medieval Essays, Dynamics of World History, The Historic Reality of Christian Culture, and Christianity and European Culture.) GG 3 Romulus Augustus is also known as Romulus Augustulus. Ed. 2 he began to ad lib one of the most remarkable feats of oratory, declaring the necessity for the path to the American dream to be unobstructed to every single man, woman, and child. 1968: Police in riot gear and anti-war demonstrators clashed in the streets of Chicago. Francis Schaeffer wrote a chapter about media bias in How Shall We Then Live. One TV station was liberal and one was conservative. The conservative station, using careful edits, showed how revolutionaries had unleashed a blasphemous riot. Using the same exact footage, the liberal station, also with careful edits, showed how young college students took the opportunity to express their own rights and had been descended upon brutally by overbearing policemen. 1980: On the centenary of Abraham Kuyper s Inaugural at the Free University of Amsterdam, Francis Schaeffer reissued the challenge. The challenge was that western civilization was headed toward demise if it didn t recognize that the foundations of law and freedom were essentially Christian. So he said the responsibility would fall upon Christians, but he lamented that Christians had bought an un-christian worldview. He said that, over the last 80 years or so, Christians had begun to think in bits and pieces rather than totals. So they became less concerned about issues like education and abortion, and they haven t thought in terms of the totality of the culture. Kuyper ( ; a Dutch Calvinist, influential in many spheres of life, was a minister, theologian, statesman, politician, and journalist to name but a few of his many roles in life.) had said, There is not one square inch of the domain of human existence over which Christ does not say, It is Mine! These separate pieces paint a picture of God s providence throughout all of time. That is the great purpose of history, not that we learn facts about the past but we connect the acts of the past with the crises of the present in order to enable us to address the present and its difficulties. The Ancien Régime in Turmoil The civilization of Christendom was crumbling as surely as the great cathedrals at the beginning of the eighteenth century. It had, however, stood for more than a millennium. It was a civilization that brought about freedom, prosperity, and opportunity as well as the most remarkable flowering of art, music, and literature that the world had ever seen. Umberto Eco describes in his novel, The Name of the Rose, two men walking up to the doorway of a church that perfectly describes the flowering of Christendom. It goes on for nine pages, and one sentence is forty-nine lines. It shows the incredible explosion of creativity and vision that comes just from walking up to a door. He mentions the silent speech of the carved stone, noting that images are the speeches of the layman. He says the characters portrayed there were exulting in praise vivaciously transformed into image and stone. These are words from a writer of Christendom. This is the civilization that Enlightenment thinkers thought needed to be brought to ruin. Christendom s Ancien Régime 30: Jesus was crucified. Christendom began. 3 70: Jerusalem was sacked and destroyed sending Christians, who had heretofore remained close to the city of Jerusalem, throughout the Roman imperial realm. 100: The Patristic era began with Clement who called for adroit and faithful scholarship among Christians to begin to lead the culture because of what he believed was a declining Roman civilization. 280: Antony of Alexandria founded sanctus discendi a series of disciplines that were used by the monastics of the east. They laid the foundations of the universities. If there had been no monasticism, there would have been no universities. That s why so many academic traditions revolve around monkish ways. 315: Athanasius, a deacon in Alexandria, stood contra mundum, against the world proclaiming that biblical orthodoxy regarding the nature and character of Christ, was the only ground for faithfulness and for faith. This idea was as fiercely fought then as it is now. 325: The first Church Council was held at Nicea which upheld the Athanasian notion of biblical orthodoxy as the standard by which the gospel would be carried to the world. 395: The death of Emperor Theodosius divided the Roman Empire for the final time into two separate administrative centers the West and the East. The empire of Byzantium in the East ended up laying the foundations for the enduring civilization of Christendom. 428: Augustine s City of God was published. It spread throughout the West and the East. It included ideas of Creator/creature distinction, the line of antithesis between the city of God and the city of man, the line between truth and error, and other principles for a biblical culture. 476: Emperor Romulus Augustus was ousted the empire torn asunder by rival Germanic tribes, bringing to an end the imperial era of the West. 503: The Benedictine Rule was confirmed. These were guidelines for those who wanted to live a life of piety and study. These ideas of monasticism made their way west and became the basis for the building of many institutions in the West. 537: The great cathedral Hagia Sophia was dedicated in Constantinople by Justinian. It was a feat of engineering, an architectural marvel, a model of the distinctness of eastern theology. The crusades erupted over the sacking of this building. 610: Mohammed, a member of the Hashemite clan in Mecca, had ecstatic visions on Mount Hira. Thus the long struggle between the Far East and the West, between Islam and Christianity, began. 4 640: Alexandrian Library was burned to the ground by Omar s Islamic hoard sparking the great challenge between East and West. Omar was a successor of Mohammed. 711: Europe was invaded and occupied by Muslim armies crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in massive numbers, they swept through the old Visigoths realm, the people living there having embraced Aryan heresies were thus weakened in their faith. The Muslim armies swept over the Iberian peninsula, up the Pyrenées, and into France. 732: Charles Martel, or Charles the Hammer, a sheriff for the Frankish peoples, prevailed over the Muslims at Tours and stopped their forward march. He thus preserved the Frankish kingdom. He was woven into the royal lineage so that his grandson Charlemagne was ultimately crowned emperor. Charlemagne was the consolidator of the Frankish empire in France and Germany and emperor of what came to be known as the Holy Roman Empire. 800: Charlemagne was crowned in the West. 1054: The Christian East and West divided. The churches no longer communicated with one another. 1095: Urban II called for a Holy Crusade to liberate the people of the East who had been swarmed over by the Muslim hoard. 1099: Crusaders recovered Jerusalem from the Muslims and established a series of kingdoms throughout Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey. Within 200 years, each of those kingdoms was swept away and the Christian presence in the Middle East was all but lost. 1163: The great cathedral, Notre Dame, was completed and dedicated in Paris. 1167: A collegium was established at Oxford when several monastic tutors took students under their care and began to tutor them in the great ideas of civilization. 1215: The Magna Carta was sealed by King John at Runnymede. He was the ill-fitted younger brother of Richard the Lionheart. This document gave the nobles various rights and privileges. It was a minimal set of rights, mostly fishing and hunting rights on royal land. Nevertheless it set a precedent of freedom that became a hallmark of English law and culture. 1250: Thomas Aquinas launched Scholasticism following the publication of his Summa Theologica. He thought the scholastic movement would lead to heaven on earth. These ideas were designed to bring the wisdom and vision of ancient pagans and more recent Christians into harmony and thus establish an intellectual tradition for logic and rhetoric that would lead to this heaven on earth. 5 1294: The Babylonian Captivity began in Avignon when the papacy removed itself from Rome. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, a series of horrific and destructive assaults from the inside assaulted the civilization of Christendom. Many believed God s wrath had fallen and the Age of Christendom was over. For it is during this period that the Hundred Years War took place along with The Black Death in Europe, and assaults against Robert the Bruce and Edward II. Civil wars, great tumult, and trade monopolies were common. But renewal efforts were soon to arise. 1320: The Arbroath Declaration was signed. 1337: The First Hundred Years War began. 1347: The Black Death swept across Europe. 1374: Gerhard Groote founded the Common Life. The Brethren of the Common Life was a little house community modeled somewhat on the Augustinian monastic establishments. Groote took in young students and equipped them with the tools for a lifetime of learning and then encouraged them to go replicate the work elsewhere. This went unnoticed because of the calamities of the time. 1378: The Great Schism divided the Western Church during a time of multiple popes, each excommunicating the others, but the quiet reforms continued to take hold. 1415: The Council of Constance was held to try to stamp out some of the reform movements. Jan Milic, a pastor in Prague, had raised up disciples and established some remarkable works like the Bethlehem Chapel, where the Word was taught, and the Jerusalem Center, a rehabilitation program for women of ill repute, and the Nazareth College, where young men were equipped to preach. Jan Hus was executed, but the movement lived on. Hus preached what would later be known as the doctrines of the Reformation 1457: The Four Articles of Prague were published establishing the foundation for a Protestant Reformation 65 years before Martin Luther. A Protestant and Reformation Church was established on the work of Groote and Hus in the city of Prague. 1510: Erasmus published his Institutes. It was a declaration that the church must reform, but when the full Reformation came, this bold thinker said, As for me, I have no inclination to risk my life for the truth. We have not all strength for martyrdom, and if trouble come, I shall imitate St. Peter and run. Ultimately there were others who were not nearly so cowardly as Erasmus. Was he brilliant? Yes. Did he leave a mark on history? Probably not. 1515: Raphael submitted plans for The Vatican a glorious new cathedral. This triggered the need to recruit vast numbers of fundraisers to fund the building of the cathedral. One of those fundraisers made his way to the German-Saxon village of Wittenburg and sold his dispensations and indulgences. 6 1517: Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses at Wittenberg. A monk named Martin Luther, a professor in the new University of Wittenberg, believed this was scandalous. He wrote a letter to his bishop saying this salesman should be shown the door out of Saxony. The bishop, who split the profits with the fundraiser, was not so inclined. So Luther wrote a series of theses in Latin as an academic exercise. He nailed them to the church door, which served as a bulletin board. He was not expecting the response he got. The new trade of printers was constantly looking for opportunities to make money. One of them, unknown to us in history but surely we will meet him in heaven, decided to translate these theses into multiple languages. Within a year, 300,000 copies were sold. 1559: Calvin released the final edition of The Institutes of the Christian Religion. This book, according to Max Weber 4, was as instrumental in shaping future generations of western Christians as Augustine s City of God in its day. 1560: Knox secured the Scottish Reformatia Ordo the Order of the Reformation for Scotland. 5 Knox was one of Calvin s disciples after taking refuge in Geneva following his flight from the persecution in England and Scotland. 1571: The Battle of Lepanto was won by Don John of Austria, thus saving the whole western world from the largest fleet ever assembled by any army. He held off the assaults of Islam, at least for a time. 1636: Harvard College was founded with nine students. 1643: The Westminster Divines began to meet in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey, in London. They wrestled with ideas of how faith applies to culture and society in the same way that Augustine, Calvin, and Luther had done. The work of the Divines gave rise to the greatest explosion of commercial opportunity the world had ever seen along with the shaping of the most consistent culture. 1644: The political manifesto Lex Rex was published. Samuel Rutherford established the principle that the law comes before the king. The king does not dictate what the law is, rather the king must abide by the law. Rutherford is one of the men who consulted with the Westminster Divines. He was a parish pastor from Scotland, best known today for his letters and his attachment to the loveliness of Christ. Lex Rex laid out principles of freedom that would later influence the west. 4 Max Weber ( ) pronounced with the German vay-ber instead of the English weh-ber is known as the Father of Modern Sociology. His book of economic sociology, The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism directly contradicted Karl Marx s communist theories by arguing that Reformed Protestantism was the most significant force in the rise of freedom, prosperity, and opportunity (democratic capitalism) in Western Civilization. GG 5 As a disciple of Calvin and Beza, Knox believed that, like judgement, Reformation begins with the house of God. So, the Ordo focused on the reforming of the Church of Scotland in worship, doctrine, and ecclesiology, but it simultaneously envisioned how that reform would lead in turn to the reform of families, communities, the kingdom, and ultimately unto all the nations of the earth. In this case, Knox laid out a plan that was accepted by both the hierarchy of the clergy and the hierarchy of the nobles in parliament. GG 7 1741: Jonathan Edwards preached his Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God sermon while touring the parish churches of New England. He preached it seventeen times in a year and a half, and it was published, becoming the bestselling sermon of all time. It resulted in a renewal of a vision of a sovereign God over the whole of culture. 1789: The Terror of the French Revolution began. The ascent of Christendom was abruptly arrested, and the beginning of Modernity was thrust upon the Western world. That s western history in thirty-six minutes or less. It s a lot of dates and dead people, but it ties together with some clear definitions. Certain things really defined this civilization called Christendom, which Enlightenment thinkers and revolutionaries called the Ancien Régime. Christendom s Presuppositions Contents The thinkers of the West affirmed the following foundational contents. Creator/Creature Distinctions We need to understand ourselves in this world in terms of the Creator/creature distinction. We re not made of the same stuff God is made of. There is distinction in matter and spirit, in mind and idea. We re not part of a chain of being, as the ancients supposed. According to Christendom s assumptions about the world, God is altogether other. He is sovereign. He declared at the beginning of time that the worlds should come into existence by the sound of his command. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Man cannot cross the divide. There is a clear divide between the divine and everything else. Imago Dei/Vox Populi However, God made us in His image, so there is glory and dignity in man that is like unto God. We are made in the imago dei, the image of God. Some may say beca
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