Religion, Justification

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  Adrienne Dang 11/22/10 HistoryAs JustificationReligion is one of the most basic factors of most societies. From itssrcins, it has been used to explain nature, the purpose of life, life after death,and the other questions that humans had. Because it is such a fundamentalaspect of civilization, it can be utilized in various ways. As people andcivilization evolved, so did religion. What began as a system of beliefs toexplain everyday wonders became a system that seemed to control and justifymisdeed. Over the years, religion has been used to justify wars, unite andseparate communities, and defend what would otherwise be described asatrocious. Because religion is such a dominant aspect of most societies andexplains what we as humans cannot, religion is sometimes exploited to justifyaggression and vice.I.Early ExamplesA.Islam+Quran1. Before Mohammad’s time, women could own property, divorce husbands,engage in business.2. Quran outlawed female infanticide. Women weren’t property.a. Dowries went directly to husbands.3. Scholars interpreted the Quran differently to limit women’s rights and toplace them under male control.4. “Islam” means “submission” in Arabic, possible point to mention.B. Edict Of Milan1.Before Constantine’s conversion, Christians were persecuted.2.Then in February of 312, Constantine sees a cross of light in battle andconverts. He establishes the Edict of Milan.a.The Edict of Milan grants all persons freedom to worship any deityand assured Christians legal rights.3.By 180, the empire was already deteriorating, he established the Edictof Milan  as another failed attempt to unite the empire.C.Aryans+Hinduism/Caste System1.Aryans bring Hinduism to India in about 2500 BCE. It starts out as asystem to controlthe natives already there, the Dravidians.2. The natives are integrated and become a part of the sudras (unskilledworkers) or the pariah (untouchables, carry dead bodies, etc.)a.It’s a way for the Aryans to control the Dravidians; to put them inextremely low positions.3.Later on, the British would also try to instill a similar caste system tocontrol the people.a.Mention how British played Hindus and Muslims against each other.ll.Crusades And JihadA.Crusades begin ultimately as a result of racial and religion prejudice.1.Pope Urban ll cans for the crusades to take back the Holy Land and toconnect Muslims and other non-Christians to Christianity.2.Many are killed in the wars, most of them were useless.3.Marks the diminishing power of Arabs and increasing power of theWest.a.Piques European desire to enter trade routes and pushes them toadvance to catch up to Arabs.B.Muslim jihads have been used as means for expansion since the 600s.1.Fighting jihads while entering new lands.2.Still used today. Al Qaeda uses the jihad as justification for nuclearweapons.lll. Renaissance, ReformationA.Renaissance brings about secular views of the world. Church leaders alsobecome worldly rather than spiritual. They live in mansions, launchbanquets, and wore expensive clothes.1.The beginning of people questioning political structure and religiouspractices.B.During the Black Plague, many died, but priests couldn’t explain why.People turned to paganism and the unqualified took the place of churchleaders. The possible beginning of many more problems to come.  C.The Reformation was a result of the selling of indulgences, leaderschallenging the pope’s authority, and church leaders becoming worldlyand corrupt.1.The church had been all powerful and able to stop any revolt untilnow.2.Martin Luther posts the Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 marks beginningOf the Reformation.3.In Germany, some princes take advantage of this to seize church landand to assertIndependence from Charles V.D.Henry Vlll becomes Protestant and forms Anglican Church because thePope wouldn’t annul his marriage with Catharine of Aragon.1.Before, he was a devout Catholic.2.He issues the Act of Supremacy. Show how religion plays into systemsof power.E.The Catholic Reformation is the church’s attempt to reform the church. Atthe Council of Trent, it’s decided that the church’s interpretation of thebible is final and that anyone who dissented was a heretic.lV. ExplorationA.European empires searched for other lands for God, Gold, and Glory. TheSpanish reached the Americas and established many missionaries and thelike.B.Conquistadors would read the bible before killing or conquering to justifywhat they were doing.C.The puritans came to the America in 1640 for freedom from the AnglicanChurch.V. IsraelA.The Jewish have longed for their own state, but they’re unwelcomed inthe Arab region.1.Zionists claim that Jewish kings ruled the region from Jerusalem.2.Palestinians claim that it belongs to them since the Jews weredriven out around 135 CE.3.Basically, British let Israel be established as a state somewhat outof pity.  B.The day after Israel is declared a state, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia,Lebanon, and Syria invade Israel.1.There’s the Arab-Israeli War. Israel also takes the land that the UNset aside for the displaced Palestinians. As a result, there’s noPalestinian state.2.Even today, there is conflict about Israel.3.Point to mention is that Israel has an extremely favorable location.Vl. ConclusionA.Restatement of thesis. Religion is one of the most basic aspects of society. It can be utilized in various ways. It along with people andcivilization has evolved to be used to justify aggression and vice.B.Comment on religion overall.
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