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Christianity research paper on the arts


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I don't know about anyone else, but when a paper supposedly from a Christian perspective dates things in "BCE" rather than "BC", I tend to bail out immediately, as I did here. It's perhaps understandable if the author is Jewish, for example, but for a Christian to thereby suggest that the central event of human history - the Incarnation - really doesn't matter, hence that when our era is created around that event, we should just ignore it and give it some bogus name, is really lame.

There's too much apathy in the world; but, then, who cares?

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Or it's possible that the author is trying to follow some style guide for research papers. The paper is quite elementary and seems to be geared for a secular audience, which could be another reason the author uses BCE instead of BC.

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

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Many academic settings are switching to CE and BCE because our study partners are not all Christians. I'm pleased to find church cirriculum that uses these, and I usually use them.

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Armin

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Many academic settings are switching to CE and BCE because our study partners are not all Christians

Given that this CE stuff got its start in circles actively opposed to Christianity - especially among Holy Land archaeologists of the Bible-debunking variety, as well as among militantly secular Jews, two categories which sometimes overlap - and after all it rather specifically denies the validity of the event which the era was intended to commemorate, I am a bit surprised that so many of us here are content to be so marginalized. This sort of thing serves to set up an intellectual climate in which Christianity - and Judaism, for that matter - are assumed to be bogus from the start, and that we are all automatically superstitious obscurantists unless we go along with the denials of the events which define our faith. The era is, after all, a commemoration of the Incarnation, despite the math error.

I have worked with enough archaeological reports to observe the trend, and it isn't quite as intellectually rigourous as it pretends to be. A neutral term is BP, before present, much used among practicionrs of radiocarbon dating. To submit to being marginalized in enough of this sort of case is to risk being driven out of the public square entirely, as it's difficult to get our point across if, due to underlying assumptions, everyone automatically assumes that we're superstitious crackpots. As regards accommodating secularists, why should we? Scientific archaeology is a product of Western, Christian culture. Everywhere else it developed as mere antiquarianism. Why should we be ashamed of this simply to "be nice" to someone who has no intention of accommodating us? If they want to use it, it's their business, but we don't need to play along.

There's too much apathy in the world; but, then, who cares?

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Why should we be ashamed of this simply to "be nice" to someone who has no intention of accommodating us? If they want to use it, it's their business, but we don't need to play along.
Nothing to do with being ashamed. Just following the conventions of your audience.

Scott -- 2nd Story -- Twitter

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This sort of thing serves to set up an intellectual climate in which Christianity - and Judaism, for that matter -are assumed to be bogus from the start, and that we are all automatically superstitious obscurantists unless we go along with the denials of the events which define our faith. The era is, after all, a commemoration of the Incarnation, despite the math error.

That isn't quite true. For example, I am just one of many believing professional NT academics that use the dating schema without fostering such biases. The commemoration of the incarnation is still present in the timing of the dating in the first place. BCE and CE are not exactly the mark of the beast.

And practically, it is actually proper form to use BC (1 BC) as a suffix and AD as a prefix (AD 1) which is clumsy. Plus, the astronomical use of BCE and BC inserts the year between 1 BC and AD 1 that Dionysius left out of his BC/AD system. So it actually works better.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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As a former Jehovah's Witness congregant, I can attest that the JWs have been using BCE/CE for decades. JWs are leaps and bounds ahead in scholarship credentials.

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Tee hee! :)

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It is difficult to be reasonable at 0230 - the perils of late-night home-office work - so I apologize in advance for anything unreasonable. Here goes:

That isn't quite true. For example, I am just one of many believing professional NT academics that use the dating schema without fostering such biases. The commemoration of the incarnation is still present in the timing of the dating in the first place. BCE and CE are not exactly the mark of the beast.

The last remark indicate that perhaps, on the contrary, the biases are sinking in - or that you have a case of "grad-student-itis". We aren't all uneducated end-times-obsessed hicks here; some of us have "been there, done that" in grad school ourselves. As far as world-view perils of using secularist tools goes, try a read of Os Guiness's Gravedigger File; he pts it a lot better than I do. Regarding commemoration, we all know that "happy holidays" is commemorative of Christmas in that those who use the phrase don't use it to refer to Labour Day or the Fourth of July, but they are hardly trying to express a belief in the Virgin Birth, either. A commemorative once removed tends to commemorate nothing of importance, or in other words, it's a dodge.

And practically, it is actually proper form to use BC (1 BC) as a suffix and AD as a prefix (AD 1) which is clumsy. Plus, the astronomical use of BCE and BC inserts the year between 1 BC and AD 1 that Dionysius left out of his BC/AD system. So it actually works better.

I have known, and read, a fair number of astronomers doing historical astronomy; most of the ones I have read use AD/BC, including such authorities as the editorial board of Sky and Telescope. Historical astronomy involves doing calculations (usually calculating years BP) and converting results; which system is used means little as long as it is consistent, whether you are calculating comet orbits, eclipses, Sothic cycles, or anything else. As far as Year Zero goes, it's merely a source of confusion for everyone else; I have yet to encounter a historian, classicist, or anyone else who uses it. All I have dealt with use BC and BCE interchangably. Trying to add a Year Zero merely adds a conversion factor. As a bonus, AD before/BC after provides an error check; had the author of a certain reference book used AD/BC rather than CE/BCE he wouldn't have missed a dropped B throughout his manuscript, hence telling us that Herod died in 4 CE through two or three editions, and confusing all sorts of people.

Nothing to do with being ashamed. Just following the conventions of your audience.

Maybe, but as I mentioned, it's a rather recent and (in many cases) deliberately secular, change, and in many disciplines it is "still to come". Read, for example, Peter Green's "Alexander to Actium", the best one-volume history of Hellenistic Greece available; dates are strictly BC, and he isn't exactly a Biblical literalist.

There is, of course, a difference between accommodating preferences, pandering to one's opponents, and trying to look "with it", which latter is what the author of this paper is evidently trying to do. It helps to be aware of the differences.

BTW, this author evidently knows nothing of late-antique or medieval material culture, as he is seemingly completely unaware of the flood of decorated objects, from coins, redware oil lamps, Coptic textiles, personal icons, Viking wood-carving, Dark Ages jewelery, inlay and enamel, all the way through the plethora of cheap, decorated goods (e. g. calculating counters) produced all over Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. His definition of "Art" is what hangs in the Lovre, until he arrives at the present, when it suddenly includes just about everything.

There's too much apathy in the world; but, then, who cares?

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There is, of course, a difference between accommodating preferences, pandering to one's opponents, and trying to look "with it", which latter is what the author of this paper is evidently trying to do. It helps to be aware of the differences.
Can you defend this assersion? Edited by solishu

Scott -- 2nd Story -- Twitter

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Can you defend this assersion?

It's the impression I get when someone hangs an isolated date, tacks an era designator on the end, and provides an in-your-face explanation (in parentheses) which breaks the flow of the text, then drops the dates entirely untill injecting a 2000 without CE (or AD) several pages later. To quote from page 1:

In approximately 950 BCE (before the common era), King Solomon ...

The next date in the text is on page 7, and is nearly 3000 years later. The author isn't trying to use the conventions of his audience; the explanation indicates quite the contrary. He isn't simply trying to teach; this usually involves something which isn't quite so "in-your-face", such as a footnote, which explains things a bit better. So unless the editor altered the text - which is of course always a possibility - it's difficult to come up with any better explanation than that this author is trying to look scholarly and "with it", whether or not it is a conscious decision. You may, of course, come up with something better; this is the impression which I get.

There's too much apathy in the world; but, then, who cares?

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It is difficult to be reasonable at 0230 - the perils of late-night home-office work - so I apologize in advance for anything unreasonable. Here goes:

The last remark indicate that perhaps, on the contrary, the biases are sinking in - or that you have a case of "grad-student-itis". We aren't all uneducated end-times-obsessed hicks here; some of us have "been there, done that" in grad school ourselves. As far as world-view perils of using secularist tools goes, try a read of Os Guiness's Gravedigger File; he pts it a lot better than I do.

I'll go ahead and accept your initial apology, because this is preposterous.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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