English 233: Introduction to Western Humanities -- Baroque & Enlightenment
Prep Sheet for Exam #1
The exam will be a 50 minute in-class closed-book exam. The exam format will be varied. Expect a few multiple-choice, short-answer (brief phrase) identification questions. But the most important way in which you will be expected to exhibit your grasp of the issues central to the developments we have been studying will be in three short essay questions.
You will be in good shape to handle the short-essay questions if you can accomplish the following tasks. Obviously you won't be expected to do each of these on the exam. But you will be fully prepared if you can do these.
Briefly explain the logical structure of the classical "problem of evil," and how it gives rise to the general project we call "theodicy." These are covered in reading (1) in the assignment for 19 Jan.
Explain what the goal of theodicy is, and illustrate how this goal determines the picture of divine providence theologians devised for two of the following:
- The Biblical story of the fall of the First Parents.
- The explanation of the Babylonian Captivity.
- The crucifixion of Jesus.
- The Great Persecution.
Your chief resources for addressing this question are
Explain the role of concupiscence in Augustine's interpretation of the Fall story. (You'll have to take up the concepts of hierarchy and insubordination to do this. How many ways do these show up in Augustine's reading of the Genesis narrative of the Creation and Fall?) See our reading (1) for Jan 24.
Alternatively: explain Augustine's conception of Original Sin as a "two-fold breach of faith." See our reading (1) for Jan 24.
Explain how the sacrament of penance, as it is understood by the Catholic Church, is an instance of the Catholic doctrine of justification by a combination of divine grace and human works. (You will need to explain the nature and role of each of the essential components of the sacrament.) You can get a start on this with reading (2) in the assignment for Feb 24 (WH, p. 215), but you'll have to supplement it with what we ran through in class on this subject.
What is the doctrine of the Apostolic Succession? How does it differ from the conception of authority expressed in the climax of Luther's answer to the papal delegate at the Diet of Worms? [The first cited above is item (3) on 4 Feb. The second is item (4) for 28 Jan.]
Explain how Luther's definition of "faith" differs from the one he attributes to the Church of Rome. This is reading (3) assigned for 28 Jan.
Explain what Calvin sees as the ultimate end of history. (That is: why, in the last analysis, did God create the World and Time in the first place?) Here you'll want to study carefully his reply to Bishop Sadoleto. Don't forget that there is a Study Guide to this reading.
Compare and contrast the positions on justification and reprobation of the following figures: Pelagius, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, the Council of Trent. (You will find it useful to discuss these figures in an order different from the one in which they are listed here. The depth of your understanding will be revealed by the appropriateness of the classification scheme you devise for organizing your analysis.) Which conception is most concerned to make God the chief agent in history? Which conception assigns the most responsibility to Man for what fulfilling (or failing to fulfill) the "end" of history? Your chief sources here are readings (1) and (5) in the assignment for 26 Jan. Also relevant are (3) on 28 Jan and (2) on 4 Feb and, of course, the notes you took during our class discussions on this topic.
Show how the concept of "idolatry" contributed to the political violence (persecutions and wars) that erupted across Europe in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. How does this illustrate a profound crises in the conception of authority? This is the subject of reading (5) in the assignment for 4 Feb. Also relevant is the material in reading (1) for the same date, on religious warfare (WH, pp. 336-37, 357).
In Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, how does the author express his conviction that those who receive God's saving grace are still subject to the "pull" of the World, the Flesh, and the Devil?
What are some of the functions in The Pilgrim's Progress of Christian's companions Faithful and Hopeful?
Explain how one of Caravaggio's paintings lends itself to being "read" as an expression of some important Catholic teaching affirmed against the Protestant heresy as defined by the Council of Trent. Here you'll have to rely on our discussions in class.
Compare and contrast the conception of pilgrimage in the St. Peter complex as brought to completion by Bernini with the conception of pilgrimage in Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Topics to consider: (a) What is the process God has decreed for sinful individuals to get back to God? (b) Who will succeed? (c) What are some of the ways Bunyan expresses his disagreement with the idea that good works can contribute to salvation, and that the only factor in personal salvation is an arbitrary act of divine grace? (d) How does the structure of the setting of the Chair of St. Peter express a Catholic notion of the operation of God's grace?
You should be able to identify the following:
Your sources for these, in addition to Bunyan's narrative, are WH (pp. 331-37, 357; consult the index) and the introductory note to Browning's satire on Johannes Agricola (see next item).
Be able to paraphrase any passage of Donne's "Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God" and Browning's "Johannes Agricola in Meditation."
Be able to say something significant about the dates we agreed upon in class to commit to memory. Ideally, for any date, you should be able to draw a connection with more than one event. The "thicker" this significance, the better -- both for the sake of the significance itself, and for its power to anchor the date in your memory, for use in additional connections on later occasions.