1. What was the message?
2. How might this fit with what you know of Desmond Tutu and what Jesus said about the Kingdom of Heaven?
3. Have a look at the songs below by Ellie Goulding and Phillip Phillips. People have claimed these are songs about Christianity. What evidence can you find in each one for this?
Today we’re going to look at what some people understand by the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ today. If you look at the cooments on the above song on YouTube, you will see that there are a lot of people claiming that is what this song is about. By the end of the lesson you will need to write an answer on which of these two songs you think is most like the ‘Kingdom of God’. Remember Understanding beats remembering, applying beats understanding, and building and analysing beat everything else!! Good luck.
Today’s challenge is to find out as much as you can about Desmond Tutu’s understanding of Christianity. Tutu, though not as famous as his close friend Nelson Mandela, is in the words of Ron Burgundy ‘quite a big deal’! He is, however, quite controversial in some Christian Communities. Mandela claimed Tutu had made an “immeasurable contribution to [his] nation” and that “Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless”, but in other places has been called “evil” by Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and even racist, idolatrous and a bastion of the New World Order by Dean Ministries.
Your job today is to find out exactly what he thinks Christianity is all about. Obviously that’s a pretty big question and it’s going to be hard!
The following are just ideas and you might want to spend a bit of time reading as well as watching… The laptops are booked for you and there are some questions at the bottom that might help….
Some questions to think about:
- Why is Tutu so involved in human rights?
- Tutu has been a key player in a number of big disagreements, take notes on as many as you can.
- In South Africa, DT got into a lot of problems for claiming that “God is not a Christian”. What could that mean?
- Find out about the Truth & Reconciliation in South Africa. What does it have to do with his Christianity?
- Find about the fears about a ‘reversed’ apartheid that South Africans shared in 1994. What was Tutu’s understanding of it?
Jesus had this massive idea to try and explain to people. To help them get it he gave lots of pictures. Try and work out what you think the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ really is…
To post your paragraph click on ‘leave a reply’ below. Just put your initials in the name box, your school email (it won’t come up) and leave the web page blank, then paste your answer from word or pages… Try and make your answer the very best you can, it will be a major part of your final S2 report…
To post your paragraph click on ‘leave a reply’ below. Just put your initials in the name box, any email (it won’t come up) and leave the web page blank, then paste your answer from word or pages… Try and make your answer the very best you can…
Thank You 🙂
Who’d’ve thought that you’d hear an insightful interpretation of the Doctrine of the Fall on Radio 1? Well anybody that knows anything about Ben Drew – the recent winner of the Q Award for ‘Best Track’…
To post your paragraph click on ‘comments’ below. Just put your initials in the name box, any email (it won’t come up) and leave the web page blank, then paste your answer from word or pages… Try and make your answer the very best you can…
Thank You 🙂
[THIS MAY ALSO BE HELPFUL FOR THOSE OF YOU STUDYING IB PHILOSOPHY – THE CORE THEME]
One criticism often directed at Buddhism is a questioning of the relationship between the doctrines of atatman (no soul) and reincarnation. Some question the two teachings compatibility completely where others, more thoughtfully, question why I should seek to accumulate good karma in there is, in reality, no ‘me’.
The answer to this oft-repeated conundrum is, to my limited knowledge, most clearly explained in the conversations of Nagasena and King Milinda. The dialogue begins in the second chapter of Book II. The King jumps in at the deep end by asking it it is the same or another who be reincarnated and is frustrated by the monks answer that it is in fact neither of these suggestions.
To explain further Nagasena establishes that we have some sense that we are the same person as the younger version we remember ‘being’. To explain this idea he give the following example:
‘Suppose a man, O king, were to light a lamp, would it burn the night through?’ ‘Yes, it might do so.’ ‘Now, is it the same flame that burns in the first watch of the night, Sir, and in the second?’ ‘No.’ ‘Or the same that burns in the second watch and in the third?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then is there one lamp in the first watch, and another in the second, and another in the third?’ ‘No. The light comes from the same lamp all the night through.’
‘Just so, O king, is the continuity of a person or thing maintained. One comes into being, another passes away; and the rebirth is, as it were, simultaneous. Thus neither as the same nor as another does a man go on to the last phase of his self-consciousness’
Melinda then requests another example. And it is this one I find most helpful for it explains something of the nature of karma as action (the lit. translation), preserving the notions of cause and effect associated with samsara.
‘It is like milk, which when once taken from the cow, turns, after a lapse of time, first to curds, and then from curds to butter, and then from butter to ghee. Now would it be right to say that the milk was the same thing as the curds, or the butter, or the ghee?’‘Certainly not; but they are produced out of it.’‘Just so, O king, is the continuity of a person or thing maintained. One comes into being, another passes away; and the rebirth is, as it were, simultaneous. Thus neither as the same nor as another does a man go on to the last phase of his self-consciousness.’
In each of these processes the transition is slow; so slow it might not be noticed. That the process happens, however, in undeniable. Like this, we are changing all the time, we are continued from another self but we are not the same as that self. This is true throughout our wanderings of the wheel of life. Once reincarnated the change is identical. No more different, no less.
Widely recognised as the hardest piece of independent work in the whole of S2, Here is the Kingdom of Heaven Code-Breaking Challenge….
All Participants have to complete the three tasks described on the sheet, and write a paragraph entitled What I think Jesus meant by the Kingdom of Heaven; All in 80 minutes. This years entries have been particularly impressive. To see the handout click the image above.
The age of man is over
A darkness comes at dawn
These lessons that we’ve learned here
Have only just begun”
‘The Human Condition’ is a phrase that is used widely in the study of Religion & Philosophy. Today we will have a think about what it means and try to work out what 30 seconds to mars are suggesting about it.
For homework you will need to find another song which offers something in this area as well as an answer unpacking what you think the writer is saying. Best of luck.
Remember ‘prove it from the text’ just like you would in English.
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