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Religious Studies and Theology Coursework

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Updated: Sep 21st, 2022

The article begins with a description of the propositions that Galileo was allegedly defending in 1616, which made him be at loggerheads with the Holy Office. The first proposition was that the sun is the center of the universe and entirely immovable by location, while the second was that the earth is not the center of the universe nor immovable, but rotates as a whole. The consultors, upon examining the propositions made by Galileo, returned a verdict that condemned the first proposition as foolish and absurd in philosophy since it contradicted biblical teachings, both in their literal implications and according to the interpretation of the clergy. The second proposition was condemned as erroneous in faith, at least from a theological point of view. On yet another occasion, in 1633, Galileo was accused of believing in a doctrine that was inherently wrong and in conflict with the Sacred and Devine teachings. On this particular occasion, Galileo intimated that the sun is the center of the world and does not shift from east to west as popularly envisaged and that the earth gravitates and is not the center of the world. Galileo was condemned by the consultors for this later orientation, albeit differently. The article, therefore, attempts to evaluate why Galileo was condemned differently on the two occasions although it was only the wording of his propositions that had changed, not his beliefs. The article concludes by suggesting that the Pope must have wanted to deal more ruthlessly with Galileo than the consultors, thus the discrepancy in the two condemnations.

This article not only provides an in-depth explanation of the origins and formation of Anabaptism, a major movement of radical dissent in the early reformation, but also provides background information on how the movement spread its tentacles in Europe, and some of the religious practices observed by the movement, such as adult baptism. By reading this article, it becomes clear how Anabaptists established a long-lasting tradition in Europe and the U.S. despite sustained persecution and mistreatment from both Protestant and Catholic authorities. Afterward, the article discusses some theological social, and emotional motives for engaging in adult baptism, a practice that was unique to Anabaptists. Interestingly, the author of the article presupposes that adult baptism may have been used by Anabaptists as a tool to cover potential splits in the movement. Further, the potential limitations of the practice are discussed, with the author disclosing that the death penalty was attached to anyone found engaging in the physical act of adult baptism. This notwithstanding, the article is comprehensive in its coverage of origins and developments of adult baptism – a characteristic feature of Anabaptism. Various personalities and their contributions to the movement in the early reformation have also been thoroughly discussed. Simply put, this article serves the interests of explaining the origins and developments of Anabaptism in the early reformation, the practice of adult baptism and its implications to the movement, and prominent personalities that have predominantly influenced the movement and made it resilient in the face of adversity.

This particular article deals with how Jesuit missionaries dealt with a multiplicity of cultural challenges, shocks, and beliefs as they traversed the vast Indian sub-continent and encountered other missionaries with different cultural backgrounds but with the same objective – that of spreading the word of God. Here, the encounter in India between the Jesuit missionaries and the St. Thomas Christians in the sixteenth century has been comprehensively explained, and the underlying lessons of the encounter neatly outlined. By inclusively describing the encounter of these two camps in a foreign land, the author of this article underlines the importance of accepting religious plurality, also known as religious diversity, and the power of cultural relativism. The underlying argument in this article derives from the fact that it was the encounter with these “primeval” Indian Christians that triggered the Jesuit missionaries to become aware of the power and significance of the accommodationist paradigm of conversion as opposed to violent annihilation of opponents.


Brand, P. 2004. “They had Said Nothing about Rebaptism: The Surprising Birth of Swiss Anabaptism.” German History 22, no. 2, 155-180

Russell, J.L. 1995. “What was the Crime of Galileo?” Annals of Science 52, no. 4, 403-410

Zupanov, Ines G. 2005. “One Civility, but Multiple Religions: Jesuit Mission among St. Thomas Christians in India (16th-17th Centuries).” Journal of Early Modern History 9, no. 3/4, 284-325

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Religious Studies and Theology." September 21, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/religious-studies-and-theology/.


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