What does it mean to be human?
Why do we need one another
Are we good?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN?
What does anthropology say about humans?
• Anthropologists study the origin, development, and customs of human beings • They may research many questions related to what it means to be human:
- What is a human being? How are humans different from other living creatures?
- Where did we come from? How did we originate and evolve?
- How do we as humans work, think, feel, communicate, celebrate, fashion objects,and reshape our world?
- How do we order our lives with our fellow human beings?
- How do we deal with the unknown?• To seek answers, anthropologists may:
• Study and classify fossils and artifacts
• Analyze behaviors, languages, and other characteristics of cultural groups • Study genetics
• Science can only examine what is can classify, measure, and quantify
• Humans are much more, and we must go beyond science to understand them
What does the Bible say about humans? (Genesis 2.4b-24)
- Humans are a creation of God: Human beings are the outcome of the desire of God. Whatever we are is a gift of God.
- Humans are a mixture of earth and divine breath: Part of us is drawn to earth, and part to what lies beyond us.
- Humans are good: God is good and declares the creature good.
- Humans are male and female: Together, as male and female, we are the image ofGod.
The basic rights of all humans
• Humans are given the right of personhood in creation
• All humans are persons by virtue of their being created in God’s image and likeness
The Human Vocation: Life in God’s Spirit
1. Humans are created in the image and likeness of God: Humans are the only creatures who can know and love the Creator.
- Humans are called to happiness and holiness: Humans have a desire for true happiness, which can only be found in God
- Humans are rational and free: Our free will enables us to direct ourselves to our true good.
- Humans are moral beings: Our actions are moral, because we intend to do certain things.
- Humans have passions or feelings: Feelings or passions incline us to act or not act.
- Humans are blessed with a conscience: Moral conscience is present at the heart ofevery person.
- Humans are able to avoid sin: We have the ability to choose good or evil.
• God created humans as intelligent beings, and gave us free will
• Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that • It is the power to act deliberately on our own responsibility
The Person’s Case:
- Canadian women had been fighting to become members of the Senate
- Judge Emily Murphy was named as their candidate
- They were not permitted, as women were not “qualified persons” according to Section24 of the BNA Act (1867)
- Judge Murphy and four women’s leaders petitioned the government
- The Supreme Court ruled that women were not qualified, but on October 18, 1929, thePrivy Council of Great Britain reversed the decision
Four Ways We Are Like God:
- The profession of faith
- The celebration of the Christian mystery
- Life in Christ
- Christian prayerPrinciple #1
To be human is to be a person, created in the image and likeness of God.
WHY WE NEED ONE ANOTHER
The Benefits of Human Touch:
• Babies receive many benefits from human touch:
• It provides a sense of security and safety through cuddling • It engages them with the human world
• It begins the process of back and forth communication
Birds and Relationships:
• Birds achieve goals by:
• Encouraging each other
• Sharing leadership
• Caring for weaker members of the group
5 Principle for Becoming Human:
- All humans are sacred, not matter what, and need help to reach our full potential.
- We must love the essential values of the past, and live them in the present.
- Maturity is found in working with others, dialogue, and belonging/searching together.
- Humans need encouragement to make choices and be responsible for our lives andothers’ lives.
- Humans must remain connected to our humanness and to reality, and be accepting.
Catholicism and Community:
- Human beings are social beings
- We need to love and be loved
- We are called to show forth the image of GodPrinciple #2
To be human is to be a person in relationship with others and to live in community.
ARE WE GOOD?
- We are all created good, because we are created in the image and likeness of God, the source of all that is goodPrinciple #3
To be human is to be essentially good, despite the capacity for disorder and sin.
• Human: To be a person, created in the image and likeness of God. The scriptures say that to be human is to be a mixture of clay and God’s breath.
• Freedom: The power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that. It is the power to act deliberately on our own responsibility.
- Creation: All that has been made by God.
- Culture: The social development, practices, and beliefs of humans.
- Disorder: Fault. Sin is to bring disorder into creation.
- Goodness: Goodness is the result of being “connected” with God, for God is the sourceof all that is good.
• Person: All human beings are persons by virtue of their being created in God’s image
• Community: A group of persons bound together by a sense of unity that goes beyond
each of them. They are called to mirror the Trinity.
• Communion: The to-and-fro of love. The trust in knowing that we are safe in the hands
• Encyclical: Official pastoral letters written by the Pope for the entire people of God.
THey give advice or shed light on issues that need to be better understood in the light of
the teaching of the Church.
• Sin: The breach of the relationship that God established with creation. It means to bring
fault or disorder into creation, maiming the work of God.
• Anthropology: The science that studies the origin, development, and customs of
• Solidarity: Being one with others. Solidarity is important to humans, as we are social
- Trinity: The divine community of persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Vocation: A call to something. Humans are directed the good by their vocation.
- Talents: Given to enrich one’s identity. Talents must be developed.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church: The official compendium of Catholic teaching. It isa source of information on Catholic faith and way of life.
What is culture?
What are the sights & sounds of culture?
What does religion have to do with culture?
Does Religion Matter?
WHAT IS CULTURE?
• Culture: the set of meanings, beliefs, values, and rules for living shared by groups and societies as the source of their identity.
- The components of culture:
• Human actions
• The set of meanings, beliefs, values, and practices of a society • Culture identifies one as belonging to a particular group
- The seven traits of culture:
1. Humans create culture: only humans have culture.
2. Culture consists of ways of doing things: Culture involves the form and the meaninggiven to doing things.
3. Culture is public: Culture is about how a group, a community, or a people do things. 4. Culture arises from tradition: Many ways of doing things are inherited from parents
5. Culture is made up of rule-governed actions: Many of our traditions include rules. 6. Culture becomes established in institutions: Ways of doing things become systems
of doing things.
7. Culture gives us our identity: The ways we do things give us our unique cultural
- Television, movies, music, internet, computer games, and other forms of media influenceus and our culture.
WHAT ARE THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF CULTURE?
- The Oglala Circle: The Oglala, members of the Lakota Native peoples, believe that the circle is sacred because it symbolizes everything in native except stone. The circle is an important part of Oglala culture.
- Symbols and Signs:
• A symbol is something tangible that represents something that is intangible (e.g.desires, feelings, and emotions).
• A sign is an object that or gesture that expresses one specific message or meaning.
- Things take on greater meaning than what they really are because of emotions, traditions, and institutions related to them.
- Rituals in day-to-day life:
• People often do everyday tasks in the same way
• Through repetition, these task often become rituals
• Traits that make rituals powerful:
1. A ritual passes on a tradition: Many rituals have a long history.
2. A ritual needs our bodies: All rituals have a bodily component.
3. A ritual is accompanied by words: Words or music and song help give meaning to
4. A ritual forms a community: Important rituals are not private; they involve a
• The Church’s Rites and Symbolic Actions:
Name of Rite
signing with cross
rite of welcome
death and life experience
saying of creed, immersion in water in the name of Trinity, anointing with Holy Spirit
Baptism in death and resurrection of Jesus
passage to maturity, initiation into the community
oil, touch through laying on the hands
being made part of the eucharistic community, sealed with the holy spirit
growth in maturity
bread and wine
praising and thanking God, receiving communion
failure to grow spiritually/sin
proclamation of forgiveness
exchange of promises, sexual expression
service of leadership
oil, laying on of hands (touch)
calling on the Holy Spirit to give priestly office
ordination to ministry
oil, laying on of hands (touch)
anointing the sick person
sacrament of the sick
invocation of baptism and the death of Jesus
WHAT DOES RELIGION HAVE TO DO WITH CULTURE?
• “Never discuss religion or politics in ‘polite company’”
• This is good advice, because people tend to have strong opinions about religion and
• Avoiding those issues can prevent people from being offended by a difference in opinion.
• What do anthropologists say about humans?
• Anthropologists believe that earliest humans came from the African continent • Africans are deeply religious people
• Religion must therefore be rooted at the very core of human beings
• Father Moses Michael Cody:
- A priest of the Diocese of Antigonish
- He worked to change the education system in rural Nova Scotia
- He organized meetings in which people organized “study clubs”
- In those study clubs, people learnt how they could make changes to improve life inthe community by working together
- This became known as the Antigonish Movement
- It educated and empowered people
- The movement lifted up the poor, gave ordinary people a chance at an education,helped organize workers, and gave young people hope and opportunities in their
• The current state of religion:
• Many people say they believe in God, but do not attend church on a regular basis • The majority of people agree that you do not need to go to church to be a good
• The privatization of religion:
- Many people find that the institutional form of religion is not very relevant to their lives
- Though people still consider themselves religious, religious life is shifting away fromchurches and becoming more private
- Participation in Church and its traditions has become a personal decision
- If more privatization occurs and the population in churches continues to decline, theinstitution may begin to weaken and even die
• Tradition:Ways of doing things repeated over time or passed on from parents or ancestors.
- Identity:Ways of doing things that set a culture apart from other cultures.
- Institution: Ways of doing things linked together to form “systems” of doing things.
- Culture:The set of meanings, beliefs, values and rules for living shared by groups and societies as the source of their identity.
- Sign: Objects or gestures that express one specific message or meaning.
- Ritual:Ways of doing things repeated enough to become automatic.
- Symbol: Something tangible that is used to express things that are intangible (such as desires, feelings, or emotions).
- Habit: Doing things frequently in the same way, so as to form patterns.
• Religion: A system of symbols and rituals. We form powerful beliefs, values, meaning and practices around these symbols and rituals about who we are in relationship to God.
- Religious symbols: Reveal the bond between us and the sacred.
- Religious rituals: Have the power to open up new ways of living and communicating with a power and energy that is higher or deeper than our own.
- Liturgy:The Church’s official act of worship.Through it, God interacts with us in the various situations of our lives.
- Transcendence: God making God’s-self known to us through creation or Jesus.PRINCIPLES
To be human is to live in a culture of shared beliefs, values and meanings.
To be human is to live in a culture with specific symbols and rituals that help us understand ourselves, God and the world.
To be human is to live in a culture where religion plays an essential role in how we look at and live in the world.
DOES RELIGION MATTER?
- The concept of religion is very important to society in general. Humans are religious in nature, and religious beliefs are an important part of our identity.The institutional form of religion, though to a lesser degree, is important as well. People rely on churches for important events in life, and some people find attending church regularly to be important to them. In general, society would be much different without religion.
How did God shape the Hebrew culture?
How does Jesus reveal God to us?
Christ and culture in conversation
Key Terms & Principles
HOW DID GOD SHAPE THE HEBREW CULTURE?
Our Story of God and the Hebrew People
• Our story of God relates to the Hebrew People, because it began with them • God promised Abraham and his wife Sarah a child and land
• They doubted this promise, but God delivered
God’s Promise to the Hebrew People • The Hebrew slaves would be set free
• A Jewish leader
• His mother was a Hebrew slave who placed him in the Nile River to save him from being
• Moses was saved by an Egyptian princess
The Importance of Moses
• Received the Holy Name of God on Mount Sinai
• Moses was commanded to demand the freedom of Hebrew slaves
• Led the slaves out of Egypt
• At Mount Sinai, the experience of God bonded the slaves into a nation
The Name of the Lord
• Not used in the Hebrew bible because it is so sacred • Replaced by YHWH (the Name’s consonants)
• The Lord descended on Mount Sinai
• A covenant was made with the Hebrew People
The Number 70
• Symbolic because it represents all the nations on earth known by Israel at the time
• Symbolizes the entire world; therefore, the entire world made a covenant with the Lord
“What does a covenant look like?”
- The Israelites became a people of the covenant
- The Israelites received a code of the covenant
- The Israelites had prophets as part of their leadership
- The Israelites celebrated the actions and events of the Lord
“What does a covenant look like?” Explanation
- The Lord formed this new people, and therefore was an essential part of them. They were the Lord’s people, and became their life.
- The covenant upon which their lives were based was to be lived out by keeping a code (the Law or Torah). If they kept the Torah, they would be a free people. The heart of their Torah is the Ten Words (Ten Commandments).
- The people were led by Moses, with the help of Aaron and the 70 elders. These prophets were go-betweens to mediate with God.
- The main holidays of the Israelites celebrated what the Lord had done for them; such as Passover, which celebrated God’s liberation of the people from bondage in Egypt.
What is a covenant?
• A covenant is like a treaty or an alliance.
• A covenant has conditions.
• A covenant is sealed with a ceremony.
• A covenant is celebrated with both parties present.
The Ten Commandments
- I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
- Honour your father and your mother.
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
- You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife.
10.You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods.
HOW DOES JESUS REVEAL GOD TO US?
Historical data about Jesus
Somewhere between 6 and 4 BC
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He then grew up in Nazareth.
Around AD 27
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.
After King Herod arrested John the Baptist
Jesus began his ministry. He was about 30 years old.
Jesus was condemned to death. He died on the eve of Passover.
CHRIST AND CULTURE IN CONVERSATION
Christ in our Culture
• Jesus wants to be close to us everywhere
• He is with us through the Holy Spirit and the Church
- Even after the other disciples left, Mary continued weeping at Jesus’ tomb and looking for the Lord
- She loved Jesus, which is why she was the first to see him
- In the tomb, she found two angels
- Mary did not recognize Jesus until he called her name
- Mary went and announced that Jesus lived
- The moral of her story is that those who love Jesus enough will see himGrace
• God’s kind, merciful, and generous love for us
• Shown in God’s gifts of creation, and especially in Jesus
“We are the hands and feet of Christ’s presence”
- Jesus acts through people
- Jesus acts through people who freely choose to be in communion with him
- Jesus acts through the Word of Scripture
- Jesus acts in the liturgy
- Jesus acts in the witness of people
Key Terms & Principles
• Covenant: Word used in the sacred Scriptures to express the relationship between God and the Chosen People. It is like an adoption agreement between God and the people.
• Chosen People: God chose the Hebrews to be his people. Being the Chosen People is like a mission.
• The Law or Torah: The heart of the First Testament, it is God’s instruction about the covenant. The Ten Commandments are at the heart of the Torah (law).
• Revelation: God communicates God’s-self to humankind through creation, covenants, and prophets. God’s self-revelation is complete in Jesus and passed on to all generations.
• Prophets: Holt persons in Israel who were spokespersons for God and close to God through prayer. They were messengers of God amid the Chosen People.
To be a Catholic in culture is to recognize that we form our relationship with God within culture.
• Kingdom of God: A symbol used by Jesus to speak about God and God’s actions among us. Jesus said the kingdom is already at work among us, and there is a lot more to come.
• New covenant: Jesus is the new covenant, which makes the original covenant with Israel more intimate.
• Parable: Used by Jesus to give us a glimpse of the mystery of the kingdom of God, they are a story that compares something we don’t know with something we do know.
• Incarnation: God became human lived among us through Jesus.
• Metaphor: A poetic figure of speech that illustrates something about one thing by
relating it to another. They help us see things from a fresh perspective.
To be a Catholic in culture is to commit oneself to the kingdom of God proclaimed by and personified in Jesus.
• Church: Community founded when God sent the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ disciples at Pentecost. In it, we can meet the risen Christ.
• Kingdom of God as gift: God’s relationship with creation is creation is characterized by generosity, and the pure gift of generous goodness.
• Grace: God’s kind, merciful, and absolutely generous love for us. It is shown in God’s gifts of creation, and especially in Jesus.
To be a Catholic in culture is to manifest in creation and human society God’s goodness and generosity. We do this by participating in the life of the Church.
• Self-understanding: How one understands oneself. The self is not isolated from others, because self-understanding cannot happen without the other. Things that are of crucial importance to me are at the heart of who I am.
- Individualism: Isolation of the self in Western culture. Putting greater emphasis on the individual than on the community.
- Self-esteem: An awareness of one’s own worth, which can only be fulfilled by others, and is difficult to achieve in culture.
- Love of self: Our love of self must equal our love for others. Loving your neighbour goes hand in hand with loving yourself.
- Agnosticism: Not knowing if God exists. The preference to remain indifferent.
- Atheism: The denial of God’s existence.THEME 10
• A french philosopher who searched for a new way of knowing in 1642
• He began doubting everything, and concluded that he didn’t know anything for certain
The Seven Tendencies of Individualism
- I am free
- I have rights
- I am equal
- Only reason binds me
- I am isolated from everything
- I am master of the earth
- I am godless
The Seven Tendencies of Individualism: Summary
- I am not bound by anything or anyone, and expect others to respect this. I only accept authority that protects my freedom.
- I have rights, such as human rights, that protects my freedom and dignity.
- My freedom, dignity, and rights are equal to those of others. Nations need governmentsin which citizens participate, and that protect people’s rights and equality.
- I do not accept things based only on authority, or without evidence that takes away my doubt.
- I am an observer that sees everything from my own perspective. To be objective, I must treat the world as an object and not act out of my involvement with things or people.
- Everything, including the earth and human beings, become an object of study. I can use of exploit the earth for my benefit.
- Everything is centered on me. I only require God in difficult points in my life.
“Who informs you, forms you”
• Our sources of information influence our beliefs
• Bad information sources can be harmful
• The media can change how we think and perceive things
Manipulation in the Context of Religion
• A moulding or changing of our values by those who are providing us with information.
Jesus’ Idea of What Society’s Tendencies Would/Should Be
- Jesus wants me to call God Abba/Father
- My relationship with Abba/Father is my freedom
- The earth is good and is a gift of God
- Other people are as important – perhaps even more important – than myself
- Before Abba/Father, all are equal
Jesus’ Idea of What Society’s Tendencies Would/Should Be (Summary)
- Jesus knows that God is part of my deepest identity, and wants my relationship with God to be like his own.
- Freedom is a gift. God and the saving action of Jesus sets us free from the obstacles to freedom (sin).
- The earth belongs to God, and must be respected as a gift.
- My life must not be centered around myself.
- God loves everyone equally.THEME 11
• Some attempt to fill spiritual thirst through eating/drinking, pleasures, work, or friends; however, this thirst can only be satisfied through a relationship with God.
Atheism and Agnosticism
• Agnosticism: Not knowing if God exists. The preference to remain indifferent. • Atheism: The denial of God’s existence.
• The scriptures proclaim that God saves. God gives us happiness and true freedom.
• Human life is based on trust in God.
• The media proclaim that human fulfillment can be bought, and that we as consumers can choose how we are to be fulfilled.
Last Paragraph on Page 97
• Our relationship with God is more important in life than food, shelter, health care, education, arts, sports, and leisure, because these things alone cannot truly fulfill the human need for God.
“I have food to eat that you do not know about”
• Jesus means that he does not need food, because his true fulfillment comes from doing the work of God.
The Thirst of the Woman and of Jesus
• The thirst of the woman and of Jesus is symbolic of thirst for life. This thirst can only be satisfied by faith and a relationship with God.
The Woman and Learning
• When the woman began to learn about herself, the barriers of race (between Jew and Samaritan), religious prejudice (about the right place to worship God), and political differences (over the laws about uncleanliness), all came tumbling down.
Birth Year of Thérese Martin • 1873
St. Therese’s Autobiography • Called “The Story of a Soul”
The Life of St. Therese
• Therese Martin had an ordinary life in a Catholic family of five sisters
• She entered a Carmelite convent at fifteen, and died at 24
• She had a beautiful smile that showed her love, and wanted to make others happy
St. Therese’s Teachings About Being Holy
• We learn that one does not need to do great deeds of stand out to be holy
• Ordinary life can be holy when we do little things through love Jesus and the woman at the well
• The meaning of the story is that our desire for God will always be present (no matter how much we try to ignore it or pretend that we don’t need it)
Intimacy, sexuality and love
A life of generosity
Me and institutions
• Golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” By following this moral, we treat others better and do not expect anything in return.
- The other: Also referred to as our neighbour, the other is unique, ultimately a stranger, and is an image of God.
- Christian self-understanding: Seeing ourselves in a new way. A self that is a believer, not afraid to celebrate being in a relationship with God.
- Reciprocity: Our culture depends on reciprocity – the expectation that doing something for someone will eventually result in that person doing something in return.
- Sexuality: The force and energy to be creative in response to life. It is experienced spiritually and bodily, it orients us towards others.
- Intimacy: The close bond that exists between human beings. It touches our innermost being, is always sexual, and involves the whole person.
- Body: Our bodies are important because they’re “me”, it is in the image of God, and it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are also part of of the covenant of marriage.
What is it?
•A relationship involving common interests or goals
•A relationship involving passion, pleasure, spontaneity, and even instinct
•A relationship that sprouts naturally, that is not earned, that is very emotional, and that involves deep attachments
•A love involving mutual friendship and support; warm and tender affection •Example: Jesus’ love for Lazarus
•A special relationship involving giving (even without anything in return), unconditional love, sacrifice, and reaching out
•Examples: love to enemies, “Love one another as I have loved you.”