Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

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In which I display my stunning ignorance

Not once but twice!

These are serious questions, by the way—they might offend people but I'm not trying to make fun, I really am that ignorant and I really would like to know.

What was different about European colonialism?

It seems to me that European colonialism gets talked about in a different, more negative way than the various Empires that came and went in Europe, the Near East, and North Africa (Roman, Byzantine, Abbasid, etc.). First, is it the general consensus that European colonialism was either worse or bad in a different way, and second, how? Was it the method, or the timing, or something else?

How, according to Christian theology, does Jesus's death save humanity?

Okay, as I understand it, Christian theology states that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine as one part of the Trinity, one of the three beings/instances/presences that make up God. (Well, those parts of it that believe in the Trinity.) His death saved humanity.

I think the easiest way to get at my question is by contrast.

When I think of other instances where a single death saves a large group, I come up with two categories, which are basically drawn from fantasy novels. First, the death provides the, hmm, the necessary means for something to happen: life-force or energy to power a spell, a door for the gods to enter into the material world, a messenger to tell the gods that their help is really truly needed, something like that. Second, the death is part of a bargain: for that price (to demonstrate resolve or need, perhaps), the gods agree to intervene.

When it comes to Christianity, the first category doesn't seem to fit at all. Instead, the little bit of doctrine I'm familiar with seems to incline somewhat toward the second—but I can't follow the logic of such an argument. That is, Jesus is part of God, and why would you bargain with yourself or pay yourself a price? (Possibly this is another way of asking whether Jesus, as part of the Trinity, had free will.)

Is this related to the way original sin is transmitted (which I don't know either)? Or is this something not actually explained in doctrine, that needs to be taken on faith?

(I'm most interested in actual doctrinal answers to this question, but personal opinions are welcome too.)

(I am, by the way, thinking of making this my default icon for the next four to six weeks. And how are you?)


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