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Flashcards in Origins and Meanings Deck (56):


•God is all powerful



•Existing outside of space and time
•God exists above and beyond creation


Creation ex nihilo

•Creation out of nothing
•Only God can create out of nothing



•When animals and plants change over time
•These changes are to suit a particular environment


Imago dei

•Image of God
•The belief that human beings are a reflection of God's qualities



•"God breathed"
•The belief that the Holy Spirit guides people to write what is good and true



•How God makes himself known to human beings
•Christians believe that God does this fully through Jesus



•The duty to care for the word God has made
•To protect the world for future generations


Catholic beliefs about creation

•Catholics believe in creation ex nihilo
•they believe that it is possible because God is omnipotent
•This belief is found in the writing of St Augustine - "You, I Lord [...] made something in the beginning"


Differing Christian attitudes to the creation story

•Some Christians take a fundamentalist approach. They believe that the account of creation as it appears in the Bible is an accurate account (aka creationists). This stems from the view that the Bible is the inspired word of God, which is never mistaken.
•Some Christians don't take it literally and believe that each 'day' is actually billions of years.
•Catholics read the stories in a symbolic way, believing that they reveal important things about the nature of the world and humanity.


Jewish beliefs about creation

•Orthodox Jews have similar views to creationists and believe that they were reveled to Moses by God.
•Reform Jew, think that the creation stories shouldn't be taken as historical facts.
•Others believe that God started the universe through the Big Bang and has guided the creation of life through evolution.


The Catholic view on the Big Bang theory

•Catholics accept the Big Bang, as this theory supports the belief that God created the universe out of nothing
•Science explains how the universe came about and Genesis explains why the universe began.


Is there conflict between science and religion?

•Only for creationists, they are very critical of scientific ideas
•Most Christians believe that God caused the Big Bang.


Richardson Dawkins

•Humans are just advanced animals


The Catholic view of evolution

•Some Christians feel evolution is an attack on their faith
•Some Christians believe that God chose to create evolution.
•It is important why it happened not how.
•The Pope sees no conflicts between evolution and Catholic belief.


Sanctity of life

•Humans were created unlike anything else because they were created in the image of God, imago dei
•The Catholic Church teaches that all human list is sacred and that everyone has a right to life that should be protected and valued at every stage.


Saint Catherine of Sienna - the image of God

She had two important messages from her writing:
•Humans come from God
•Love - God creates out of love


Jewish beliefs about the sanctity of life

For Jews,God is creator, he alone gives and takes life. Genesis teaches that humans are creates in the image of God [Genesis 1:26-27]


The Catholic Church and abortion

•Human life is sacred
•Life begins at conception and so does a relationship with God
•Abortion is seen as murder which goes against the ten Commandments
•They encourage adoption
•Only agree in rare situations for example if the mothers life is in danger


Other Christian views on abortion

•Fundamentalist Christians think that it is never acceptable.
•Some Christians believe that if the mothers life is in danger then abortion is okay.
•They also believe it is the lesser of two evils for example to improve quality of life
▪if it is a result of rape
▪if they child will be severely disabled


Humanist views on abortion

Humanists value happiness and personal choice. Quality of life is seen as the most important thing.


A Humanists view about the sanctity of life - Peter Singer

•If a person has no ability to think, relate to others or experience then their life has limited value.
•Therefore embryos and newborn babies are examples of 'non-human persons'.
•It is morally acceptable to take these lives if it will cause less suffering
•This also applies to euthanasia


Catholic responses to singers views

Catholics would argue that everyone is always a person no matter what state their in. We are stewards of creation so we are obliged to look after God's creation.


The importance of preserving the planet and caring for the environment for Catholics

•We were made superior and in God's image, imago dei, we have reason and so are set to look after creation.
•Wear need to protect it for future generations.
•Wear need to be aware of climate change in other countries "love thy neighbour"


Humanist views to creation and stewardship

Humanists think that we need to be stewards of the world out of concern for other humans and animals. They do think out of reason given by evolution not because commanded it.


Catholic understanding of the nature of revelation and inspiration.

Catholics believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. The Holy Spirit gives inspiration to believers, who respond by accepting the message and sharing it with other people.


How the Creation of Adam expresses Catholic beliefs about creation, God and humans

•God is all powerful and transcendent
•Imago dei
•Life is a gift from God
•God is a loving father


The structure of the Bible

The Old Testament
•The laws (Torah)
The New Testament
•The gospels
•The acts of the apostles
•The letters
•The Book of Revelation


Origins of the Bible

350 years for it to be accepted. It has to fill certain criteria;
•It had to be accepted by all Christians
•The work had to go back to the apostles
•It has to have an early date
•It had to agree with other presentations of Christians beliefs


The tree of life mosaic

•The apostles are represented in several ways. As doves surrounding Jesus on the cross. In the Catholic faith doves are a symbol of peace and the Holy Spirit.
•The tree is a reminder of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve ate the fruit bringing sin and Death into the world. Jesus reverses the disobedience of Adam by being obedient to God and offering his life on the cross.


Teachings about human dignity

Catholic believe that humans were created in the image and likeness of God, and that human life is sacred.Jesus teaches 'love our neighbour, as we love ourself'. Catholics support people with disabilities, how they adress global inequality and their approach to civil rights issues.


Teachings about justice, peace and reconciliation

Catholic social teaching condems the arms trade and it supports those who refuse to take up arms on the ground of conscience. Peace can be experienced through a relationship with God.


What is interfaith dialogue?

This means Co-operative, constructive and positive engagement between people of faiths and people of no faith such as Humanists and Atheists, to:
•promote mutual understanding, respect, tolerance and harmony.
•identify common ground.
•engage in shared action for the common good of society.


Catholic fund for overseas development (CAFOD)

•CAFOD carries out the Church's mission on a global scale. It helps less developed countries
•CAFOD also has a disaster fund to help natural disasters and refugees.
•CAFOD also helps to educate the ways to help development.
•CAFOD works for social justice challenging unfairness and tries to bring an end to poverty.


St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP)

Their activities may be:
•helping the lonely or bereaved and the housebound.
•visiting elderly
• Organising children's camps for children from poor or troubled homes.


The problem of evil for Catholics

Catholics believe in one God, who is/has:
•created a good world
Of this is true why does the world contain evil and suffering.
•free will
•original sin


St Augustine and evil

In the Enchiridion, St Augustine gives three answers to the question of suffering:
1• Evil helps you to appreciate the good.
2•God does not cause or permit evil because it is not a thing it is just a privation of good.
3•God allows suffering because He can bring a greater good out of it


Non-Christian views on the nature of evil.

There is natural evil and moral evil. For some people the reason they reject God all together is because of evil. They believe that these three things can not all be true at the same time:
•Evil exists
•God is omnipotent
•God is omnibenevolent


Why is there evil

Evil is necessary as an opposite of good
Evil helps us to become better people
Evil is a consequence of free will


St Irenaeus and John Hick

Humans were created in the image of God, but are not perfect. They need to grow to become spiritually perfect. Suffering and evil is the best way for humans to develop.



•Pain or loss which harms human beings
•Some suffering is caused by other human beings (moral evil); some is not (natural evil).



•The loss or absence of a quality or something that is normally present
•Evil is a privation of good



The quality of being like God
•Seeking the well-being of others selflessly


Free will

•The decision making part of a person's mind is called the will
•A will is free if a person is able to choose right from wrong without being controlled by other forces



•Human reason making moral decision
•The knowledge we have of what is right and wrong given by God


Natural law

The laws of right and wrong are the same for all people, in all places, at all times



•"Made flesh"
•The Christian belief that God became man in jesus


Jewish beliefs about the nature and origin of evil

Jews do not believe in original sin. For Jews evil and suffering are seen as a consequence if humans wrong choices.


Catholics beliefs about the relationship between God's goodness and the goodness of the created world.

Everybody is a sinner, we still see many signs of goodness in people: generosity, kindness, forgiveness and compassion. If this is goodness then God the creator must be supremely good. Similarly we look at the world around us: at the oceans, forests and the sky.


Jewish beliefs about the goodness of God

For Jews, God is the source of all life an is referred to throughout the Torah as the only creator. The goodness of God is shown by the creation of the world and the giving of the Torah.


The meaning of suffering and Catholic ambivalence

Catholic views on suffering stem from the Bible:
•In the book of Job, God tells the suffering Job that he is just not capable of understanding the reasons why God chooses to do, or not do, certain things.
•Isaiah 53 describes how the acceptance of suffering by a 'suffering serveant' brought about salvation.


Jewish beliefs about suffering

For Jews God is the creator and judge. They do not believe in original sin and suffering is a consequence of their wrong choices.


The Trinity

Catholics believe
•There is only one God.
•God exists as three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
•Each of these three Persons is fully God.
•But there are not three God's.


The Nicene Creed

Each has a special role:
•God the Father created heaven and earth.
•God the Son, Jesus, is the saviour if the world.
•God the Holy Spirit is an invisible spiritual power who guides, helps and inspires human beings.


Jewish beliefs of the Trinity

Jews agree with Catholics that there is one God. However they do not accept Jesus as the Son of God or the idea of the Trinity. They believe in different characters such as God the creator or judge but not as different persons.


Augustine's metaphorical explanation of the Trinity

Love needs three things: the person who is doing the love, the person who is being loved and the love itself. These were always present in God before God made creation. St Augustine says it is the Trinity of love, lover and beloved.