Religion discussion homework

“Matter made sacred” is an aspect of Christianity that is emphasized in some Christian groups and de-emphasized in others. I was raised Methodist but spent six years as Eastern Orthodox Christian in my late 20s, even a short stay in a monastery. I fell in love with the theology at the time; how it seemed “set apart from” the rest of Christendom, a common feature of a number of Christian groups. In Christianity as expressed in Eastern Orthodox theology, the notion of matter being able to be made sacred takes levels I did not experience as Methodist or in other Christian or other religious groups I’d encountered. It is tempting to refer to what’s called “Orthodoxy” as “Christianity” but I expect the lack of labeling might make the content occasionally confusing.

In Christianity as expressed in the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is possible to participate in  sacredness in participating in a full partnership with God, through the Person of Jesus Christ who is considered fully human and fully divine within that Church, acting as a bridge between the Sacred and the Profane.

Viewed as a medicinal restoration to proper form, the person who is “deified” through “theosis” (a process called “apotheosis” or “making divine”) in quite literally being considered as “walking with Christ”, the very soil you walk on and everything you touch has the potential of being restored, made sacred or sanctified.

Hence, you have what appears to be odd behavior to much of the world in the Eastern Orthodox Church: Images of priests and bishops blessing missiles and bombs or scores of weapons seem unreasonable and absurd to much of the world and rightfully so. However, it is an oddly logical extension of this notion of sanctifying the material world; if all can be used for the Glory of God and can be used for whatever God’s purposes may be, then that could even include weapons of war, a notion I can understand rationally but remaining something I could not advocate.

Islam does not seem to have as many special sacred objects as you might find in Christianity; but one Islam shares the notion of a Holy text. There are still some areas of Christianity where the Bible is held as a physically sacred object but in Islam the Quran is quite literally considered “The Word of God” and there are special handwashing procedures to handle the Quran, which is to be kept in a place of distinctive separateness in a household.

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