Theology or Foundations of Reflection: God
Chapter 9: How Catholic Charity Changed the World
I. The early forth century was marked by disease and famine in the Roman Empire. The afflicted people were helped by Roman Christians who assisted them with food, first aid and other supplies. The investigation by Pachomius brought up questions such as who Christians were and why they were generous. The charitable nature of Christians has impressed many communities due to the level of human suffering it has lightened. Christianity was responsible for the spread of the concept of charity in America. Catholic charity developed from the teachings of Jesus Christ who commanded human beings to love themselves and each other. II. Notable actions by individuals such as Saint Cyprian who encouraged people to take care of the widowed, homeless and the underprivileged and even people who persecuted Christians. Christian saints and their clergy were responsible for the development of the early hospitals. Churches provided most of the money for building new hospitals on a large scale, and Christians such as Saint Basil and Fabiola were responsible for starting some of the first public hospitals in Rome and Caesarea (Woods & Barrett 94-6). The history of early hospitals in Rome also came from monasteries that provided medical care in most of Europe. They were also sites for medical learning for monastic medicine (Woods & Barrett 101-8). III. The military rule in Europe administered the hospitals, for example, the orders from Saint John and John of Wurzburg who were touched by the health conditions during the war and established hospitals in the 18th century. In the course of a century, medical care and charity in Europe developed greatly due to the combined efforts of Christianity and military officers. In the twentieth century, the hospice for pilgrims evolved into modern hospitals. Saint John’s Ambulance and hospital staff was first created from these efforts.
Chapter 10: The Church and Western Law
I. Western countries have policies defining how the state in which death row inmates can be before they are executed. These and other Western legal systems have raised questions on the validity and composition of the rules as being a mixture of religious approaches and suppositions rather than solid national regulations. II. The influence of the Church on the development of Western law started in the early centuries when the roles of the church and the state were almost combined and similar. However, secular and religious powers did not operate in a parallel fashion. Rather, the church slowly increased its influence over state affairs such as contravening meetings to discuss Arian issues (Woods & Barrett 127-9). III. Across Europe in France and England, secular rulers employed the clergy to operate in most state positions. IV. Over the years, the growth of church institutions began to overbear state officials to a point that when monarchs were unable to control the public, the clergy stepped in to assist in the management and reform of the public sector. At this time, the development of law was slowly taking shape in Western Europe with canon law being at the center of the reforms. Historically, Roman law had separated deliberate actions from accidental actions and introduced this idea into modern law (Woods & Barrett 143-5). Canonist lawyers were responsible for introducing the circumstances in which people could be exempted from being legally liable, for example, if an individual was intoxicated, mistaken or insane, he could be exempted from being charged for their criminal actions. V. Modern legal systems also borrowed heavily from Catholic theology that embodied new aspects such as contracts, torts and property rights that became embedded in most Western societies. These rights later gave way to natural rights of individuals and institutions that were also backed by the church (Woods & Barrett 155).
Woods, Thomas E. J. R, and Barrett Whitener. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. Solon, OH: Playaway, 2009. Print.
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