Thursday, March 12, 2015

History: The Year is 1534

I've uploaded year 1534 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Society of Jesus ... A Conspiracy to Educate the Masses -- Although it is not approved by the Pope yet, the Jesuits become real this year. I also talk a little about conspiracy theories.

John Calvin's Conversion and How Conversion Works -- John Calvin is on the run after undergoing a conversion. I talk seriously about what a conversion process is.

King Henry the 8th and Loyalty Oaths -- Parliament passes the Treasons Act and loyalty oaths cause Sir Thomas More to lose his head. I also talk about San Francisco dictating a religious position to the Catholic Church recently.

Jewish Mysticism: The Holy Ari is Born -- Rabbi Isaac Luria is born this year.

The Society of Jesus ... A Conspiracy to Educate the Masses

A few years ago Inigo Lopez of Loyola was hit in the leg by a cannon ball and while recovering he had a spiritual awakening: reporting visions of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. He has spent days and months in quiet contemplation and prayer and has developed a program of spiritual exercises that can bring one closer to Jesus. Inigo is better known today as Saint Ignacius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, or as his current detractors call the group: the Jesuits... meaning those who use the name of Jesus a little too much for comfortable conversation. (You know the type.) In a few years the Society will receive the official sanction of the Pope and they will embrace the label of "Jesuit" in good humor at first and then proudly. The exact number of Jesuits at this time is exactly seven including Saint Ignatius. These men take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at the chapel of Saint Peter in Loyola. Their current mission is to oppose the Protestant Reformation. (John Calvin is leaving town right now though not because of the Jesuits in particular.) Their goal will be to educate the world and they will succeed admirably in their goal into the modern day. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
A quick scan of the Internet reveals various conspiracy theories regarding the Jews, the Jesuits and the Freemasons so I'd better come clean. I was once on the board of directors of a Jewish organization that worked with Fordham University... a Jesuit institution. My impression of the Jesuits is a good one, but the history between Jews and the Jesuits has been a mixed bag. The Society began with several Jewish converts to Christianity. Overall Christian society distrusted such converts as insincere... and quite a few were insincere but it would be ridiculous for such Jews to join the Jesuits and come under their scrutiny unless they were sincere converts. Nevertheless, it did become a point of contention so Jewish converts were prohibited from the Society until 1946. As a side note: a few years ago, before my mother-in-law died, I asked her, "Is there anything you want to tell me? Any... secret conspiracy I'm supposed to know about?" Nope. Apparently not. [8]

John Calvin's Conversion and How Conversion Works

As always, dates are inexact. Late last year, the law student, John Calvin, undergoes a spiritual awakening. His whole frame of reference has changed. He writes a commentary on the need for reform within the Church and he assumes it will get a reasonable hearing. His friend, Nicholas Cop, uses John's commentary as a basis for a public lecture and all hell breaks loose. The King of France has not been happy with the Reformation, and he believes that Cop and Calvin are radical reformists. As the legend goes, they are on the run. John Calvin's reputation will grow quickly and a whole new movement called "Calvinism" will grow around him. Martin Luther is a Saxon (read as barbarian) and a populist, John Calvin is a man of classic learning and good middle-class breading. Ultimately Martin Luther will shake the world, but John Calvin is going to give it a few good shakes as well. [9] [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The idea of conversion, and how it comes about is part of the book "Varieties of Religious Experience" by William James. In summary, a sudden conversion is not as sudden as it appears. Conversion is a process that occurs over time... sometimes consciously (as with study) and sometimes unconsciously. It is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. As you put the last piece into place a complete picture is revealed but it is not a surprise because you've had a good idea of what the final picture would look like for a long time now. With an unconscious conversion, the puzzle is being assembled in the back of the mind. You don't see the whole picture until it is complete and brought to the forefront of the mind. That is why it is a surprise but it is no greater a conversion than one brought about by study. John Calvin, Martin Luther and even the Ignatius of Loyola, the Catholic founder of the Jesuits, went through this sudden conversion process but it is two sides of the same coin. FYI, I'm a volunteer chaplain at the local jail, so the subject of conversion comes up occasionally. [13]

King Henry the 8th and Loyalty Oaths

The Church of England has separated from the Catholic Church mostly due to King Henry the 8th's pressure on the English bishops to give him an annulment from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Some have blamed this split in the Church on Lollardy, the movement that grew around John Wycliffe, but there is no real evidence that. Parliament passes the First Succession Act, and the Treasons Act which calls for loyalty oaths to the King and agreeing that his marriage to Anne Boleyn is good and right. To refuse to take this oath is considered treason. Those beheaded next year will be Sir Thomas More, Cardinal John Fisher of Rochester, and a line of Carthusian monks, a Brigittine monk, Franciscan friars, and 14 Dutch Anabaptists. It's just getting started. [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Perhaps the Church of England would have split from the Catholics without the King's pressure, but it would have taken a lot longer. It was not unusual to have loyalty oaths to the King but even those who were willing to swear allegiance to the King also had to swear to be "right thinking." In the modern day, the City of San Francisco has called on the Catholic Church to stop insisting that the teachers of Catholicism actually adhere to Catholic standards of conduct. Frankly, it might make no difference if a math teacher is an observant Catholic, but who you hire to teach your children, tells your children what you think is important. If Catholics find it shocking that Catholicism is the standard of conduct in a Catholic school then there is a serious problem with Catholics but I have no objection to a religion holding that its own standards are best. And this is why government should not dictate religious standards. When government imposes religious standards, it is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of law, and all laws boil down to one thing... obey or be shot. Don't think it is any other way. [22] [23] [24]

Jewish Mysticism: The Holy Ari is Born

Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Holy Ari or the Holy Lion) is born this year in Jerusalem. He will change the way Jewish mysticism is approached and he is sometimes called the father of modern Jewish mysticism which is Kabbalah. However, Gershom Scholem will bring Jewish mysticism to the attention of academics in the modern day. [25]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Rabbi Isaac Luria's birth. I study kabbalah but only as parable and to support my meditation. For those who want to study the history of Jewish mysticism without actually studying mysticism itself, read "Nine and a Half Mystics: the Kabbalah Today" by Herbert Weiner. [26]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1534, Wikipedia.

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