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Old Jan 1st 2016, 06:44 PM
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kowalskil kowalskil is offline
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Default Juaism and christianity

Some of you might be inserted in my short essay, at:

http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kow...or_thought.htm

Feel free to share it with all who might be interested, especially students.

Ludwik Kowalski
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http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

It is a testimony based on a diary kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA).
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Old Jan 6th 2016, 07:14 AM
Tom Palven Tom Palven is offline
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Default Re: Judaism and Christianity

Here's a less scholarly look at Judeo-Christian ethics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLak...utu.be&t=13m2s
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Old Jan 6th 2016, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Juaism and christianity

I've heard it said that western society was built on Judeo-Christian ethics and yet no one can ever seem to define what those Judeo-Christian ethics are and how they are different than anything else.

As such, I consider the term to be a meaningless platitude.
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Old Jan 7th 2016, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Juaism and christianity

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I've heard it said that western society was built on Judeo-Christian ethics and yet no one can ever seem to define what those Judeo-Christian ethics are and how they are different than anything else.

As such, I consider the term to be a meaningless platitude.
I'll take a crack at it:

"Judeo-Christian ethics/values" refers, not so much to some unique set of values shared exclusively by Jews and Christians, but to the values of a particular subset of Christians. Specifically, to those Christians who strongly embrace and closely identify with Jewish texts of the Old Testament, who see themselves as God's "chosen people" much as the Jews did, and who read much (though rarely all) of the Old Testament as if it were directed to them rather than the Jews specifically. Hence, Judeo-Christian.

Putting aside the very early church (where the first Christians were actually Jews), it's a flavor of Christianity which has become prominent relatively recent, within the last few hundred years, and is closely associated with North America. Historically they were the Puritans of New England; today they're evangelical fundamentalists. The relentlessly pro-Israel sentiments of evangelicals comes out of this tradition.

Judeo-Christian values are by no means unique to Judeo-Christians, but taken together they tend to identify them and set them apart from their usual cultural contemporaries: other Christians and seculars. They tend to be the values that come to mind when you think of Puritans and evangelicals. So, if I had to make a quick list off the top of my head I'd go with:
  • Objective certitude
  • Scripture as authoritative, inerrant, and complete
  • "Discernment" of super-natural forces in the world
  • "Traditional" family structures: Monogamist, heterosexual, patriarchal, nuclear
  • Respect for elders and tradition; protection and guidence (though not necessarily respect) for women and children
  • Education of children (though this is only a priority to the point at which children can fully engage with Scripture and doctrine - literacy is the big thing)
  • The superiority of the spiritual over the secular
  • Chastity and modesty
  • Covenantal relationships (wherein obedience is reward and disobedience is punished according to a clearly laid out set of rules)
  • Evangelism, expansion, and conversion
  • Mutual support and care within the community

We could probably come up with a better list given more time to really think about it, but that gives one the general idea. Again, these values aren't unique to Judeo-Christians, nor are they the only values they have. Lots of other groups share some of these values and Judeo-Christians have others as well (e.g. modern evangelicals also tend to value forgiveness and grace, while the Puritans put a higher value on social order).

But taken together as a "top-10" or sorts, these values identify Judeo-Christians and set them apart from the people around them, for whom the list would be different.
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Old Jan 7th 2016, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Juaism and christianity

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
I'll take a crack at it:

"Judeo-Christian ethics/values" refers, not so much to some unique set of values shared exclusively by Jews and Christians, but to the values of a particular subset of Christians. Specifically, to those Christians who strongly embrace and closely identify with Jewish texts of the Old Testament, who see themselves as God's "chosen people" much as the Jews did, and who read much (though rarely all) of the Old Testament as if it were directed to them rather than the Jews specifically. Hence, Judeo-Christian.

Putting aside the very early church (where the first Christians were actually Jews), it's a flavor of Christianity which has become prominent relatively recent, within the last few hundred years, and is closely associated with North America. Historically they were the Puritans of New England; today they're evangelical fundamentalists. The relentlessly pro-Israel sentiments of evangelicals comes out of this tradition.

Judeo-Christian values are by no means unique to Judeo-Christians, but taken together they tend to identify them and set them apart from their usual cultural contemporaries: other Christians and seculars. They tend to be the values that come to mind when you think of Puritans and evangelicals. So, if I had to make a quick list off the top of my head I'd go with:
  • Objective certitude
  • Scripture as authoritative, inerrant, and complete
  • "Discernment" of super-natural forces in the world
  • "Traditional" family structures: Monogamist, heterosexual, patriarchal, nuclear
  • Respect for elders and tradition; protection and guidence (though not necessarily respect) for women and children
  • Education of children (though this is only a priority to the point at which children can fully engage with Scripture and doctrine - literacy is the big thing)
  • The superiority of the spiritual over the secular
  • Chastity and modesty
  • Covenantal relationships (wherein obedience is reward and disobedience is punished according to a clearly laid out set of rules)
  • Evangelism, expansion, and conversion
  • Mutual support and care within the community

We could probably come up with a better list given more time to really think about it, but that gives one the general idea. Again, these values aren't unique to Judeo-Christians, nor are they the only values they have. Lots of other groups share some of these values and Judeo-Christians have others as well (e.g. modern evangelicals also tend to value forgiveness and grace, while the Puritans put a higher value on social order).

But taken together as a "top-10" or sorts, these values identify Judeo-Christians and set them apart from the people around them, for whom the list would be different.
That's an impressive answer to the question, but if that is the definition of Judeo-Christian values, then it is obvious that our western society most certainly isn't built on Judeo-Christian ethics/morality/values at all.
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Old Jan 8th 2016, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Juaism and christianity

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Judeo-Christian values are by no means unique to Judeo-Christians, but taken together they tend to identify them and set them apart from their usual cultural contemporaries: other Christians and seculars. They tend to be the values that come to mind when you think of Puritans and evangelicals. So, if I had to make a quick list off the top of my head I'd go with:
  • Objective certitude
  • Scripture as authoritative, inerrant, and complete
  • "Discernment" of super-natural forces in the world
  • "Traditional" family structures: Monogamist, heterosexual, patriarchal, nuclear
  • Respect for elders and tradition; protection and guidence (though not necessarily respect) for women and children
  • Education of children (though this is only a priority to the point at which children can fully engage with Scripture and doctrine - literacy is the big thing)
  • The superiority of the spiritual over the secular
  • Chastity and modesty
  • Covenantal relationships (wherein obedience is reward and disobedience is punished according to a clearly laid out set of rules)
  • Evangelism, expansion, and conversion
  • Mutual support and care within the community
I have to agree with Michael. This seems a very good list of precisely the things current Western society has got rid of in order to be what it is now.
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Old Jan 8th 2016, 09:14 AM
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dilettante dilettante is offline
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Default Re: Juaism and christianity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
That's an impressive answer to the question, but if that is the definition of Judeo-Christian values, then it is obvious that our western society most certainly isn't built on Judeo-Christian ethics/morality/values at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
I have to agree with Michael. This seems a very good list of precisely the things current Western society has got rid of in order to be what it is now.
Well, that's somewhat to be expected. People wouldn't blather on about how important they were unless they were afraid that they might be forgotten.

More importantly, though, there's the question of context: Judeo-Christian values actually were foundational to society...in colonial New England. American historiography has a long tradition of treating New England as if it represented the entire nation. E.G. Defining colonials in terms of Puritans, Pilgrims, and the people of Salem; centering the revolutionary narrative on Boston, Lexington, etc. So it's not terribly surprising to here Americans claim that Judeo-Christian values were foundational to American society as a whole. Claiming that they're the keys to all of Western Society (particularly in Europe) seems more far fetched.

A separate point to consider, though, is who you're setting those values against. In a sense, this list is intended to highlight how "judeo-Christian" values depart from general western values. It [tries to] defines Judeo-Christian values in an American context, and so stresses the points/emphases that make them stand out from mainline Christian and secular humanist values in the US. If you were trying to defining them in a global context (i.e. as against common East-Asian and Islamic societies) the list would be different and might have more overlap with what we generally think of as "Western values."
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Old Jan 11th 2016, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Juaism and christianity

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Well, that's somewhat to be expected. People wouldn't blather on about how important they were unless they were afraid that they might be forgotten.

More importantly, though, there's the question of context: Judeo-Christian values actually were foundational to society...in colonial New England. American historiography has a long tradition of treating New England as if it represented the entire nation. E.G. Defining colonials in terms of Puritans, Pilgrims, and the people of Salem; centering the revolutionary narrative on Boston, Lexington, etc. So it's not terribly surprising to here Americans claim that Judeo-Christian values were foundational to American society as a whole. Claiming that they're the keys to all of Western Society (particularly in Europe) seems more far fetched.

A separate point to consider, though, is who you're setting those values against. In a sense, this list is intended to highlight how "judeo-Christian" values depart from general western values. It [tries to] defines Judeo-Christian values in an American context, and so stresses the points/emphases that make them stand out from mainline Christian and secular humanist values in the US. If you were trying to defining them in a global context (i.e. as against common East-Asian and Islamic societies) the list would be different and might have more overlap with what we generally think of as "Western values."
This makes sense except for the fact that people quite commonly do assert that Judeo-Christian values are the foundation of western society, not just the USA. I've never heard the term applied exclusively to the USA (though it does make more sense in that context).
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