Sunni and Shi’a Muslims: Differences in Degree II

Lead: After the death of the Prophet Muhammad disputes within and with members of his family created a severe and long lasting division among Muslims. The Sunni and Shi’a split continues to divide that faith into the modern era.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Shi’a revere the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law Ali who claimed the mantle of his kinsman, but who was assassinated in disputes that firmly established the split between his followers and the vast majority of adherents to Islam known as the Sunni.

 

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Sunni and Shi’a Muslims: Differences in Degree I

Lead: One of the great religious divisions in world history has sundered Islam. Originating almost at the beginning, the divide between Sunni and Shi’a encompasses gaps that are ethnic, political and religious.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In day to day religious practice the differences between the two great Muslim sects, Sunni and Shi’a, are negligible. Yet, in reality, this unity of devotion to Allah masks powerful religious and political variance within Islam and even within two great traditions themselves.

 

 

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Augustine II

Lead: In AD 386 an official orator in the imperial city of Milan, Italy, Augustine, his intellectual system in tatters and his personal life in shambles, reached a life-changing conclusion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the ambitious new teacher of rhetoric arrived in the imperial capital, he paid a courtesy call on Ambrose, the local Christian bishop. The younger man was impressed with the Bishop’s demeanor, teaching ability and the honor in which the entire community held him. This encounter set in motion the steps leading to Augustine’s conversion to Christianity. He eventually became a priest and, in 395 Bishop of the City of Hippo a North African diocese in what is present-day Algeria.

Augustine I

Lead: One of the most influential thinkers in the history of Christianity was Aurelius Augustinius. He became a bishop, but his lifestyle was not always that of a devout believer.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The future Bishop of Hippo was born in the city of Thagaste or Souk Ahas, in Numidia, an ancient North African kingdom covering what is now Algeria. His family was socially prominent, but not particularly wealthy. From the beginning Augustine was a handful, a troublesome boy, given to cheating and physical combat, bright, but not very interested in his studies. He was the pride and the heartbreak of his young mother Monica, whose Christianity held little appeal to Augustine or his elderly father Patricius.

 

Savonarola II

Lead: At the height of the Renaissance in Florence, Fra Girolamo Savonarola thundered against corruption, ostentation, and vanity in civil affairs and in the life of the Roman Catholic Church. He paid for his meddling with his life.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Savonarola was born into privilege in 1452. Educated to follow his father as court physician in Ferrara, Italy, he turned to the Dominican priesthood, and served in various assignments with increasing scholarly reputation. It was in Florence, however, at the Monastery of San Marco after 1489, that he developed the passionate preaching style that compelled him into prominence and popularity.

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Savonarola I

Lead: In the Renaissance capital of Florence, Italy, the terrible and powerful voice of Fra Girolimo Savonarola was raised against corruption in both church and state. He also raised powerful enemies.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having helped create and nurture European civilization in the long centuries since the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Church of Rome by 1500 was the single unifying institution on the continent. Millions, high and low, saw in the Church the path to eternal salvation, worshipped in her precincts, contributed to her their treasure, and sought solace from a life that Thomas Hobbes would later describe as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Despite the devotion of countless numbers, there was trouble in Zion. With clear justification, many considered the Church to be set at rot, absorbed by worldly obsessions, ensnared by political and military ambitions, hopelessly and morally bankrupt.

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Buddhism II

Lead: Buddhism began as a journey of withdrawal from the world, but became one of the world’s great popular religions, fully engaged in the affairs of the world.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

 Content: His early life was spent in splendid isolation. Yet, when Prince Siddhartha Gautama of the Kingdom of Sakya on the border of India and Nepal first encountered the ugliness and poverty outside his palace, he renounced his luxurious lifestyle. Buddhist scriptures teach that he began a years long journey of self-denial and asceticism which brought him to nirvana, the highest level of enlightenment. He became Buddha, the enlightened one.

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Buddhism I

Lead: At its core, Buddhism, one of the world’s great religions, represents a rigorous indifference to the believer’s surroundings, a fundamental rejection of worldly pleasures.

 Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

 Content: According to its scriptures, the founder of Buddhism, a religion that demands of its members a life of strict sacrifice and asceticism, spent most of his early life in the lap of luxury. Prince Siddhartha was the favored son of the King of Sakya, a region in the mountainous borderlands between India and Nepal. He is said to have been born around the year 563 BC, though some recent scholarship places his birth as much a century later.

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