George Fox and The Society of Friends – Part II

Lead: By rebelling against political and religious authority, the followers of George Fox , secured for themselves an intense level of persecution from all parts of the ideological spectrum.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends or Quakerism, he did not set out to establish a new religious denomination. His movement was founded on the idea that all individuals were equal and could have communion with God’s spirit without formal creeds or intervention by religious authorities. This idea attracted many was an attractive one, particularly in the lower classes, and for it Fox and his followers were persecuted. It is estimated that 3,000 of the so-called Friends were jailed in England during the second half of the seventeenth century. One judge laughingly called Fox and his followers “Quakers” after Fox warned the judge to “tremble at the word of the Lord.” The name stuck.

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George Fox and The Society of Friends – Part I

Lead: The year 1643, England was in the second year of civil war and  nineteen year old George Fox, who believed he was directed by divine call, left home and began a spiritual quest that would lead to the birth of the Quakers.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fox, was born the son of a weaver of puritan sympathies in Leicestershire, England, in 1624. Although he had little formal education, he read extensively and began early to question traditional religion and ways of worship. He was a shoemaker’s apprentice when he began his religious quest. At the age of 23, Fox began receiving revelations he believed were inspired by God. He shared this inspiration as an itinerant preacher, formulating the doctrine of the “inner light,” the idea that a person through communion with God’s spirit can comprehend divine ways without the church, religious authority or customs.

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The Declaration of the Rights of Man II

Lead: Believing women should be included in the concepts of freedom and equality of the French Revolution, Gouges published a document that would prove to be too revolutionary even for the French Revolution, The Declaration of Rights of Woman and Citizen.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Olympe de Gouges was born in 1748, the daughter of a butcher and a washerwoman. After the death of her older and wealthy husband, de Gouges had funds to help support herself and was able to work as a playwright and then a writer of political pamphlets during the French Revolution. A vigorous feminist, she championed controversial political and social causes such as the rights of illegitimate children and single mothers, the right to seek divorce, national education, and the building of better roads and maternity hospitals.

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The Declaration of the Rights of Man I

Lead: During the French Revolution, the National Assembly adopted  one of the most important documents in political history – The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the summer of 1789, during the first year of the French Revolution, deputies of the Third Estate, the branch of the Estates-General, which represented the vast majority of French citizens, defying King Louis XVI, declared themselves to be the National Assembly. Shortly after the storming of the Bastille by the mobs of Paris, the Assembly formally adopted a series of revolutionary principles  called the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

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The Black Plague and The Decameron II

Lead: In 1348 the “Black Death” swept through Florence, Italy, and out of this chaos emerged a literary masterpiece – The Decameron.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio witnessed firsthand the devastating effect of the Plague, which killed nearly half the population of Italy. With the collapse of the social and economic order, and some believed a collapse of morality, the Plague stimulated writers to record the event and consider the role of God, man’s free will, and health practices in causing such a magnitude of human suffering.

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The Black Plague and The Decameron I

Lead: In the summer of 1348 the “Black Death” swept through prosperous and beautiful Florence, Italy. The tragedy inspired one of the most important medieval literary works, Boccaccio’s The Decameron.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The fourteenth century European Plague or “Black Death” was actually two major bacterial epidemics which resulted in the death of more than 25,000,000 people or just short of a third of the population of Europe. It is believed the Plague originated in the eastern provinces of China and was carried by flea infected rats on board merchant ships sailing from the Black Sea westward to Mediterranean ports. It quickly spread through Western Europe.

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Coptic Christianity II

Lead: It was not easy, but in the years following the birth of Islam, Coptic Christianity was able to coexist in Egypt alongside its rival religion near the heart of Islamic culture.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the seventh century CE, not too many years after the hijira of Mohammed, Arabs invaded Egypt. For several centuries, Coptic Christians lived under various Muslim regimes, sometimes protected, sometimes persecuted, sometimes under onerous conditions, but able to survive and conduct worship. There were taxes and restrictions and the inevitable pressure to convert to Islam, but Muslim scholars respected Coptic erudition and permitted a certain flowering and preservation of this brand of Christianity.

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Coptic Christianity I

Lead: The establishment of Christianity in Egypt was early and reflected the richness of the Alexandrian Jewish community from which it probably emerged. It has continued ever since.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Coptic Christianity, the name from a European corruption of the Arabic “kibt,” itself derived from the Greek, “aiguptioi” or Egyptians, was probably in place by the end of the first century. It is said that the evangelist Mark brought the Gospel to Alexandria and preached to the large, educated Jewish community there, found a significant response, and was martyred for his efforts. There was a Catechetical School in Alexandria by 200 C.E. and in the following century, the Coptic Church was established.

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