Shabbatai Zevi II

Lead: In 1665, Shabbatai Zevi declared himself the long-awaited messiah of Israel. Within a year, he had converted to Islam and thrown the Jewish world into chaos and disruption.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After being cast out of his home town of Smyrna, Zevi began a long period of wandering, through Palestine and Egypt, attracting followers and continuing his life-long struggle with alternating periods of manic-depression and exaltation, during the latter of which he evidenced truly bizarre behavior. This both offended and attracted a growing number of followers. His most important was a brilliant rabbi, Nathan of Gaza, who, after meeting Shabbatai Sevi in February, 1665, experienced an ecstatic vision that saw his new friend as the Messiah. From that point, Nathan tried to convince him and others that he was, in fact, the long-awaited representative of God. This highly respected, independent confirmation tying his appearance with the kabbalistic story of creation, kicked off the Shabbatean Movement. By May 1665, Zevi was sure of himself and fully engaged in asserting his messianic mission.

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Shabbatai Zevi I

Lead: In the mid-1660s the Jewish world was rocked by the appearance and claims of a messiah, Shabbatai Sevi, who some have deemed the most significant millenarian movement in modern Jewish history. He, however, was a piece of work.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He was born in Smyrna, a wealthy port city on the west coast of present-day Turkey. His family recognized a native intelligence which destined him for the rabbinate. He studied under some of the most prominent rabbis in Smyrna and probably around 15 began a life of isolation, abstinence and asceticism, during which he struggled with powerful sexual temptation. Shabbatai became a rabbi about the age of 18 and became attracted to Kaballism with its emphasis on the devotional life and the coming of the messiah.

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Boxer Rebellion III

Lead: Chinese hatred of foreigners in 1900 exploded in the Boxer Rebellion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Many Chinese resented the presence of western soldiers, diplomats, merchants, and missionaries. The weak Imperial government seemed impotent to face powerful outside forces and by the end of the 1800s bitterness became violence. Chief among those opposed to the foreign devils was a secret fraternity named I Ho Chuan, the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists, or Boxers. Part of their ritual was a set of physical and spiritual drills in which they would sink into a trance and there battle imaginary demons. Waking, they seethed with hatred for all things foreign.

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Boxer Rebellion II

Lead: In 1900 native Chinese resentment against foreigners boiled over in the Boxer Rebellion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: During the 1800s diplomats in search of concessions, traders in search of profits, and Christian missionaries in search of souls aroused great resentment in China. To their credit, many of these westerners, particularly the missionaries, were seeking to reform a vast society markedly unconcerned about the plight of the poor and abused. They built schools and hospitals and championed the cause of human rights long before such efforts were fashionable, but many did so with ill-disguised scorn for Chinese civilization.

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Boxer Rebellion I

Lead: In 1900 native Chinese resentment of western culture, traders, and missionaries, boiled over in the Boxer Rebellion.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: China is an ancient society whose rich cultural heritage was already well-established when western or European civilization was in its infancy. Therefore, when western merchants sought to open trade with the Asian giant, they encountered deep suspicion of outsiders. The Chinese regarded the westerners with ill-disguised contempt, considering them little better than barbarians.

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Oneida Community II

Lead: Accused of immorality, followers of radical perfectionist John Humphrey Noyes fled to sanctuary near the Canadian border on the banks of Oneida Creek.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Noyes believed in perfectionism, the idea that by Christ’s grace, Christians have no sin. He rejected monogamous marriage and accusations of free love forced the group to leave their home in Putney, Vermont to settle in remote Madison County, New York. Eventually, 31 adults and 14 children moved to Oneida. By 1849, there were 100 members of the community. That number had grown to approximately 300 in 1880.

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Oneida Community I

Lead: The 1800s were a time of intellectual and religious ferment. As a part of this excitement, Perfectionists established a community on Oneida Creek in New York.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Emerging from the American revivalist movement of the early 1800s, a group of Christian thinkers began to adopt an extreme form of perfectionism. They believed that the grace of Christ conveyed to them true perfection and a few very radical thinkers believed that perfection was permanent and irrevocable. One of these radicals was John Humphrey Noyes, a seminary student at Yale. In 1834 he asserted to his fellow students that he was without sin and was freed from the restraints of biblical law. His position led to bitter controversy on the Yale campus and he was forced by the faculty to give up his license to preach. He left.

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Copernicus and the Church II

Lead: The year was 1540. Nicolaus Copernicus’s controversial theory that the planets revolved around the sun instead of the Earth was about to become public.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1540, a student and supporter of Copernicus, Rheticus, published Naratio Prima, otherwise known as A First Account. This encouraged the aging astronomer to print his own theory. A devout Catholic, Copernicus had struggled for many years between his loyalty to the Church and his scientific theory that asserted heliocentrism, that the sun was the center of the solar system. He decided it was finally time for the world to hear his opinion of the truth. Three years later, just prior to his death, Copernicus published his treatise De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.

 

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