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Christian-Themed Play “Everyman”
Written in the mid English at the Tudor period, “Everyman”, is a late Christian English morality play. The play emphasizes on catholic sacraments particularly penance, confession, receiving the holy Eucharist, viaticum and unction (Cawley 7). It applies figurative characters in examining the subject of deliverance of Christians and what an individual should do to achieve it. The hypothesis of the play is that both human wickedness and morality will be summed by God after death as applies in a ledger book. According to Cawley (9), every person is accountable for his actions during his or her lifetime. In the play, Everyman persuades others to help him improve his rapport. However, the other characters are allegorical, whereby each personify a rough idea like goods, fellowship and knowledge. The disagreement amid wickedness and morality is played by interacting between the characters. The reason behind focus on Everyman is because it is hard for him to find characters to come with him to his pilgrimage. Ultimately, Everyman recognizes through his pilgrimage that he is on his own regardless of all other incarnate characters that were acquaintances to him. He realizes that as an individual dies and placed before God’s judgment, he or she is left with his own morals (Cawley 13).
The Castle of Perseverance
This is the original known dialect play in life. The text traces the whole life of mankind as he wages the fluctuating battle with the forces of darkness (Southern 9). At the beginning of the play, mankind rejects the advice of his Good Archangel and permits his Bad Archangel to direct him in the worldly service. According to the play, the earthly servants (Folly and Lust) dress the hero in costly attire and direct him to the gallows of greediness, whereby mankind admits the 7 fatal sins. Penance and shrift convince mankind and is placed in a castle of perseverance where he will seek protection from transgression by seven ethical virtues. The enemies of mankind, who include the flesh, the world and the devil attack of the castle but are revolted by the merits armed with emblems of Christ’s passion (Southern 22). Mankind is tempted with coveting through a bid of affluence and he thinks of accepting it. He is hit down by a flit frightened by death demonstrating that bereavement may happen any time. After death, he prays to God to deliver him from Hell. The 4 God’s daughters drawn from the medieval convention discuss the destiny of the mankind and God sides with harmony and mercy and choose to pardon mankind. This text shows the evolution of human from beginning to the end and illustrates temptations and the process necessitating Christian salvation.
The comparison between Everyman and the Castle of Perseverance offers a profitable opportunity to explore depiction of spirituality and religion. The two plays have much in common in their representation of spirituality and religion. Religion and spirituality can be considered a collective thing. Both texts assess person’s spiritual state at the end of the earthly life. According to the two plays, mankind dies and learns of his unpreparedness for the verdict he ought to face on his pilgrimage for the subsequent life. Also, both plays are similar to the extend at which the economic discourse shapes how they depict assessment of a personal spiritual state. Each play uses numerous strategies to suggest the dissimilarity amid spiritual and religious definition of affluence and poverty and concurrently exemplifies the intricacy that individuals have while differentiating between spiritual and religion. Though both texts depict the potential for material prosperity to blind lay Christians to spiritual values, they reserve their strongest condemnations for priests who use spiritual authority to make profits. Concerns about the relationship between faith and earthly riches did not start in the 15th century. In the 12th century, Christian writers depicted riches to be a great danger to spiritual health of persons and to spiritual health of Christian church as an institution. Various churches use their wealth for wrong motives like decoration of their buildings rather than feeding and clothing the poor.
Presentation of spirituality, religion and poverty in the two texts reflect theological ambiguities and social tensions. Even though pilgrimage of the soul does not characterize material control and riches as wicked in nature, it portrays ravenousness as a sin eliminates in purgatory and penalized in Hell. Pilgrim soul views damned souls punished for avarice in Hell and guardian angel describes them as those who have set their hearts ambitiously to assemble and heap quantities of treasure both gold and silver and keep it without any cause. The shared themes and imagery in the two texts shows how texts and theologies about prosperity shape vernacular in the late Middle Ages. They use world plays to highlight tension between spiritual readings and physical signs and each of them engages the audience in personal interrogation of values shaping their view of prosperity and poverty.
Cawley, Arthur C., ed. Everyman: And Medieval Miracle Plays. Vol. 381. Dent, 1960.
Southern, Richard. The medieval theatre in the round: a study of the staging of the castle of perseverance and related matters. Faber & Faber, 1975.
Summary of the evolution of language in the Christian context
The original language that people spoke was a language of the heavenly being. Before man was created the heavenly Beings used to talk a language that man could understand, but he sinned and ate the forbidden fruit. In the garden, God used to visit and chat with Adam during his free time. After the fall of man when he ate the cursed fruit, he was chased out of the garden and an angel (another super being) was placed to guard the land. When man was in the countryside where other people existed, they deliberated to build a large tower to reach where the super being lived. As they were building, the super being who was the author of the language confused their language such that each talked his own language thus stopping the building. This led to the dispersion of the people and the present different languages in the world evolved.
Why was the tower of babel unfinished? What was the aim of its construction? During the times of the bible, men used to talk in one language and they decided to build a tower that could reach heaven. As they progressed, the heavenly being could hear them talking. It should be noted that the author of the language was the Supreme Being because he made man and the other beasts of the land, air, water but gave man some extra thoughts and sense of speech. He had promised man an eternal living provided he does not violate his rule of not eating the fruit that was planted at the center of the garden where he lived.
Satan deceived the woman who in turn deceived the man and they ate the fruit which resulted to them being chased out of the land. When man was chased away from the land, he met other men who decided to build a tower that could reach heaven. This tower was called the tower of Babel (Ofrat 68).
The heavenly beings, or the authors of the language saw the sinister motives of men and decided to stop the construction and since they could not force them to stop, they decided to create other languages and they gave them to men in a supernatural way such that nobody was able to communicate with the other at the beginning. After the confusion ensued, the tower of Babel had to stop. Those who spoke one language saw the other as the cause of sabotage and they left. The whole of the builders dispersed each going their ways, thus forming the current diversification of different languages (Becker Bottom of Form
No theory can be proved to be true in regard to the evolution of language. The Afrikaners used to speak their language but after colonization, they were forced to learn the language of the colonizers, likewise to other colonial jurisdictions. This theory holds sense in that man came from a definite place. What led to his dispersion is what is not known and this theory explains the reason. Geographical location may not explain language, but color because if people came from the same place, then they could have different color but the same language. This theory at the same time holds some truth because if men were once living together, and an external factor affected their language, it is only obvious that those who were talking the same language each, went to their own location thus explaining why we have different languages.
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Ofrat, G. (2001). The Jewish Derrida. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Univ. Press.
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Becker, Carl J. A Modern Theory of Language Evolution. New York: iUniverse, 2005. Print.
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Origins of modern humans
Scientists and anthropologists have come up with various theories to explain the origins of modern humans Homo sapiens sapiens. The study has been based on the DNA of the human remains which they compare with the skulls found around the world. Different authors have been analyzing some of the important points that scientists and anthropologists have made on the modern human origins. The aim of this paper is to compare the arguments of two authors based on what they have analyzed regarding the origin of modern humans.
In the article titled “Analysis of Two Competing Theories on the Origin of Homo sapiens sapiens: Multiregional Theory vs. the Out of Africa 2 Model,” Sophie Edwards main argument is that the modern humans have a single origin which in this case is Africa. She reasons that the excavations which are found in various parts of Africa displays a modern cranial elements which is evidence that proves that modern humans had evolved in Africa from 250, 000 years ago (Edwards 1). Edwards have made this argument in the paper under the subtopic “The Anatomy of Homo sapiens sapiens.”It is here that she proves regardless of the existence of several competing theories of modern human origin, the Out of Africa 2 model is more convincing than the multi-regional hypothesis which does not have any supporting evidence.
The article was written in the year 2012 and the intended audiences are anthropologists, anthropology students and scientists. The primary argument that the author has made in the document that proves her claims is that when modern humans are clearly defined, it becomes easy to identify their origin based on the evidences that are available. For instance, the modern human cranial capacity is beyond 1350 cc which can vary (Edwards 1). When the skull is analyzed, the frontal bone is vertical in nature which is different from the other hominids. The cranial vault has paralleled walls which are high and its occipital region is round in shape meaning that it lacks the horizontal bulge which is prominent in Homo neadherthalensis. The argument regarding defining what Homo sapiens sapiens entails is one way of clearly identifying their origin. It is because there are several fossils and human remains that have been found across the world which might be confusing in regards to identifying the modern humans.
The evidence is very convincing in that the first of the modern human fossils was only found in Africa which showed a mark in the evolutionary process. The other argument is that the modern humans did not share or have any linkage with the earlier population who initially inhabited the area. The research on molecular geneticists is also a clear evidence of the Homo sapien sapien evolution process. The molecular genetics focuses on the mutations dates and based on the study that have been conducted, the result shows that the modern human originated from a female individual who was nicknamed “mitochondrial Eve” who resided in Africa 200,000 years ago. Another human known as “Y-chromosomal Adam” was also found to have resided in Africa which strengthens the hypothesis of Out of Africa 2 model (Edwards 1). At the same time, the anatomic behavioral patterns of the modern Homo sapiens sapiens are an evidence of intellectual and cognitive evolution of modern humans.
The design of the research is convincing because genetics does not seem to lie. On the other hand, anthropologists can easily detect species based on its physical characteristics making the definition and genetic theory convincing. The ethical considerations have not been properly assessed and explored in this document which weakens its capability as a good reference material. Nonetheless, the research is convincing because there are several subjects that confirms the genetic theory. Uniparental systems and genome-wide autosomal information have been used by scientists to reconstruct the past events. At the same time, the fact that there are no DNA samples that have been found of the Homo sapien sapien in other geographical regions apart from Africa answers the question regarding the modern human origin.
Some other positions that Edwards have indicated that which are debated regarding the topic is regarding the Multi-regional hypothesis which claims that the modern human had a regional continuity. The argument is more of an opposing position to the author’s main argument in the paper. According to the argument, evolution process took place in various parts of the world which produced a diverse variation in the modern human species. The main argument accruing from this argument is that the reason behind humans from different parts of the world having a morphological resemblance is because of parallel evolution. However, several scholars have ended up discrediting this theory for lack of enough supporting evidence. The evidence that the author has used to support this claim is based on empirical research that she had conducted. She has looked at the conclusions which anthropologists and scholars came about with to support their claims on origin of modern human. For instance, Edwards has mentioned Milford Wolfpoff who is a Paleoanthropologist and advocate in America who argued that because there are equivalent genes which are flowing among populations, it proofs the multi-regional hypothesis.
Another important article that seems to support Edwards’s main arguments in the document is titled “Modern Humans Came Out of Africa, “Definitive” Study Says” by James Owen. The article was published in the year 2007 a little bit early than Edwards’s journal article. The intended audiences are anthropologists and scientists. Owen’s main argument in the article is that modern humans are solely African children without any connection with the Neanderthals or hobbits family tree. The author’s main argument is evident at the beginning of the article which he further approves using various claims which have been made by various scientists. The fact that Owen used the term “we” shows that he supports the idea that the modern humans originated from Africa. The argument is significant because it gives the readers a direction to which the author has taken to elaborate his points.
Owen like Edwards agree that the position regarding the origin of modern humans anatomically has risen much more debates that the Out of Africa model or even multiregional theory which they have both addressed in their articles. The author has mentioned that the study did not find convincing evidence to prove that the modern humans originated elsewhere apart from Africa. At the same time, a new data that have been singled out proved that the modern human spread out of their continent after colonizing it. Owen and his group of researchers decided to combine the genetic data with the Out of Africa theory by evaluating the human skull which all proved that Homo sapien sapien originated from one region. The other proof is that the skull which they studied was only 2000 years old making it more accurate in terms of measuring the accuracy regarding the human origin (Owen 1). The strategy is more similar to that of Edwards who decided to use the concept of definition by identifying what made the modern human different from other earlier species of humans. The nature of the study in Owen’s article is also similar to Edwards meaning they are all based on empirical research. However, the research design used adequately addresses the author’s main argument.
The ethical considerations are not assessed or explored in the article. Edwards’ document is a perfect example that confirms Owen’s argument from the scientific point of view. The counter argument that has been made to oppose the author’s views is that humans tend to be uniform as they move further away from their geographical position where they were born. The author refutes the idea by giving example of modern-day Chinese who do not look alike with the Australian Aborigines. The strengths of Owen and Edwards’ articles are based on their direct argument and strong support for their position on Out of Africa model as the origin of modern humans. The other strength is based on the fact that the articles are easy to read and understand because the authors used simple language. It is also easy to follow through the article from its thesis to evidence. It means that the articles were organized in a logical manner making it easy to follow through from one topic to another.
Edwards, Sophia. “Analysis of Two Competing Theories on the Origin of Homo sapiens sapiens: Multiregional Theory vs. the Out of Africa 2 Model.” Anthro Journal, vol. 1. (2012), p.1. Retrieved from http://anthrojournal.com/issue/october-2011/article/analysis-of-two-competing-theories-on-the-origin-of-homo-sapiens-sapiens-multiregional-theory-vs-the-out-of-africa-2-model
Owen, James. “Modern Humans Came Out of Africa, “Definitive Study” Says.” National Geographic News http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070718-african-origin.html. Accessed 28, July 2007.
The concept of personhood among different communities is a rich source of culture that describes what it means to be a person. Personhood is more than a genetic composition of an individual. Rather, a person, being more than just a genetic structure, is a unique entity whose existence can affect the lives of other individuals. The fact that human beings are homo sapiens does not necessarily mean that they are individuals. Other creatures can also be described as having personhood in different circumstances. For example, in communities such as the Runa in Amazon, members of the community argue that jaguars are persons because they can see humans in the way other people view themselves (Kohn 2). For this reason, the community in Ruma calls the jaguar Runa Puma. Runa means person and puma mean predator. Therefore, the biological makeup of an individual does not account for personhood. Rather, for an individual to be referred to a person, the individual needs to have a free will with different desires compared to other characters. Furthermore, diverse communities around the world have different ideas and arguments about the concept of personhood. The concept of personhood is different in many cultures because different people practice different beliefs and doctrines (Appell-Warren and Laura 24). Therefore, the idea of an individual may not be similar across all communities. For example, religion and cultural practices among the various people can influence how people define ‘personhood.’ this paper will discuss the concept of personhood among diverse communities. The article will provide a different definition of the concept of personhood; it will show how it applies to diverse communities. Furthermore, the paper will also highlight how the idea of personhood helps communities to thrive.
Personhood among the Kiluna people
The Kiluna people are Arawak-speaking native people living in Brazil. The total number of Kilunas residing in the Amazon is between 2500 and 3000 (Pollock 310). The Kiluna people refer to two major concepts when they discuss the idea of personhood. The two concepts are waidi and ettedi. Wadi means wild while ettedi means sociable. The two concepts also differentiate other important factors such as the wildness of the forests and the friendly village; collective activity and solitariness; gardening and hunting; man and woman and speech and silence (Pollock 312). Every factor in among the Kiluna people falls under the category of wadi or ettedi. Furthermore, the Kiluna people attribute the concept of personhood through natural substances. For example, the production of semen describes the wild character of the Kiluna men. Also, the production of breast milk among women represents the concept of ettedi. Among the Kiluna people, when children reach the adolescent stage, they are allowed to misbehave because of hormonal imbalances. During teen age, the Kiluna people understand that the boys are producing semen while girls are growing breasts. According to Pollock (315), the Kiluna people possess spirits when they are infants. When an individual dies, the spirit (kurime) settles in the underground realm of spirits where it is transformed to peccary, which is reincarnated in the human world. According to Pollock (326), the Kiluna people have no concepts to describe the mind, mental illness or mindful bodies. Among the Kiluna people, the men wear clothes with good smells to attract the women. They believe that good smells among the men signify less wildness while bad smells signify extreme wildness. Therefore, it is common for people to wear clothes with good smells to show the women that they intend to be caring.
The concept of personhood among the Igbo
Among the Igbo people in Africa, the concept of personhood is embedded in a set of rights and responsibilities (Irele and Biodun 210). The rights and responsibilities are acquired through social recognition and participation in communal life. When a person is born, the individual moves from being referred as an ‘it’ to an ‘adult’ and ‘ancestor.’ After birth, an individual will go through a series of initiation rites before the community accepts to view the individual as a person. Furthermore, the concept of personhood does not stop after the community conducts initiation rites. However, other community practices and events such as procreation, old age, death and the journey to the spirit world all refer to the concept of personhood. Among the Igbo, the developmental stages of personhood do not represent age groups. However, the developmental stages towards personhood are marked by responsibilities within a particular age group (Irele and Biodun 212). It is impossible for an individual to be elevated to a higher form of personhood without performing the sacred duties and responsibilities that are required by the community in each age group. Also, communal rites such as marriage cannot occur if an individual has not satisfied the community that they have the knowledge and resource to take care of a family. Also, the Igbo people believe that achieving recognition and personhood depends on an individual’s ability to use community norms to make decisions. For example, an individual cannot hold the title elder because of old age. However, elder hood and personhood are synonymous to excellence and achievements in the community. Also, it is possible for younger adults to receive social recognition in the community because of their achievements. The Igbo people have a deeper understanding of concepts, such as personhood. Being referred as a man, father and husband among the Igbo men do not just describe the biological features of a man. However, the titles signify an understanding of mutual obligations. It is the responsibility of a man to protect and feed his family. Failure to meet the requirements as a man will prevent an individual from mutual acceptance as a person. Laziness and weakness are unacceptable among the Igbo people (Irele and Biodun 235). An individual should be able to contribute to the community. Therefore, for an individual to be achieving personhood in the community, they should be ready to work hard and meet the obligations and needs of the community.
In conclusion, the concept of personhood varies among different communities. The difference in cultural attributes and obligations shows that the concept of personhood is not similar among different people. Cultural differentiation in regards to community practices and religion is a reason behind the difference in personhood. However, all communities have a concept of personhood that determines how individuals should behave and conduct their affairs in the community. The concept of personhood enables communities to identify the social roles of men, women and children. It helps communities to have a rich understanding of their obligations in the community. Without the concept of personhood, there would be no hierarchical structure in the community. The concept of personhood is a rich source of culture, which supports civilization.
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Appell-Warren, Laura P. Personhood: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept. , 2014. Print.
Irele, Abiola, and Biodun Jeyifo. The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought: Abol-impe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
Kohn, Eduardo. How Forests Think. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. Print.
Pollock, Donald. “Personhood And Illness Among The Kulina.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly, vol 10, no. 3, 1996, pp. 319-341.
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