|It's pronounced Vorms, not Worms. And it wasn't that important.|
Well, it wasn't about the Concordat of Worms, they did get pretty specific.
Set 6: Church History
NO EXTERNAL RESOURCES
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church begins its definition of a council as: "A formal meeting of bishops and representatives of several churches convened for the purpose of regulating doctrine or discipline." (ODCC, 3rd ed., , p. 422)
The authority and impact of three "councils," thus broadly construed, form the basis of this question.
1. The Council of Nicaea (325)
2. The King in Parliament in relation to the Church of England in 1533
3. The General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in 1789
A. Choose two of the three "councils." In two essays of approximately 250 words each, set each one in its historical context, describing the circumstances for calling the "council," the issue(s) that the "council" had to address, and the impact of the "council."
B. In an essay of approximately 500 words, compare the sources, exercise and reception of the authority of the Council of Nicaea to the sources, exercise and reception of the authority of another "council" you have chosen.
C. Based on your discussion, evaluate in an essay of not more than 500 words how successful Church "councils" have been in regulating doctrine and discipline.
|You and Lloyd...how did that "happen"?|
2) But on to the question itself, which Crusty will break down by each subsection. But overall, Crusty likes it. Some might opine that this question is asking people to do too much. As one reader pointed out, a previous question gave a 500 word limit for a response, and just one of Crusty's several digressions was 227 words. Hell, point #1 above was over 500 words, which is more than is allowed in section C! Keep in mind, this is a "No Resources" question, and you're asking people to do this from memory -- so if the General Board outlines a fair expectation for readers of what should be covered within these word limit constraints, this should be OK. So let's take them in order.
2A) You basically just have to hit each point with one sentence -- historical context, circumstances for calling the council, issues addressed, and impact. You write one decent sentence or two on each of these, that's your 250 words for the section. It's not like they included the the Council of Lyons or the Latrocinium (look it up!), as a standard for competency, COD would hope students could come up with 250 words on two of these three "councils" at this stage in their education. They even give you an out by making you only choose 2 of 3. Crusty hopes students of his who may have been bored to tears by his breaking down of the 1789 General Convention are praising him.
Sidebar: COD ponders how the GOE format might make it harder to answer the questions. COD tells students that the GOE is as much an exam of test-taking as anything else: you're not being asked to write a paper or argue you a point, you're being asked to show competency based on the question asked. ANSWER the question, exactly as asked, is Crusty's first and last point in GOE prep. Crusty mentioned he failed the history section of the GOE, which is funny because he got a ThM and PhD in church history. Well, that, in part, explains why. He knows you may find it hard to believe, but when he took it Crusty thought the history question was stupid and instead of answering the question tried to argue a point. Kids, don't do as Crusty did. Anyway: when you used to get the question in hard copy format, either when it was handed to you, or when they experimented with emailing it to people, you could have it in front of you, scribble on it, outline it, underline it. COD, for instance, would underline each of the four things asked for, x2 for each example, in 2A. He wonders if candidates will have a harder time answering the question when asked if they don't print it out and keep it in front of them.
On to the next subsection.
2B) This portion acknowledges the differences in what constitutes a "council" by asking to differentiate between Nicaea and another council that should have been chosen in 2A by the candidate -- thus a kind of stealth deconstruction of the whole term "council." Bravo, GOE. You introduced a term you acknowledge to be problematic and in the question itself ask candidates to point out the very differences in the constitution and authority of "councils". Thereby co-deconstructing. Very Foucaldian of you. Nicely played. COD does feel the need to point out that if you choose options 2 and 3 in 2A, you still have to know from Nicaea in 2B. Which is fine; if a working knowledge of Nicaea isn't something somebody's picked up by now, then we got problems somewhere in the system. Of course, if a candidate actually reads and outlines the question, they can simplify things by choosing Nicaea as one of the options in 2A so they don't have to end up writing something about all three examples. Which then leads to
|Councils are not only in ages past.|
In sum, though, Crusty is pleased (yes, it does happen). GOEs seem to be on an upswing: COD approved of the theology question and, in general, approves of this question.