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Today in history class (Ancient civilization - 16th century) the professor started lecturing over the transition from oral communion/traditions to written communication/traditions as well as the rise of religion in city states.

At first he stated that there were pros and cons of oral communication as well as of written communications. He was explaining that oral communications were good because they were not not as time consuming in having to write it down, and also because it kept societies close together through such oral traditions and story telling. He explained that the biggest downside to oral communication is that the meaning of what was said greatly changes from one person to the next (he compared this to the game of apples, in which one person says one thing and by the time it gets to the third or fourth person the name that they heard was completely different such as orange or house) He explained that this is what made written traditions more effective. He explained that although it was more time consuming, since it was written down, the above mentioned thing of changing meanings and what people heard changing, did not occur as it did in regards to oral communications.

In the second half of the class the professor mentioned the rise of religion in the first city states. He explained that religion was used for power and for starting wars and suppressing people. He explained that rulers could make the pretext that a war or campaign was being fought because it was God's will. He explained that generally most people would not fight in a war if the rulers did not use the pretext that they were fighting because it was God's will.

Out of nowhere the professor started talking about the Catholic Mass and explained that the reason the Mass used to be in Latin, was so that the Church could keep people ignorant and exploited. he explained that by having the Mass in Latin the people would not be able to understand what was going on, thus the people would be ignorant.

It is primarly the third point that I feel that I should confront the professor. Should I send him an email or confront him at all. I wanted to confront him to his face after class but I am generally not really good at that. It tends to be easier for me to simply send an email or something like that.

Regardless of what you say, the Professor is going to be a condescending a-- hole about it. That's what secularist professors do.
Instead of confronting him, you can inform him of the reasons for the use and retention of Latin, perhaps sending him a link to Veterum Sapientia.

You don't have to be on war footing, do you?  It would decrease the chance that this professor will hear what you're saying.  He will just hear your anger.

Prudence is a virtue.
(10-13-2014, 03:54 PM)Papist Wrote: [ -> ]Regardless of what you say, the Professor is going to be a condescending a-- hole about it. That's what secularist professors do.

agree.  i confronted professors during my studies, and found that they generally didn't like having their authority questioned.  the question really lies on your relationship with the professor.... i guess, how you perceive his attitude to be...  are they open to constructive criticism and new ideas?

as a linguist, i would call b.s. on a guy who claims that the sole reason masses were done in latin was to keep people ignorant.  this is an especially dubious claim in romance language areas.  what's the reason for that?  why not just do mass in navajo or some language totally foreign if it was meant to keep people ignorant?  most romance language speakers can deduce the meaning of such a large number of latin words that this seems like a silly thing for your prof to say.

moreover, why did carl linnaeus use latin for his system of taxonomy?  why did so many scientific writers use latin?  why do we still use largely latin-derived names for species?  to keep people ignorant, or to allow the whole scientific community to participate?

just thoughts of mine.  i agree w/ clare that war footing isn't a great way to go about this, but it did get me riled up thinking about how silly this is.  :)
(10-13-2014, 04:07 PM)Clare Brigid Wrote: [ -> ]Instead of confronting him, you can inform him of the reasons for the use and retention of Latin, perhaps sending him a link to Veterum Sapientia.

You don't have to be on war footing, do you?  It would decrease the chance that this professor will hear what you're saying.  He will just hear your anger.

Prudence is a virtue.

I was planning on sending him an ecumenical email :LOL:

No but seriously I was planning on sending him a polite email explaining that as a fellow Catholic I feel offended that you used the following analogy of the Catholic Mass to explain your point on the fact that the Catholic Church was oppressive because of this. I was going to explain that it is true that because of human nature there are many people of bad will who truly want to do these things but that does not mean that the whole organization as a whole is like that.

I was also thinking about sending him a link to a website that explains the use of Latin in the Mass such as the one you included, as well as maybe 1 other such as Sancta Missa
Ancient civilization, 16th century? Did you mean 6th century?
In antiquity down to the middle ages the aristocracy was a military class, with few exceptions. So, this thing we think of today of an ideology that makes people go to war didn't played the same role, and, frankly, this is a major modern development, with the rise of nation states (so, basically, when religion just loses its social power).
Also, in the few exceptions that existed in antiquity, the armies were composed of mercenaries. Their motivations was money, and if God was involved at all it wasn't like this professor suggested, but rather something along the line of “God has sent me to punish you, so I'll rape and pillage”.

Regarding the Mass, did he show some documents that proved that ancient people or people in the high middle ages were more theologically ignorant than modern people and Protestants?
I doubt he did. And besides, many authors have already noted that until the high middle ages liturgy was not something restricted to the Mass, but something that shaped a person's whole life, every detail of it. So, catechesis, so to speak, was not restricted to the Mass (I suspect viewing the Mass primarily as a source of information is a modern development as well)

As to what you should do, I don't know. If it bothers you so much then do confront him;there's value in  courage, and if to you to stay silent means cowardice, then say something. But don't expect to be liked, as people have already noted, some college professor are more for indoctrination than for truth.

Ask him if that's why Jews worship in Hebrew? Are Jewish leaders trying to keep the Jews in the pews ignorant?

Ask why the Koran is in Arabic? What's up with that?

He might be down on all religion and answer consistently, but at least it'd let you know where he's coming from in that regard. If he answers consistently, you can then tell folks on campus that Professor So-and-So is teaching that Jewish leaders want to keep Jews in the pews ignorant so they can retain power over them. Then the ADL will take over from there.

This sounds like the masonic/relativistic version of history- not a balanced one.  Considering the innocent, holy people their kind murdered in the French revolution, I can't take them seriously.  This sounds like the professors I had- who mocked religion, and who never had anything good to say about anyone who represented the Church- never.  These are the kinds that portray the French revolution as a valiant, necessary, and desperate move by the innocent, starving peasants against the big bad Church and Monarchy.  (Last time I checked, the Martyrs of Compiegne- who have been beatified, by the way- were not murdered by those on the aristocracy's side...).  The whole field, as taught from a secular perspective, is so full of liberalism, secularism, and the "if we don't have legalized, subsidized abortions, then women everywhere are going to start jabbing themselves with coat hangers" mindset that I have no use for it.  I would not waste my time arguing with someone who has so deeply invested themselves into such filth.
Thanks for all the replies. This is the email I came up with. What do you guys think before I send it?

Hi my name is Arturo Ortiz and I currently attend the following class (World Civilizations to 16th Century ) on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 A.M

Earlier today you made a statement during your lecture that as a Catholic I found quite offensive. You stated in your lecture that the reason why the Catholic Church celebrated Mass in Latin was as a means of keeping the people from understanding what was going on since it was not in the vernacular. Thus by making this statement you also emphasized that the Church was keeping people "ignorant" and "oppressed". I found these statements quite offensive for several reasons. First and foremost I found them offensive as a Catholic and similarly for the fact that the Mass itself is still celebrated predominately in Latin. Lastly for the fact that what you stated is simply historically untrue.

In what basis did you make this argument? In other words what source document or historical understanding did you base your conclusions on. I can easily see by such ignorant statement that you do not have a good understanding on Ecclesiastical History and thus on the use of Latin in the Western Church or even in the world for that matter. Do you not think people like Thomas Aquinas or King Luis of France did not have the intelligence to follow a Mass in Latin? Is it because the Church wants to keep them ignorant? Or could it be that the Church has different Rites that date back to Ancient times and that are Sacred and at one point one (of the 22) rites was the Roman Rite, which because the spoken language at the time was Latin, celebrated Mass in Latin and continued to do so down the years as a sign of uniformity with the Western World.

Many people such as those mentioned above clearly had extensive educations which would have allowed them to understand what was going on in  Mass celebrated in Latin. Even the most ignorant would have been able to following a Mass in Latin, for the sole reason that they would have had a good understanding on the Catholic Faith and the nature of the Mass.

I do not think you are aware at the fact that there are still millions of Catholics (including myself) who still attend Masses celebrated completely in Latin. Are you telling me that the Church is trying to keep me ignorant or oppressed? Obviously if this was the reason then I would not attend such a place. Rather there are various reasons for why Mass is celebrated in Latin than those which you quickly assumed them to be.

On a similar note why do so many scientists use Latin? Or why do we have so many Latin-derived names for species and medical terms? Is it to keep us ignorant? Or is it because Latin has had tremendous influence in the Western World?I think I could extend this statement even to non- Latin languages. Why do Jews worship in Hebrew or Muslims in Arabic? It can't surely be that all these people are being oppressed because these languages are also not the vernacular?

I would suggest you check the following links to understand why Catholic Masses are celebrated in Latin other than the reasons you gave
Your email sounds a bit aggressive tbh, mate. Probably best to tone down the combativeness of it ;)
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