The Acts of the Apostles Essay

The Acts of the Apostles Essay

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The Acts of the Apostles

(a) Explore Peter’s contribution to the issue of prejudice and
sectarianism.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Although many of us may think that the issues of prejudice and
sectarianism are new, the Acts of the Apostles shows clearly religious
intolerance over two thousand years ago. In this respect, it is
comparable and instructive for moral life in the twenty-first century.
One of the most influential characters in Acts, who is closely linked
to the issues of bigotry, is Peter. However, before I look at his
role, two key words must be defined. Firstly, prejudice is defined by
the Oxford Concise Dictionary (10th edition) as:

A pre-conceived idea held about someone or some group that is not
based on reason, knowledge or actual experience 1; while Cecilia Clegg
and Joseph Liechty define sectarianism as: a system of attitudes,
actions, beliefs and structures that is expressed in destructive
patterns of relating 2

It is also important to realise that: Sectarianism always involves
religion. The involvement may be an historic one that has long been
forgotten, but it is this origin that distinguishes it from purely
political discrimination.3

It is impossible to argue that Peter was not involved in the issue of
prejudice but what was his exact role? What persecution did he himself
suffer, or even worse, what discrimination did he himself perpetrate?
And most importantly, what sectarianism did Peter help the Church
overcome?

Peter, we already know, had been given the “the keys to the gates of
heaven” in Matthew 16v19 and in Acts 2 the reader sees him first use
th...


... middle of paper ...


...r and Stoughton,
Acts15v8-9

18. Holy Bible, New International Version, Hodder and Stoughton,
Acts6v1

19. Holy Bible, New International Version, Hodder and Stoughton,
Galatians2v12

20. Cecilia Clegg and Joseph Liechty, “Moving Beyond Sectarianism”,
Columba, P107

21. Speech given to Ploughshare

22. John Stott, “The Message of Acts”, IVP, P60

23. Cecilia Clegg and Joseph Liechty, “Moving Beyond Sectarianism”,
Columba, P198

24. Holy Bible, New International Version, Hodder and Stoughton,
Proverbs29v18

25. Cecilia Clegg and Joseph Liechty, “Moving Beyond Sectarianism”,

26. Speech given by Estelle Morris MP to Church of England General
Synod

27. John Dunlop, “A Precarious Belonging”, The Black Staff Press, P46

28. John Dunlop, “A Precarious Belonging”, The Black Staff Press, P113

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The Acts of the Apostles Essay

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