• HISTORY: Be sure to include the historical background of your topic
• ESSENCE: your topic’s relation to the ESSENCE of Christianity aka what is its significance to the religion.
• PRESENT-FUTURE: reflect also on how your topic impacts Christianity’s present and future.
• Must include a proper introduction and conclusion (that contains thesis statement, summary and key statements)
• Section headings will be useful to improve flow.
• Length: 11 Pages excluding citations, times new roman size 12 font, double spaced
• Citations: APA style, Include page numbers in citations when possible.

Historical Background:
• Who and why was the first saint canonized (and why there were others deemed saints before him, prior to an official canonization)
• What is the Process historically? How was this determined?
Essence:
• What is the importance of a saint: duties, roles, effects, results of becoming a saint
• What is the meaning of a feast day? Why is it important
Present Future:
• What are current feast days that are celebrated in the mainstream society, even if non-religious (aka St. Patrick’s Day, St Valentine), how did they get to this point?
• Who was the last saint to be Canonized?
• Has the process of canonization changed or developed over the course of Christian History?
o In the past most, saints were canonized due to their acts of Martyr, dying for their religion, but now most are canonized for their good morale/holy actions and spreading of Christian messages/beliefs
• Do the Different Sects/ splits of Christianity treat saints Differently? If so How and Why? (Canonization within the Roman Catholic Church VS Glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church)(depending on space)

Preferred Resources (1-2 others can be added if you feel they are important)
1. For any/all biblical quotes use: http://bible.oremus.org/
2. “The Saints: A Short History”, by Simon Yarrow, 2016 first edition
• Talks about both history and modern day roles, also compares to other religions
3. “Why can the dead do such great things? Saints and worshippers from the martyrs to the reformation” by Robert Bartlett 2013, Princeton University press
4. “The Oxford Dictionary of Saints” by Farmer and David Hugh, 5th edition 2011.
• Speaks on many saints but more importantly the process of becoming a saint.
5. “ Becoming holy in early Canada”, By Pearson, Timothy G.
• Covers two modern day saints named in the 2000’s detailing how they went from being locally known to gaining the attention of Rome.
6. http://www.macleans.ca/news/how-does-someone-become-a-saint/
• Mother Teresa rise to becoming a saint
7. https://www.osv.com/Magazines/TheCatholicAnswer/Article/TabId/652/ArtMID/13618/ArticleID/20071/Saints-in-the-Christian-Tradition.aspx
• Brief history and development of becoming a saint, also touches on how the process of sainthood has hanged and developed throughout the years.
• And explains the different types of saints.

Sample Solution

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.

 

References

Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.