Professor S. Davis

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Dogma and “Salvation”

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Professor S. Davis

Due: Sunday, November 15, 2020


Please read these instructions thoroughly. Please follow these instructions. This is your Major Assignment essay #3. Please proofread your final copy before you hand the essay in, as this will make a world of difference. It is Due Sunday, November 15, 2020 by 11:59 pm. If you have any questions or you are confused, do not hesitate to email me, but please do not wait until the last minute.

You were assigned to read the short story “Salvation” by Langston Hughes. This is a short story, and it is a non-fiction (true) account of young Langston Hughes experience with his belief system (religion). It seems as if his experience in this story makes him believe there is “no Jesus because He didn’t come save me (from the hot church)” and you also had the opportunity to see the story acted out in a short video. Salvation is defined as preservation or deliverance of harm, ruin or loss, speaking in a secular basis. However, on a theological (religious) definition it is said the deliverance from sin and its consequences believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ. Salvation may also be called deliverance or redemption from sin and its effects. It is also said that Langston Hughes wrote about his “salvation” in his autobiography The Big Sea, and this experience lead him to become an atheist…an individual absence of belief in the existence of deities, one who has no commitment to believe in God.

Dogma is an official system of principles or doctrines of a religion, such as Roman Catholicism. Dogma is often defined as principles or rules that cannot be questioned, or articles of faith in different religions. An example of dogma is the Ten Commandments in the Christian faith. The movie Dogma, is the story that revolves around two fallen angels who plan to employ an alleged loophole in Catholic dogma to return to Heaven after been cast out by God, but as existence is founded on the principle that God is infallible, their success would prove God wrong, thus undoing all creation. (See big Summary; I will send in separate announcement.)

There are several important quotes from the movie Dogma that deserve some critical thought:

Rufus (the 13th apostle): (talking about God) “He still digs humanity, but it bothers Him to see the shit that gets carried out in His name-wars, bigotry, televangelism. But especially the fashioning od all religions. He said mankind got it all wrong; they took a good idea, and like always, built a belief structure of it. I think it is better to have ideas. You can change ideas. Changing a belief is a bit trickier…”

We can see this as a sense of growing and getting a better understanding of things, people and even situations.

Loki (a fallen angel): (speaking to the board members) “Do you know what makes a human decent? Fear. And therein lies the problem. None of you have anything left to fear anymore.”

Serendipity (the muse): “When are you people going to learn? It’s not about who is right or wrong. No denomination has nailed it, because they’re all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn’t matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains gotta wake up.”

Bartleby (fallen angel): “The humans have besmirched everything bestowed on them. They were given Paradise, and they threw it away. They were given this planet, they destroyed it. They were favored best among all His endeavors, and some of them do not even believe He exists. And in spite of it all, He shows them infinite fucking patience at every turn. What about us? I ask you…once to lay down the sword because I felt sorry for them. What was the result? Our expulsion from Paradise. Where was His infinite fucking patience then? It’s not right; it is not fair! We have paid our debt. Don’t you think it is time for us to go home….”


Assignment: With the aforementioned information, think about your life’s philosophy-your overall vision or attitude towards life and the purpose of it. It is believed that without a personal philosophy, we end up living without direction. A personal philosophy is a set of guiding principles that individual lives by. It influences everything from the words you say, to the steps you take, and even things you purchase or not purchase. An individual’s philosophy brings the important questions to the table and works toward an answer. In the movie, Dogma, Bethany, the last scion of Christ, asked God “why are we here?” It encourages us to think critically about the world; it is the foundation of all knowledge and when utilized properly, can provide an individual with huge benefits. Choose only A or B as your prompt.

Did reading and seeing the short video “Salvation” by Langston Hughes encourage you to think about your religion and/or philosophy of life? Why or why not? Explain your answers in a well-developed essay.

Did seeing the satirical movie Dogma encourage you to think critically about your religion and/or religion and /or philosophy of life? Why or why not? Explain your answers in a well-developed essay.

Use either piece of the literature (readings, movies) and/or all, along with your own philosophy. The above quotes are good talking points (springboards) to help motivate your thinking. Remember this is a formal academic paper written in MLA format. It includes a Works Cited page. Use the Purdue Owl LAb as your reference. Please take your time and proofread.

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