My name is Jacob Simons and I am currently studdiying Religion and Theology at Bristol University. I have always thoroughly enjoyed essay based subjects, such as R.S, English and History. Therefore, I could be of a lot of help teaching you how to effectively structure an essay and formulate an argument.
I understand that these subjects require one to learn huge amounts of information, whether it be quotes, dates or anything else. For that reason, I will teach you the methods I have aquired over the years that have enabled me to remember endless facts for exams. In addition, I will devise fun, quick fire tests that will make absolutely sure the information is drilled into your head.
We will then discuss how to construct this information into a well structured, coherant essay that conisitently answers the question at hand.
I hope the sessions will be very beneficial and equally as fun!
Can I help you apply for university?
I most certainly can. I have been through the UCAS process twice, due to a decision to change courses and thus I am very well schooled at what makes a good personal statement. I will help you 'wow' the reader immediately and help you illustrate how you have a real passion for the course you are applying for.
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William Orange was committed to the Dutch revolt for an array of reasons. Originally he wanted the aristocracy to regain their traditional right to power. However, the Duke of Alva’s personal offence to Orange, sequestering his properties, abducting his son to Spain and executing Egmont and Hornes had a great effect. Orange became consumed with a grim determination to commit himself to a struggle against ‘Spanish tyranny’. He didn’t want “to see a man burnt for doing as he though right…for this is a matter of conscience.” This ideology of Orange morphed him and the Dutch people into a small but powerful force, one that could not be defeated by 1584. Of course there were other factors that contributed to the division; Orange’s policies were just as effective in unifying the north as they were in alienating the south. Furthermore, the persecution of Catholics by Dutch Calvinists helped push the South into the hands of the Spanish.
Orange’s success in keeping Holland and Zeeland united and not allowing their particularist differences to polarise them was crucial to the revolt. Even in 1585, when the Duke of Parma’s Reconquista has achieved much success, Holland and Zeeland were still united and free from Spanish rule. Orange had constantly persisted in saying that a Spanish victory would result in a fate worse then enslavement imposed on the American Indians. Thus, through motivation such as this, the provinces remained united. The various conflicting interests could have easily led to a state of anarchy, as seen to some extent after the Pacification of Ghent (1576). However, Orange was instrumental in prohibiting this. Nevertheless, it wasn’t just in Holland and Zeeland that he kept parts of society under control.
Orange’s ability to inspire and control all parts of society was an asset that allowed him to maintain resistance against the Spanish. He kept the control of the Urban magistrates by allowing them to arrest and dismiss Lumey along with his closest assistants. The de facto alternative to Spanish rule realised the crucial importance of retaining the support of the urban magistrates, who through their representatives in the States of Holland provided almost all the funds needed for military effort. Furthermore, Orange’s close cooperation with the urban oligarchies ensured that in Holland, in contrast to what happened later on in Flanders and Brabant, the religious and political radicals never took control of the revolt, which as a result gained in strength. Orange subscribed to the view that the revolt was fought for liberties and not for religions sake.
However, this ideology was just as effective at keeping the southern provinces from uniting with the North. Paradoxically policies which should have promoted unity, such as freedom of religion for all, alienated the conservative south. The brief unity in 1576 was the exception but not the rule and religion was not the cause of the Pacification of Ghent. In fact it was left out of the agreements. Therefore, Orange’s perseverance in campaigning for freedom of religion was not shared by other members of the Nobility, in particular Aerschot. This is partly because it became associated with the radicals who persecuted Catholics. Orange was not able to prevent these acts of terror and this further strengthened the conservatives in their resolve to make peace with Philip. Many Catholic landowners were also frightened off by the radicalism of Holland and Zeeland where Calvinism was the official religion (after the Synod of Dort) and where their God given ruler, Phillip II, was overthrown by the Act of abjuration in 1581. However, Orange is not fully responsible for the division between the North and the South by 1585.
The Duke of Parma’s military skill caused more provinces to come under the control of Spain once again, whilst Holland, Zeeland and part of Utrecht remained free. He went about his campaign with a combination of repression and negotiation. Bribery, blockade and brutality were all used in equal measure. Aast and Bruges falling in 1583 and Ghent and Brussels falling in 1584 illustrate the success of this. Parma was a master of diplomacy, unlike Alva, and therefore Ghent and Bruges were taken with minimal fighting. Consequently, division in the Netherlands was partly due to his ability to win back certain provinces.
Therefore, one has to see William of Orange as crucial to the division in 1585. He was both the catalyst in creating division and the key to keeping it. Others shared his passion but Orange was the leader with the right skills to stop anarchy and maintain unity in the North. Unfortunately, the radical Calvinists were responsible for keeping the south from unifying with the North combined with Orange who was associated with them. He even allowed them to arrest Aerschot. However, the Duke of Parma’s skill in further prohibiting the South from unifying with the Northern provinces cannot be ignored.see more
Religion has always been something I have been aware of, and subsequently interested in. One could put this down to the religious diversity in my family. Being the product of a Jewish father and Catholic mother has allowed me to gain an equal insight into two major religions and consequently helped to spark a passion in something I now wish to pursue. I have been able to compare first hand these two Abrahamic faiths, which share many similarities but are ultimately so different, and I have immersed myself in festivals such as Passover and Easter. I believe this is the underlying reason why I have always been fascinated by the study of different religions.
In order to understand the history of Western and Eastern culture, an in-depth study of religion is essential. This became apparent to me when I studied the Crusades. I was fascinated by the extreme religious fervour Pope Urban II managed to create in 1095, yet I struggled with the idea that a religion which preaches, “love your neighbour as yourself”, could also drive thousands of Christians to kill in the name of God. Therefore I feel compelled to gain a more rigorous understanding of religion, in an attempt to understand the contradictions that exist within individual religions.
Not only is the study Religion and Theology crucial to understanding our past but it also has a large influence over welfare and continues to be a subject prominent in today’s society. I first came to realise this through the commentaries of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, one of the world’s leading broadcasters on the Middle East. I was so inspired by her programmes that I applied and succeeded in obtaining work experience with her in New York. Spending time with the woman who interviewed the extreme Islamist Ayatollah Khamenei, amongst other Middle Eastern dictators, cemented my desire to study Religion and Theology at University. In conversation with Amanpour, I learnt first hand the background to some of today’s religious conflicts and it has determined me to seek a deeper understanding into the intricacies of religious doctrine.
My interest in religion in the modern world led me to read some of John Hick’s writings. On a personal level, I was thoroughly interested by his explanations of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism due to my mixed faith background. If God was exclusive, that would mean only one side of my family would have the possibility of eternal life. I was always sure this couldn’t be right, since it was unjust in my view, but at the same time I couldn’t understand how two different religions, with conflicting views, could both be paths to salvation. However, after reading Hick, this complex issue, which I have often tangled with, began to make sense. To believe God is exclusive is to deny that he is gracious and merciful. A merciful God would not deny eternal life to billions of people simply because of the faith that they were born into. Hick stresses the point that people are born into a faith; they do not simply choose it and therefore it would be unjust of God to punish them for it.
Hick’s theories are also of interest to me because they are applicable to current crises. He makes the point that so much conflict is intensified by religious feud because each faith has traditionally made its own absolute claim to be the one and only true faith. Through such methodology, alternate religions could perhaps learn to co-exist in harmony. Thus I want to study the works of different scholars more closely because their theories have the potential to have a great effect on current society.
I won the school Theology prize during both my GCSE year and A level year, as well as achieving 100% UMS in both my AS papers. I believe this is illustrative of my commitment to the subject.see more