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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
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Is Deep in the Heart of Texas
ISEC 2005

Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress
International Special Education Conference
Inclusion: Celebrating Diversity?

1st - 4th August 2005. Glasgow, Scotland
about the conference
Equality of Opportunity as a Rationale for Inclusive Education

Dr. Christian Liesen
Institute for Special Education – University of Zurich, Switzerland
Hirschengraben 48, CH-8001 Zurich

This paper seeks to discuss whether the principle of equality of opportunity could serve as a rationale for inclusive education. The first section aims at positioning the topic within the inclusive education discourse, narrowing down the scope. The second section presents a brief analysis of the notion of ‘equality of opportunity’ as well as some of its implications, while the third section addresses the question of how we are to know whether opportunities are equal. The last section seeks to draw some conclusions with respect to inclusive education. – It should be pointed out that the paper is solely meant for discussion.

1. The case for inclusive education: reasons and rationales

Many arguments have been brought forward to strengthen the case for inclusive education. Yet it is not always easy to follow the lines of reasoning, and little reflection is needed to notice certain contradictions and ambiguities and a good deal of eclecticism in the literature. The crux is, as Alan Dyson observed, that

(i)nclusion is different from many other fields of inquiry in that it is premised on an answer rather than a question. That ‘answer’, of course, is that inclusive education is superior in one or other way to non-inclusive education. The strength in this position is that it enables a relatively young field to define and advance itself in the face of considerable hostility. (…) The danger, however, is that it becomes all too easy for thinking on inclusion to descend from analysis to polemic, and for certain values and beliefs to become ossified, ultimately to the detriment of those marginalized groups on whose interests the inclusion movement claims to act. ( Dyson, 1999, p. 43f. )

Dyson has suggested to distinguish between two different but intersecting dimensions of the inclusive education movement: One is primarily concerned with providing a rationale for inclusion, whereas the other concentrates on the realisation of inclusion. Each dimension can again be subdivided into different discourses as follows. A rationale for inclusive education is either sought with reference to rights and social justice or by rigorously questioning the efficacy of special education (while claiming the superiority of inclusive education). The realisation of inclusion is frequently discussed either with respect to the political struggle for the implementation of inclusive education, or it is concerned with what inclusive education looks like inpractice (cf. Dyson, 1999, pp. 38-43 ). It is safe to say that these two dimensions / four discourses deliver a felicitous depiction of the inclusion debate’s crucial building blocks.

This paper is concerned with adumbrating the question whether equality of opportunity could serve as a rationale for inclusive education. It belongs, hence, in the context of the rights and social justice discourse. Concededly, the most important (and most interesting) question would actually be how the different building blocks interrelate, or ought to interact, in order to achieve progress in the field. Dyson does offer some very sensible and perspicacious suggestions on this (cf. ibid., pp. 44-48). The line of reasoning chosen here, by contrast, will allow only for a few rather cautious remarks in the final part of the paper. Proposed is the idea of merging, in a way, ethical considerations and empirical research in order to substantiate the case for inclusive education. As a consequence, some fundamental policy issues will emerge, alongside certain difficulties inherent to the rhetoric of inclusion.

2. Equality of opportunity

Let us shed, as a first step, some light on the principle of equality of opportunity. Peter Westen (1990) has presented an illuminating formal analysis. He states that opportunity

designates both a single concept and a multiplicity of conceptions. Each opportunity is like every other in that all opportunities reflect a certain formal relationship among agents, obstacles, and goals; but each opportunity also differs from other opportunities in that each is a relationship among particular agents, particular obstacles, and particular goals. ( Westen, 1990 , p. 171, italics added)

This may seem simple enough. Nevertheless, an important point with respect to the rhetoric of opportunity is already implied here: When opportunities are stated as a reason for, say, political action, speakers often do not specify the particular agents, obstacles, and/or goals they have in mind. Such a speech may still meet with approval although the underlying conceptions of speaker and listener may turn out to be radically different on closer examination. Rhetorical difficulties like these should be kept in mind.

Equal opportunities do not lead to equal outcomes. On the contrary, equal opportunities lead to inequality. There is sense in which a strong commitment to equality of opportunity is incompatible with equality of outcomes, and a society that aims at equalising opportunity is very different from a society that aims at equalising outcomes. The reason is that

(a)n ‘opportunity’ to attain a goal is a chance to attain a goal, not necessarily a guarantee of attaining it. Insofar as people have opportunities that are less than guarantees of what they wish, some of them will inevitably attain goals that others fail to attain. To create equal opportunity, therefore, is virtually always to allow people ‘to become unequal by competing against [their] fellows.’ (Westen, 1990, p. 176f.)

That equality of opportunity leads to inequality has some deeper implications. It can be argued that opportunities express and deliver a certain kind of liberty or freedom which is essential for society and which can not be achieved otherwise. Equality of opportunity is indispensable. T.D. Campbell enunciates the point as follows:

An opportunity may be said to occur when an agent is in a situation in which he may choose whether or not to perform some effortful act which is considered to be desirable in itself or as means to the attainment of some goal which is considered to be desirable. An opportunity is thus a type of liberty or freedom for it involves the absence of prohibitions or obstacles limiting what agents may or can do or acquire. […] (A)n opportunity is something which the agent may or may not take advantage of depending on whether or not he chooses to do so. One of the points about describing a situation as an opportunity is that this indicates that the outcome of the situation depends in part on the choices made by the person who has the opportunity. Opportunities can always be missed or passed up, neglected or rejected. Of course I may be forced to have an opportunity (as when I was compelled to go to school) but it is not an opportunity which I am forced to have if the attainment of the desired goal does not depend to some extent on my choices, that is, for instance, if whether or not I become educated as distinct from go to school, does not depend to some extent on my own volitions. If education as such could be compelled then we would not speak of educational opportunity, at least not in those cases where it is compelled. ( Campbell, 1975, p. 51/54, italics added )

It is true, of course, that not all opportunities are of particular concern to us. People do not care for all kinds of opportunities; they care first and foremost for educational and occupational opportunities. A ‘fair’ or ‘equal’ distribution of opportunities is relevant and vital especially in these domains. What comes into play here, then, is that equality of opportunity must be seen as a matter of distributive justice. A just society will usually seek to equalise opportunities in the sense of distributing them fair an equal. It is worth noticing, however, that opportunities can not be created or distributed at will. Westen notes that

creating one opportunity may mean denying another. Thus, whenever a society creates an opportunity by removing an obstacle that affects people differentially, it denies people the opportunity to benefit from the differential. And, whenever a society creates an opportunity by removing human obstacles, it denies people the opportunity to exploit those obstacles. This does not mean that societies should refrain from creating opportunities. It means, rather, that … the significant question for opportunity is not ‘Whether opportunity?’ but ‘Which opportunities?’ (Westen, 1990, p. 171)

Consequently and in most cases, with equality of opportunity as a rationale for inclusive education, apparently interests will have to be balanced. The interests of those who are excluded from participating effectively in society – of which the education system forms an essential part – will have to be weighed against the interests of those who are successful within such a framework and ‘benefit from the given differential’. A society will therefore have to deliberate about equalising opportunities, which is, ultimately, a democratic process (belonging to the realisation dimension).

It should be emphasized, however, that when a mismatch between a person’s situation and what may be called the dominant cooperative framework of society occurs, the results may be devastating. Being excluded from participating in the most basic interactions and cooperation of society strongly calls for compensation and adjustment. On this basic level, the interest in inclusion will by and large outweigh the interests of those who may be deprived of being as successful as they could be otherwise. If people are denied basic opportunities in this sense, they will normally be in the position of making strong claims in the cause of justice. But the question of particular interest is then, of course, ‘How do we know they are denied these opportunities?’, or more general, ‘How do we know whether opportunities are equal or not?’, e.g. in an education system.

3. How do we know when opportunities are equal?

We have seen so far that we should focus our attention on educational and occupational opportunities; that opportunities secure individual liberty and freedom and lead, consequently, to inequalities; and that equality of opportunity is a matter of distributive justice and may result in strong claims of justice in at least some cases. But on what grounds is it legitimate to judge whether opportunities are equal or not? How do we assess and evaluate equality of opportunity, especially with respect to inclusive education?

There is a substantive answer to this question. Any inquiry into whether opportunities in a given society are equal or not – or within parts of a society, such as the education system – will have to start from ascertainable inequalities under the prevailing circumstances. These inequalities will have to be sufficiently and adequately described in a way that most people would agree is accurate. (We will look at an example in a moment.)

The crucial point to be addressed will be whether or not the portrayed inequalities indicate that the principle of equality of opportunity has been violated. Onora O’Neill (1977) has argued that two different positions suggest themselves. One may be called the ‘formal’ (or ‘liberal’) position. It stresses that inequalities are due to the fact that people may choose to or refrain from taking advantage of the opportunities at hand. The members of society may be extremely unequal in educational and occupational attainment, but if so, it must be the result of the varying capacities, volitions, and desires of those to whom the respective selection procedures are applied. Once the distributive and selective procedures are fair, there is nothing left to complain about. As O’Neill points out,

(s)uch an ‘equal-opportunity society’ would … not be characterized by equal incomes or equal property holdings or equal standards of living or of education. (…) Equal opportunity in the formal sense does not ensure equal success or equal health or equal status, but only the fair application of the rules governing the pursuit of such goods. This is the equality of opportunity of … a society in which there are winners and losers, and in which winning appears often as merited by the winners and losing as deserved by the losers – for did they not all have equal opportunity to win? ( O'Neill, 1977 , p. 180)

The other position may be called the ‘substantive’ (or ‘egalitarian’) position. It stresses that inequalities must not indicate a disproportionate success of certain social groups in a society. Instead, all major social groups – but not all individuals – must fare equally well.

An equal-opportunity society on the substantive view is one in which the success rates of all major social groups are the same. (…) A strong commitment to substantive equality of opportunity demands that any under-representation of some group in some line of employment / income group / educational group be due solely to the unmanipulated choice of members of that group. (…) Substantively equal opportunity is achieved when the success rates of certain major social groups – such as the two sexes, various ethnic groups and perhaps various age groups – are equalized. It is not breached when there are large differences between the most- and least-successful members of these groups, provided that there are equally large differences between the most- and least-successful members of other major social groups. It is not true in a society which aims at substantively equal opportunities that all individuals have the same chance of any given type of success. For individuals are all members of many differently defined groups, and substantive equality of opportunity seeks only to equalize their chances qua members of certain major social groups; it seeks to eliminate inter-group differences, but not to alter intra-group ones. ( O'Neill, 1977 , p. 181-83)

This position is ready to acknowledge that people’s perspectives in life are not exclusively ascribable to a person’s capacities, volitions, and desires. As a matter of fact, there are disadvantages which are undeserved and beyond individual control, such as being disabled or of old age. The ‘substantive’ position is concerned with identifying adequate characteristics of major social groups to enable sound comparisons and call for compensation where needed.

To illustrate, a good example are some results from the PISA study (cf. The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an internationally standardised assessment that was jointly developed by the participating countries (30 OECD member states plus 13 associated countries in the first assessment in 2000; at least 58 countries will participate in the next assessment in 2006). PISA claims to assess “how far students near the end of compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in society.” The idea is to give information about the capacities and the potential of education systems. Does an education system prepare students well?

It is only recently that OECD has published some findings concerning equity and quality in the light of the PISA 2000 results. The report states that

(i)n sum, PISA 2000 results show that students in integrated education systems perform, on average, better than those in selective education systems, and that their educational performance is less dependent on their background. Many factors may be at play here. A higher average performance suggests that the more heterogeneous student groups or classes in integrated education systems could have a beneficial effect for the lower-performing students. Also, the flexibility offered by an integrated system may allow students to improve their performance while keeping their academic options open. ( OECD, 2005 , p. 89)

In the main findings section, the report reads:

A striking result was the advantage that comprehensive education systems appear to have in terms of student performance (quality). PISA 2000 results suggest that the performance of students enrolled in comprehensive education systems is less dependent on their socio-economic background. ( ibid., p. 94)

From the perspective of equality of opportunity, it is not so much the aspect of performance (‘quality’) that is of interest here but rather the aspect of uncoupling socio-economic background and performance (‘equity’). There are some countries – Germany is a sad example – in which the social background of a student has a very strong impact (‘predictive power’) on student performance. This means, to put the matter bluntly, that it is not a student’s capacity to perform that determines what he or she will achieve, but first and foremost his or her socio-economic background. The result is that students with a low social background are manifestly underrepresented on the higher levels of the education system.

The ‘liberal’ position has no option but to ascribe this situation to individual factors, say, motivation or ability. This is highly implausible, at least in the case of countries that have had to experience a rude awakening by PISA, such as Germany or Switzerland. ‘Substantive’ equality of opportunity, on the other hand, is precisely concerned with cases like these: Members of a major social group – i.e., students with a lower socio-economic background – are disadvantaged due to factors that are undeserved and beyond individual control, while other groups display disproportionate success. This does call for an equalisation of opportunities.

4. Equality of opportunity and inclusive education: some considerations

In the final part of this paper, I would like to draw some conclusions concerning equality of opportunity and inclusive education.

First, I think that equality of opportunity can serve as a rationale for inclusive education if and only if inclusion is understood in the sense of equity. This would mean to adopt the substantive view of equal opportunity, and will require to provide empirical evidence to show that a major social group of society is indeed undeservedly disadvantaged. It would also mean to suggest that some form of inclusive education is the right course of action to take.

Second, to provide a rationale for inclusive education is obviously very different from the realisation of inclusive education. It should be kept in mind that other interests will have to be allowed for as well and that there might be considerable opposition, even if the claims could compellingly be shown to be legitimate ones. This should not belie the fact, however, that being in the position to provide a rationale for inclusive education is very different from simply claiming that it is right. It is precisely because different and mutually incompatible interests are involved that arguments have to be provided (and there are some highly interesting contributions in this kind of spirit, for example Booth & Ainscow, 1998; Pijl, Meijer & Hegarty, 1997; Vitello & Mithaug, 1998 ).

Third, if this idea bears any validity at all, it has to be pointed out that the rhetoric of inclusion tends to disguise some fundamental points here, especially in relation to policy. For example, the rhetoric of ‘celebrating diversity’ tends to downplay the fact that different legitimate interests are involved and have to be balanced. Cause for concern gives also the factor that any policy perspective will always have to operate along the lines of defining social groups. It may come as a surprise that this is not only due to administrative reasons (cf. Dever, 1990 ) but is also demanded from an ethically informed perspective. There are no claims of distributive justice – and hence no rationale for inclusive education – without the construction of social groups. The talk of heterogeneity isn’t much help in these matters, the more so as it quite often blurs who is thought to be the target group of inclusion within the inclusive education discourse.

Fourth, it will be as unavoidable as it is fruitful to strive to merge ethical considerations and empirical research in some respect. The idea behind this is that an empirical basis is indispensable in order to substantiate claims, while at the same time ethical considerations are indispensable to provide a sensible interpretative framework for empirical findings and to draw sound conclusions. One main feature of these arguments, reasons and rationales is that they must be eligible to convince others on grounds they can not reasonably reject – to convincingly argue the case.

Fifth, there seems to be a broad consensus that inclusive education has to be conceptualised as a general education topic, not as another issue of special education. Equality of opportunity might help us to engross the implications of what this actually means. It might help us to see the big picture.

Sixth, it has to be pointed out that there is not one choice in these matters, but many. There is no unequivocal course of action to take. Dyson’s proposal to talk not of inclusion, but of inclusions, and to seek not a single form but a wide range of inclusive practice and organisation (1999, p. 46), deserves a good deal more of attention. Moreover, I think the field of special education should be very serious about Seamus Hegarty’s remark that inclusive education has to be about changing and modifying system in a way that preserves all its strengths (cf. Hegarty, 1998 , p. 156).


BOOTH T. & AINSCOW M. (eds.) (1998) From Them to Us. An International Study of Inclusion in Education. London: Routledge.

CAMPBELL T.D. (1975) Equality of Opportunity. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 75, 51-68.

DEVER R.B. (1990) Defining Mental Retardation from an Instructional Perspective. Mental Retardation 28 (3), 147-53.

DYSON A. (1999) Inclusion and Inclusions: Theories and Discourses in Inclusive Education. IN Daniels H. & Garner P. (eds.) World Yearbook of Education 1999: Inclusive Education. London: Kogan, 36-53.

HEGARTY S. (1998) Challenges to Inclusive Education: A European Perspective. IN Vitello S. & Mithaug D.E. (eds.) Inclusive Schooling: National and International Perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 151-65.

O'NEILL O. (1977) How Do We Know When Opportunities Are Equal? IN Vetterling-Braggin M., Elliston F.A. & English J. (eds.) Feminism and Philosophy. Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 177-89.

OECD (2005) School Factors Related to Quality and Equity. Results from Pisa 2000. Paris: OECD.

PIJL S.J., MEIJER C. & HEGARTY S. (eds.) (1997) Inclusive Education: A Global Agenda. London: Routledge.

VITELLO S. & MITHAUG D.E. (eds.) (1998) Inclusive Schooling. National and International Perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

WESTEN P. (1990) Speaking of Equality. An Analysis of the Rhetorical Force of Equality in Moral and Legal Discourse. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

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Labels: Angels from the Promised land, Anno Domini, Mary Magdalene, Sang Real, Swift Hand of God
Monday, March 3, 2008
Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi ("In the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ").

Is Deep in the Heart of Texas~

Anno Domini
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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"AD" redirects here. For other uses, see AD (disambiguation).
Dionysius Exiguus invented Anno Domini years to date Easter.
Dionysius Exiguus invented Anno Domini years to date Easter.

Anno Domini [1] (Medieval Latin: In the year of the/(Our) Lord),[2][3] abbreviated as AD or A.D., is a designation used to number years in the Christian Era, conventionally used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars.[4][not in citation given] More fully, years may be also specified as Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi ("In the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ").

The calendar era which it numbers is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus. Before Christ, abbreviated as BC or B.C., is used in the English language to denote years before the start of this epoch.

Though the Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525, it was not until the 8th century that the system began to be adopted in Western Europe. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, even popes continued to date documents according to regnal years, and usage of AD only gradually became more common in Europe from the 11th to the 14th centuries.[5] In 1422, Portugal became the last Western European country to adopt the Anno Domini system.[5]

Year numbering using the Anno Domini system (or its related Common Era (CE) designation) is the most widespread numbering system in the world today. For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union. Its preeminence is due to the European colonisation of the Americas and the subsequent global spread of Western civilisation with the introduction of European standards in the fields of science and administration. Its association with the Gregorian calendar was another factor which promoted the spread of the numbering system.

Traditionally, English copied Latin usage by placing the abbreviation before the year number for AD, but after the year number for BC; for example: 64 BC, but AD 2008. However, placing the AD after the year number (as in 2008 AD) is now also common. The abbreviation is also widely used after the number of a century or millennium, as in 4th century AD or 2nd millennium AD, despite the inappropriate literal combination in this case ("in the 4th century in the year of Our Lord").

Because B.C. is an abbreviation for Before Christ, some people incorrectly conclude that A.D. must mean After Death, i.e., after the death of Jesus.[6]

* 1 History
o 1.1 Accuracy
o 1.2 Popularization
* 2 Synonyms
o 2.1 Common Era
o 2.2 Anno Salutis
* 3 Numbering of years
* 4 Notes and references
* 5 External links

[edit] History

Further information: Calendar era

During the first six centuries of what would come to be known as the Christian era, European countries used various systems to count years. Systems in use included consular dating, imperial regnal year dating, and Creation dating.

Although the last non-imperial consul, Basilius, was appointed in 541 by Justinian I, later emperors through Constans II (641–668) were appointed consuls on the first January 1 after their accession. All of these emperors, except Justinian, used imperial postconsular years for all of the years of their reign alongside their regnal years.[7] Long unused, this practice was not formally abolished until Novell xciv of the law code of Leo VI did so in 888.

The Anno Domini system was devised by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus (born in Scythia Minor) in Rome in 525. In his Easter table Dionysius equates the year AD 532 with the regnal year 284 of Emperor Diocletian. In Argumentum I attached to this table he equates the year AD 525 with the consulate of Probus Junior.[8] He thus implies that Jesus' Incarnation occurred 525 years earlier, without stating the specific year during which his birth or conception occurred.

"However, nowhere in his exposition of his table does Dionysius relate his epoch to any other dating system, whether consulate, Olympiad, year of the world, or regnal year of Augustus; much less does he explain or justify the underlying date."[9]

Blackburn & Holford-Strevens briefly present arguments for 2 BC, 1 BC, or AD 1 as the year Dionysius intended for the Nativity or Incarnation.

Among the sources of confusion are:[10]

* In modern times Incarnation is synonymous with conception, but some ancient writers, such as Bede, considered Incarnation to be synonymous with the Nativity
* The civil, or consular year began on 1 January but the Diocletian year began on 29 August
* There were inaccuracies in the list of consuls
* There were confused summations of emperors' regnal years

Two centuries later, the Anglo-Saxon historian Bede used another Latin term, "ante uero incarnationis dominicae tempus" ("the time before the Lord's true incarnation"), equivalent to the English "before Christ", to identify years before the first year of this era. [11]

Another calculation had been developed by the Alexandrian monk Annianus around the year AD 400, placing the Annunciation on March 25, AD 9 (Julian)—eight to ten years after the date that Dionysius was to imply. Although this Incarnation was popular during the early centuries of the Byzantine Empire, years numbered from it, an Era of Incarnation, was only used, and is still only used, in Ethiopia, accounting for the eight- or seven-year discrepancy between the Gregorian and the Ethiopian calendars. Byzantine chroniclers like Maximus the Confessor, George Syncellus and Theophanes dated their years from Annianus' Creation of the World. This era, called Anno Mundi, "year of the world" (abbreviated AM), by modern scholars, began its first year on 25 March 5492 BC. Later Byzantine chroniclers used Anno Mundi years from September 1 5509 BC, the Byzantine Era. No single Anno Mundi epoch was dominant throughout the Christian world.

[edit] Accuracy

"Although scholars generally believe that Christ was born some years before A.D. 1, the historical evidence is too sketchy to allow a definitive dating".[12] According to the Gospel of Matthew (2:1,16) Herod the Great was alive when Jesus was born, and ordered the Massacre of the Innocents in response to his birth. Blackburn & Holford-Strevens fix Herod's death shortly before Passover in 4 BC,[13] and say that those who accept the story of the Massacre of the Innocents sometimes associate the star that led the Biblical Magi with the planetary conjunction of 15 September 7 BC or Halley's comet of 12 BC; even historians who do not accept the Massacre accept the birth under Herod as a tradition older than the written gospels.[14]

The Gospel of Luke (1:5) states that John the Baptist was at least conceived, if not born, under Herod, and that Jesus was conceived while John's mother was in the sixth month of her pregnancy (1:26). Luke's Gospel also states that Jesus was born during the reign of Augustus and while Cyrenius (or Quirinius) was the governor of Syria (2:1–2). Blackburn and Holford-Strevens[13] indicate Cyrenius/Quirinius' governorship of Syria began in AD 6, which is incompatible with conception in 4 BC, and say that "St. Luke raises greater difficulty....Most critics therefore discard Luke".[14] Some scholars rely on John's Gospel to place Christ's birth in c.18 BC.[14]

[edit] Popularization

The first historian or chronicler to use Anno Domini as his primary dating mechanism was Victor of Tonnenna, an African chronicler of the 6th century. A few generations later, the Anglo-Saxon historian Bede, who was familiar with the work of Dionysius, also used Anno Domini dating in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, finished in 731. In this same history, he was the first to use the Latin equivalent of before Christ and established the standard for historians of no year zero, even though he used zero in his computus. Both Dionysius and Bede regarded Anno Domini as beginning at the incarnation of Jesus, but "the distinction between Incarnation and Nativity was not drawn until the late 9th century, when in some places the Incarnation epoch was identified with Christ's conception, i.e., the Annunciation on 25 March" (Annunciation style).[15]

On the continent of Europe, Anno Domini was introduced as the era of choice of the Carolingian Renaissance by Alcuin. This endorsement by Charlemagne and his successors popularizing the usage of the epoch and spreading it throughout the Carolingian Empire ultimately lies at the core of the system's prevalence until present times.

Outside the Carolingian Empire, Spain continued to date by the Era of the Caesars, or Spanish Era, which began counting from 38 BC, well into the Middle Ages,. The Era of Martyrs, which numbered years from the accession of Diocletian in 284, who launched the last yet most severe persecution of Christians, was used by the Church of Alexandria, and is still used officially by the Coptic church. It also used to be used by the Ethiopian church. Another system was to date from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which as early as Hippolytus and Tertullian was believed to have occurred in the consulate of the Gemini (AD 29), which appears in the occasional medieval manuscript. Most Syriac manuscripts written at the end of the 19th century still gave the date in the end-note using the "year of the Greeks" (Anno Graecorum = Seleucid era).[citation needed]

Even though Anno Domini was in widespread use by the 9th century, Before Christ (or its equivalent) did not become widespread until the late 15th century.[16]

[edit] Synonyms

[edit] Common Era

Main article: Common Era

Anno Domini is sometimes referred to as the Common Era, Christian Era or Current Era (abbreviated as C.E. or CE). CE is often preferred by those who desire a term unrelated to religious conceptions of time. For example, Cunningham and Starr (1998) write that "B.C.E./C.E. ... do not presuppose faith in Christ and hence are more appropriate for interfaith dialog than the conventional B.C./A.D." The People's Republic of China, founded in 1949, adopted Western years, calling that era gōngyuán (公元) which literally means Common Era.

[edit] Anno Salutis

Anno Salutis (Latin: "in the year of salvation") was the term sometimes used in place of Anno Domini until the 18th century. In all other respects it operated on the same epoch, reference date, which is the Incarnation of Jesus. It was used by fervent Christians to spread the message that the birth of Jesus saved mankind from eternal damnation. It was often used in a more elaborate form such as Anno Nostrae Salutis (meaning: "in the year of our salvation"), Anno Salutis Humanae (meaning: "in the year of the salvation of men"), or Anno Reparatae Salutis (meaning: "in the year of accomplished salvation").

[edit] Numbering of years

Common usage omits year zero. This creates a problem with some scientific calculations. Accordingly, in astronomical year numbering, a zero year is added before AD 1, and the 'AD' and 'BC' designation is dropped. In keeping with 'standard decimal numbering', a minus sign '−' is added for years before year zero: so counting down from year 2 would give 2, 1, 0, −1, −2, and so on. This results in a one-year shift between the two systems (eg −1 equals 2 BC).[17]

[edit] Notes and references


1. ^ May also be spelled "Anno Domine."
2. ^ "Anno Domini". Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. (2003). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved on 2008-02-03. “Etymology: Medieval Latin, in the year of the Lord”
3. ^ Blackburn & Holford-Strevens p. 782
4. ^ The approximation of the year in the old Persian calendar attributed to Omar Khayyám is 365.2424 days, which is very close to the vernal equinox year, but requires a 33-year cycle. The definition by Milutin Milanković, used in the "revised Julian calendar", is 365.2422 days, which is very close to the mean tropical year, but uses unequal long-period cycles.
5. ^ a b CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: General Chronology
6. ^ The Complete Idiot's Guide to Biblical Mysteries. Retrieved on 2008-01-16. Ryan, Donald P. (2000). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Biblical Mysteries. Alpha Books, p 15. ISBN 002863831X.
7. ^ Roger S. Bagnall and Klaas A. Worp, Chronological Systems of Byzantine Egypt, Leiden, Brill, 2004.
8. ^ Nineteen year cycle of Dionysius
9. ^ Blackburn & Holford-Strevens 2003, 778.
10. ^ Blackburn & Holford-Strevens 2003, 778–9.
11. ^ Bede, 731, Book 1, Chapter 2, first sentence.
12. ^ Doggett 1992, 579
13. ^ a b Blackburn & Holford-Strevens 2003, 770
14. ^ a b c Blackburn & Holford-Strevens 2003, 776
15. ^ Blackburn & Holford-Strevens 881.
16. ^ Werner Rolevinck in Fasciculus temporum (1474) used Anno ante xpi nativitatem (in the year before the birth of Christ) for all years between Creation and Jesus. "xpi" is the Greek χρι in Latin letters, which is a cryptic abbreviation for christi. This phrase appears upside down in the center of recto folios (right hand pages). From Jesus to Pope Sixtus IV he usually used Anno christi or its cryptic form Anno xpi (on verso folios—left hand pages). He used Anno mundi alongside all of these terms for all years.
17. ^ Doggett, 1992, p. 579


* Abate, Frank R(ed.) (1997). Oxford Pocket Dictionary and Thesaurus, American ed., New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513097-9.
* Bede. (731). Historiam ecclesiasticam gentis Anglorum. Accessed 2007-12-07.
* Blackburn, Bonnie; Leofranc Holford-Strevens (2003). The Oxford companion to the Year: An exploration of calendar customs and time-reckoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-214231-3. (reprinted & corrected, originally published 1999)
* Cunningham, Philip A; Starr, Arthur F (1998). Sharing Shalom: A Process for Local Interfaith Dialogue Between Christians and Jews. Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-3835-2.
* Declercq, Georges (2000). Anno Domini: The origins of the Christian era. Turnhout: Brepols. ISBN 2-503-51050-7. (despite beginning with 2, it is English)
* Declercq, G. "Dionysius Exiguus and the Introduction of the Christian Era". Sacris Erudiri 41 (2002): 165–246. An annotated version of part of Anno Domini.
* Doggett. (1992). "Calendars" (Ch. 12), in P. Kenneth Seidelmann (Ed.) Explanatory supplement to the astronomical almanac. Sausalito, CA: University Science Books. ISBN 0-935702-68-7.
* Richards, E. G. (2000). Mapping Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-286205-7.
* Riggs, John (January-February 2003). Whatever happened to B.C. and A.D., and why?. United Church News. Retrieved on December 19, 2005.
* Ryan, Donald P. (2000). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Biblical Mysteries. Alpha Books, p 15. ISBN 002863831X.
* TaiwanCalender Class (System.Globalization). Microsoft Corp. (2006). Retrieved on September 10, 2006.

[edit] External links
Look up AD, Anno Domini in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

* The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "General Chronology"

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Posted by dannoynted1 at 9:32 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: Angels from the Promised land
Friday, December 28, 2007
Gateway~Is Deep in the Heart of Texas~ God Bless Texas

The stars at night are big and bright
(clap, clap, clap, clap),
Deep in the heart of Texas.

The prairie sky is wide and high
(clap, clap, clap, clap),
Deep in the heart of Texas.

The sage in bloom is like perfume
(clap, clap, clap, clap),
Deep in the heart of Texas.

Reminds me of the one I love
(clap, clap, clap, clap),
Deep in the heart of Texas.

The coyotes wail along the trail
(clap, clap, clap, clap),
Deep in the heart of Texas.

The rabbits rush around the brush
(clap, clap, clap, clap),
Deep in the heart of Texas.
Posted by dannoynted1 at 1:42 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: Angels from the Promised land, Desert of the dead
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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Dear LULAC, AGIF and all Humanitarian Advocacy Proponents

Dear LULAC, AGIF and all Humanitarian Advocacy Proponents,

We at Los Kenedeños have learned of serious allegations concerning the practice of euthanasia and premature babies of poor families who have no health insurance. Locally, we should pay close attention to the Ponce case, scheduled for trial in Nueces County Court at Law #1 March. Medical records and court documents indicate that at least one Corpus Christi hospital is routinely euthanatizing premature babies of poor Hispanic families who do not have health insurance (see "People Magazine" April 25, 2005 “Controversy: Grieving parents Sylvia and Manuel Ponce claim a doctor euthanized their premature baby,,1049168,00.html).

David Ponce, a beautiful little boy struggling to live, was given a massive lethal injection of narcotic to save the hospital money for his expensive care. Other infants who had identical medical conditions but who had insurance were not given the same injection that was used to kill David Ponce. Attorneys, including Abernathy in Corpus Christi and Scully in Dallas, have worked very hard to cover this up for almost eight years. Just ask them and you'll see what I mean.

Surely LULAC, The American GI Forum & Public Policy oppose this practice?

We place this matter in your very capable hands in preparation, please review all public
documents and make sure our presence (in numbers) and support is exuded at all hearings, trials AND IN THE PUBLIC EYE AS WELL.

It is our duty to keep the public informed and to stand up for those who cant stand up for themselves.

Tell the people "what is really going on" with their Healthcare.

Corpus Christi is, not the only place this is happening.