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September 22, 2005

The Theology Game

Face Cards F
In conversation with several ingenious neighbors, we’ve developed a card game for my Early Church History class (several wandering students test-played it yesterday afternoon in my office, and it went splendidly).

Herewith follow the rules:

Preparations: First, determine how the variable categories will be directed: the “Date of Death” category may favor earlier or later saints, and the “Orders of Ministry” may favor Patriarchs (magisterial rules) or the Baptized (kingdom rules). Then deal the cards.

The Orders of Ministry are: Apostate, Baptized, Monastic, Deacon, Presbyter, Bishop, Patriarch. (“Apostate” always loses, whether by Magisterial or Kingdom rules.)

The degrees of Asceticism are: Virgin, Celibate, Chaste, Penitent, Unchaste. (The distinction between Chaste and Celibate is elusive and sometimes arbitrary. Virgins are always women; Celibates are men whose theology or practice foregrounded their sexual purity.)

The degrees of Orthodoxy are: Heresiarch, Heretic, Heterodox, Ambiguous, Orthodox, Theologian, and Doctor.

The degrees of Martyrdom are: Megamartyr (a martyr under extraordinary circumstances), Martyr, Confessor, Exile, Simplex (for those who just plain died).

The Play: Shuffle and deal the cards.

A turn consists of each player looking at the top card of their deck. The first player chooses one of the categories: Date of Death, Order, Asceticism, Orthodoxy, or Martyrdom. Players then compare the characteristics of the two cards in the category that the chooser indicated, and the player whose card is higher takes both cards and becomes the next chooser.

If the chooser’s card surpasses the responder’s card, the chooser gets both cards, puts them on the bottom of their deck, and and keeps the prerogative to choose the category when the next cards are drawn.

If the responder’s card is equal or higher when then cards are compared, the responder gets both cards, puts them at the bottom of their deck, and earns the prerogative to choose the category when the next cards are drawn. [Alternate Rule: In keeping with the multi-player option below, the responder may choose a category after the chooser; in case of a tie, the responder’s category determines who wins the cards. If both categories result in a tie, the next pair of cards will decide who wins.]

Multi-Player Option: If more than two players are to play, each will choose a category in turn. If the first player’s choice results in a tie, the second player’s choice will decide who gets all the cards; if the second player’s choice results in a tie, the third player’s category choice will decide. In the improbable event that all categories match, the last player wins the cards for that turn.

The designs for the cards may be downloaded as PDFs or from the Disseminary’s Flickr site:

Posted by AKMA at September 22, 2005 04:36 PM


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