12. Christendom

12.0 Introduction

All great civilizations and many lesser societies developed sophisticated understandings of the natural world. Diverse and complex systems of knowledge arose and functioned in varied social contexts. In the name of multicultural awareness, a politically correct Worldcentric caricature holds the … Continue reading

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12.1 A Genuine Culture

Once Gregory (monk Hildebrand) reformed the Church, the clergy was placed in authority not by the suffrages of the people but certainly more by their talents than by the influence of relatives. As advocated by Plato in the “Republic”, the … Continue reading

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12.2 The Confusion Of The Medieval Mind

The World of the middle Ages is as alien to us as are all other primitive civilizations. The language in use was Latin but not everybody mastered it. The vernaculars were rough and imprecise. Dictionaries were absent. Grammar, syntax and … Continue reading

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12.3 Scholasticism

For the medieval intellectual, thinking is a profession whose tools were fixed by Aristotle, who wrote the Organon in Greek, which Boece (480-524) translated in Latin (Organum). The Organum was a manual of Logic describing a method of correct thinking … Continue reading

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12.4 The Paradigmatic Deviations

12.4.1 Prelogical Reasoning The man of the middle Ages was Christian. It was from the dogma as starting point that he tried to understand the world. The Roman version of the dogma was a stable entity with fortunately many points … Continue reading

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12.5 The Great Apostasy

12.5.1 The Responsibility of the Church Pope Boniface died in 1303, after the emissaries of Philip IV of France had rudely mishandled him. The Holy See was thereafter transferred to Avignon. The French Popes who occupied the papal seat appeared … Continue reading

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12.6 The New Weltanschauung

12.6.1 The desecration of the Cosmos A mutation of the Christian spirituality is apparent during the Renaissance, when the Augustinian monk Erasmus in 1528, and the Augustinian monk Luther in his preface of the Bible, expressed their distrust of miracles. … Continue reading

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12.7 The Counter Reform

12.7.1 Silence, theologians! In 1562, Breughel painted “Mad Meg” (Dolle Griet), now exposed in Antwerp. The painting (fig. 12.32) depicts the ravages of war as vividly as Picasso did in later times with “Guernica”. Figure 12.32. Dulle Griet, Mad Meg, … Continue reading

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