Chapter 12 : Christianity and the Medieval Mind
- The seven sacraments are:
- Baptism – symbolizes the beginning of the commitment to God and the reborn as sons of God. It symbolizes death to sin and resurrection with Christ.
- Eucharist – It is the body and blood of Jesus who gives to men as food for eternal life.
- Reconciliation – through repentance and confession of sins, men ask God for forgiveness and He offers through this sacrament new life. Through this sacrament the state of Grace is recovered.
- Confirmation – it symbolizes the deepening of the commitment with God. The Holy Spirit is received together with all the gifts. The Christian is confirmed as a soldier and son/ daughter of God
- Marriage – symbol of giving oneself completely to another person with the blessing of God. It symbolizes the wedding feast of the Lamb.
- Holy Orders - represents the commitment to preach the word of the Lord which was entrusted by Christ to his disciples.
- Anointing of the Sick - preparation for not only physical healing but also healing of both spiritual and mental sickness. It is the commendation of those who suffer illnesses to God, asking He raises them up from death, to eternal life.
- Hildegard von Bingen was a German known as the Doctor of the Church who was a writer, composer, and philosopher who helped build several monasteries.
- Hildegard writes because of her visions of divinity which also serves as her inspirations to write.
- The specific role of the Roman Catholic Church during the Medieval period was its great influence on education and music. However, they also played a great role in influencing the crusades and conflicts among kings. It was a period of heresies and so the Church had a specific role in studying and understanding the faith, through reason, to fight the heresies that were attacking it at that time. It was a long period, during which there were good times in which monasteries were formed, many saints, but also much paganism not only outside but also outside the Church.
Monasteries were found in different places to try to Christianize them, several kings and queens converted to Christianity, and so that was a way for the church to have control
- Pope Innocent sees men as sinful, as conceived in sin and as always seeking what is wrong. He sees men’s life almost full of sin, and the only way out is God sending his son, who had to become a man, to save us from that state of sin. And even still, men most of the time chose sin rather than God.
- Everyman is an allegorical drama that is design to help Christians taught how to live their lives in order for them to save their souls. In other word, it is a drama about morality, about what is right and wrong and what is meant to be done by people if they want to go to Heaven. The principal allegorical figures are life (everyman), death, kindred, fellowship, Worldly Goods, good deeds and beauty. God sends death to Everyman, who is full of sin, and this one goes through a journey to save his life. Thus, the drama shows how every person will be judged at the end of their lives, and every sin and good deed will be considered when judging their lives. At the end of the drama, Everyman has converted, after a long moral journey and deserves to be saved. It is an example of every person’s life journey towards God or away from him.
- Sinners are punished in Inferno by continuously burning the sinner’s soul where they cannot find peace. There are different circles in the Inferno, in each circle there are different types of sins being punished. The 9th circle has cold chilly winds, in the forms of castles, they froze. In the lower inferno they are whipped by devils, or lost in boredom, or trapped in inanimate objects.
- According to Aquinas, woman should not have been created as a part of the original creation because of her imperfections. However, he believes in the importance of women for reproduction and her natural beauty. I think Aquinas was influenced by Aristotle’s, who was a biologist and thought as men being more perfect, body wise, than women. I also believe that the translation gives negative connotation to what Aquinas tried to say. On top of that, it is also clear that Aquinas saw women as necessary for the reproduction and growth of the species which is what God intended both Adam and Eve to do. To go and procreated.
- Memento Mori is a symbol that serves as a reminder that everyone has to die. The only difference is that we do not know when will we die but all of us will eventually die. It reminds us that we are not God, that we are humans. We need to remember where we come from and that one day we will die. It’s a reminder of the human nature.
Terza Rima is just a form of how Italian poems are represented. It consists of three stanzas (tercets). In terza rima, the first and third lines of the stanza rhymes while the second stanza rhymes with the first and third stanza of the next tercet. The poem actually ends with a line that rhymes with the second line of the poems last stanza.
Chapter 13: The Medieval Synthesis in the Arts
- Reliquaries are containers of relics. Relics are parts of Saints or holy places. The faithful ask for graces to saints, and many miracles have been performed through relics, such as pieces of bones, clothes, etc. Other relics are holy items such as holy vestments. Reliquaries are containers to hold these items with respect and devotions. which are very important to history like the remains of important people, clothes,
- Pilgrimage is a spiritual activity that aims to search for some moral or spiritual explanations of their beliefs. Usually pilgrimages are done as a form of thanksgiving to God for a particular grace received. Other times, it is done in order to ask, almost as begging to God to receive a special grace. It symbolizes the journey of the soul to God. It symbolizes the journey of the people of Israel. It is also a symbol of our pilgrimage here on earth until we go to our Home in Heaven. During the 12th Century, pilgrims travel to the Santiago de Compostela in Spain rather than in the Holy Land which is expensive. The bones of Saint James were believed to have been found in the “Way of Saint James”
- Some of the main structural and architectural features of Gothic Cathedrals are their grand tall designs, flying buttress, pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, light and airy interior, and emphasis on decorative designs.
- The Gothic churches were dedicated to the Holy Virgin. This is because as the Mother of God Virgin Mary is looked up as a powerful figure as she can act as the mediator between humans and God especially since she is the mother of the Son of God. Churches are where the Body of Christ stays here on Earth, and do it is the best representation of Virgin Mary being the first tabernacle on Earth.
- Stained glass is created in the medieval period through the use of silica where it is molten in a very high heat. To achieve the coloring of the glass, a metallic oxide powder is added to achieve the desired color. For the medieval mind, light was a symbol of Jesus, who said I am the light of the world. The window is seen as the Church that filters the light that comes to the people. The stained glass is also seen as the filter of divine revelation.
- A music that includes two or more lines of melody is called polyphony.
- Dies Irae or Day of Wrath is actually a poem that is used by the catholic church today as a song for the dead or in requiem masses. It represents how the soul of the dead will be judged in the afterlife to determine if he goes straight to heaven where his soul will be at peace or will go to purgatory or hell where he’ll pay for the sins he have committed while still alive. It reminds about the day in which death will come, and it begs God for forgiveness and mercy.
Chapter 14: The World Beyond the West
- The three gods are BRAHMA, who represents energy, love, light and life. He is the creator of all human beings, he is like the father. He is the only supreme God, the absolute.
VISHNU who represents and in charge of reincarnations. It is one of the Gods of the three sects of Hinduism. He creates and sustains everything. He is the essence of all that exists.
SHIVA who is responsible for determining the destiny the souls of humans. It is limitless, transcendent, unchanging and formless. It has many good forms, and some scary forms. She is the Lord of the dance, and represents the notion of time, which is for Hinduism cyclical rather than linear. She represents both men and female, and she embodies 5 characteristics of gods, creation, protection, destruction, release from destiny and enlightenment.
- One of the notable differences between Hinduism and Christianity is that Hinduism believes in constant reincarnation while Christianity believes that man die once. For Christianity, they believe that there is one God and three persons. Hinduism says that BRAHMA is the only Supreme God, the absolute, but it can be worshipped in different forms. It is in its deepest a monotheistic religion, but in practice is polytheistic. Christianity is monotheistic, as the three persons are one God. God created each person and when the person dies is separated soul and body until the end of times when all bodies will be resurrected. For Hinduism, when people die they reincarnate in another person, this process is never ending.
- Vishnu Purana one of the eighteen sacred text in the Hindu religion. It is considered one of the most important Puruanas. Some of the texts provides a complete illustration of how the Hindu view human sexuality as a metaphor for spiritual knowledge. Puranas are a form of popular Hindu literature aiming at preserve their old stories, myths and legends of their gods. The Vishny Purana is one about cosmic lover, sensual abandon, and becoming divinity. The two gods of this book are Vishnu and Sheva.
Through the worship of Vishnu, man can achieve the consummation of all earthly desires, finally reaching the liberation from the reincarnation, meaning death and birth in the material world.
- China perfected the porcelain. The also invented a water clock with a regulating device anticipating mechanical clocks. The first printed book was also done by the Chinese as well as the first printed newspaper. They also invented a unique timberframeThe gunpowder, compass and acupuncture are also Chinese inventions. They also mastered the production of fine ceramic ware.
- The Luhan Statue represents freedom and friendships between and among countries.
- In the old China, the daily lives of its inhabitants based on the pictures and tapestries that can be seen depicts that their life is a life of hardships, where every member of the family needs to work but the families are closed-knit. The women are under the men so they concentrate on serving their husbands, while the men have power over the women. The most powerful in the family is the oldest male. The barbarian hordes threatened China throughout history, so Chinese residences were normally self-enclosed, looking inward to their inner courtyards and gardens.
- The three basic formats of Chinese painting are hand scroll, vertical or hanging, scrolls, horizontal or hand scrolls, album leaves.
- They invented a unique timber frame that bore the weight of the roof instead of the walls, and it was also earthquake resistant. They also perfected the wood construction, in such a way that there were horizontal brackets extending beyond the vertical supports. They also developed their own architecture manuals. Chinese architecture combines timberwork with stone carving. China has also contributed with rammed earth construction and bucket arch buildings. Many Chinese ancient constructions still remain today.
- It is a Japanese literature classic. It tells the story of a "shining prince" of the Heian court. It exposes the inner life of the main character Geinki.
Because of this, it is considered a psychological novel, however this only portraits a very small part of the population, the aristocracy.
- During the feudal time, it was a time of war, and the samurai who protected the noble people. They depended on the samurai strength. They are skilled warriors to protect the upper rank of society.
- No drama is the oldest form of Japanese theater. It consists of dances, songs, and mimes. This type of theater is from the Heian Era, and maybe even earlier. No, recalls the civil wars of the samurais. The emphasis is not in characters or realistic performance. Instead it consists in rigidly formalized texts, gestures, dances and music.