Abbey of Ourscamp, France: Twelfth Century

The Abbey of Ourscamp is particularly interesting to me because a large part of it harkens back to the original structure in its damaged remains, including a part of the Abbey that continues in use today.

See http://www.france-voyage.com/travel-guide/photo-ourscamp-abbey-580_2.htm the the source of the following photograph of the Abbey:

A number of YouTube videos are available, including the following:

https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=pfwl&tok=veguJ7Z2BvqSMoBOA2nW0w&cp=17&gs_id=m&xhr=t&q=Abbey+of+Ourscamp+france&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&site=&source=hp&pbx=1&oq=Abbey+of+Ourscamp&aq=0v&aqi=g-v1&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=64697a5fdd627a76&biw=1127&bih=760

See http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmra6e_ourscamp-abbey-france_travel for an additional video taking the viewer through the ruins.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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Church of Santiago de Compostela: Romanesque Transition from Medieval to Gothic

Construction of the Church of Santiago de Compostela began in the 11th Century and continued 150 years until completed.  (1075 to 1122)   Will Durant claims that it contains the finest Romanesque sculpture in Europe.  It also became the ultimate goal of one of several Christian pilgrimages, beginning in the arduous time of the first crusades.

The website at http://www3.telus.net/public/camojo/pilgrimage.html  provides a most colorful oral history of the Cathedral in a piece entitled, Santiago de Compostela: The Pilgrim’s Road:

Santiago de Compostela is named after James the Apostle. After preaching the gospel in Spain, he returned to Palestine, where he was beheaded by Herod Agrippa in 44 AD. His followers stole his body and moved it to an undisclosed location. In 813 AD, his body was found after a hermit was said to have followed a star to it.  A church was built on the site (now the cathedral), and the town of Santiago de Compostela rose around it.

In 844, at the Battle of Clavijo, the Apostle is said to have appeared riding a horse. He led the Christians armies to defeat the Moors and became “Santiago Matamoros” – St. James the Moor Slayer, and Patron Saint of Spain.

See http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Bas%C3%ADlica_de_Santiago_02.JPG for the source of the following photograph of the cathedral:

See https://www.google.com/search?q=Church+of+Santiago+de+Compostela&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=hs8gT9fiHqWU2AW_vM20CQ&sqi=2&ved=0CFkQsAQ&biw=1071&bih=760 for pictures of the exterior, interior and treasures of this cathedral.

See http://www.paradoxplace.com/Photo%20Pages/Spain/Camino_de_Santiago/Compostela/Cathedral/Compostela_Cathedral.htm for an excellent description of the cathedral’s history and photographs of its exterior, interior, and art. Durant describes this cathedral as containing a great wealth of Romanesque art.

 

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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Gothic Architecture: Late Medieval And Early Renaissance

Gothic architecture is known for the height of its knaves, its rich ornamentation, and for its “upward thrust” pulling the eye, both upon view of the exterior and the interior, to “heaven.”

The history of many of the cathedrals is that they often replaced prior structures, being built often on the same sites, and even on the same foundations.  Not only did the cathedrals oftentimes replaced prior structures that had been dedicated to Christian worship, the cathedrals, themselves, took long periods of time to build up to  500 years to build..  Many of them have, over the centuries, been renovated, redecorated, and some made to appear even more Gothic than the original structure.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24N94rZ7XtU

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_architecture for an article describing the history of the renovation of some of the cathedrals,with some excellent photographs.

NOTE: Wikipedia is a treasure house of pictures, and the substance of the written content, while providing much greater detail and footnotes which I can check if I have concerns, is also generally consonant with my accumulated knowledge of the subjects, as a music teacher, teacher of the humanities, an attorney, a person well grounded in history, and some experience through reading, teaching, discussion and performance. Moreover, it is not my purpose to critique Wikipedia.  Rather, it did more than adequately meet my needs to acquaint the reader with the subject through its substance as well as its pictures (each of which I understand to be worth 1000 – or is it 10,000 words?). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest_church_naves for a comparison of the highest church naves.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

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Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

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Heloise and Abelard: A Medieval Love Story

To the Middle Ages belongs the love story of Heloise and Abelard.  Abelard was well-known throughout Europe as a leading theologian of the day; Heloise had been raised as an orphan in a convent. She became known there as an exceptionally bright girl. When she was 16 she met the famous theologian. He must have been taken by her as much as she by him, for he was to write, “Thus, utterly aflame with passion for this maiden, I sought to discover means whereby I might have daily and familiar speech with her, thereby the more easily to win her consent. For this purpose I persuaded the girl’s uncle … to take me into his household …in return for the payment of a small sum.… The man’s simplicity was nothing short of astounding; I should not have been more surprised if he had entrusted a tender lamb to the care of a ravenous wolf.…  Durant, The Age of Faith, Chapter 35, page 936.  Shortly afterward, she told Abelard that she was with child. Abelard proposed to the uncle that he marry Heloise on the condition that the uncle keep secret their marriage.  Heloise refused to marry him, believing that marriage would “rob the Church of so shining a light.” She offered to remain his mistress, however, as such a relationship would not be a bar to his advancement in the Church. Ultimately, they were married in secret, living separately for public appearance. Abelard returned to his teaching and Heloise to live with her uncle until Abelard took Heloise, much against her will, to a nunnery.  The story gets more complicated, if indeed it could, as Abelard continues to write, “they [her uncle and family] were convinced that now I had completely played them false, and had rid myself forever of Heloise by forcing her to become a nun. Violently incensed, they laid a plot against me; and one night, while… I was asleep in a secret room in my lodgings, they broke in with the help of one of my servants whom they had bribed. There they had vengeance upon me with a most cruel and shameful punishment… For they cut off those parts of my body whereby I had done that which was the cause of their sorrow.”  Ibid. at page 937.  Abelard finishes that part of the account by noting that two of them were captured, and suffered the same injury done to him, and in addition their eyes were taken.

Abelard sought refuge in the seclusion of a monk’s cell at a Benedictine priory, until a year later he responded to the urging of his students and his Abbot to return to lecturing.  Abelard spent the last eleven years of his life in seclusion because of the ecclesiastical rejection of him and his ideas, when he wrote two of his major works, Theologia Christiana  and Theologia.  Although the spirit of these works maintained consonance with orthodoxy, on the issue of the wideness of God’s love and mercy, he parted ways: he held that God’s love extended to all people of all time, including Jews and the heathen. As disconcerting to the Church, was Abelard’s assertion that all dogma be rationally supported; and, contrary to church doctrine and practice, he asserted that faith contains no mysteries when fully understood.  I note that, Pope Francis, shortly after pontificate in 2013, boldly proclaimed similar beliefs concerning God’s wide mercy to those who bear good fruits:

‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can… “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”.. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists_n_3320757.html.

As Durant describes it at page 938, “Truth cannot be contrary to truth, Abalard pleads; the truths of Scripture must agree with the findings of reason, else the God who gave us both would be deluding us with one or the other.”  At Ibid, at page 939,  Durant explains further,

Abelard did not question the authority of the Bible; but he argued that its language is meant for unlettered people, and must be interpreted by reason; that the sacred text had sometimes been corrupted by interpolation or careless copying; and that whereas scriptural or patristic passages contradicted one another, reason must attempt their reconciliation.

Abelard wrote his autobiography circa 1133.  Though Abelard retains in it his sharp wit, the description of his tryst with Heloise is passionless, except, perhaps for shame, and that possibly for his fall from grace. Perhaps because of its dispassion it is seen both as a confession and as a defense.  Tradition says that Heloise came upon a copy of it, to which she wrote a passionate and heart-rending reply and sent it to Abelard.  By that time, Heloise had achieved some significant fame in her own right in her convent and beyond.    Nonetheless, provided that her letter is authentic, it is clear that despite her advance in ecclesiastical circles, she never  got over her love for Abelard, despite his inability to maintain a similar spark for her . Heloise concludes her reply:  “I deserved more from thee, having done all things for thee. . .  I, who as a girl, was allured to the asperity of monastic conversion . . . not by religious devotion, but by thy command alone. . . .”  The Age of Faith at 943.  Being physically incapable of fervent reply in kind, Abelard’s return letter that followed, being far from comforting, asserted a hollow and stinging assurance that his love for her was only lust; he requested that upon his death she bury him in the grounds of the Paraclete and stated that he looked forward to their meeting in heaven. They exchanged more letters in which he struggles to express anything personal and she becomes more resigned to her plight – at least that is the Tradition that has grown about the thwarted lovers:  Heloise remained committed in love to Abelard to his death .  Upon his death in 1142, he was buried in the priory of St. Marcel near Chalons.   When Heloise learned of his death and burial, in obedience to Abelard’s request, she informed the Abbot, Peter The Venerable, that Abelard wished to be interred at the Paraclete. The Abbott, himself, brought the body to her and, as tradition also asserts, left her a letter of tenderness that her lover was incapable, himself, of giving. Upon her own death in 1164, Heloise was interred beside him. During a later time of revolution, the graves were desecrated. What were identified as their bones were moved to Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris in 1817.  People yet flock to their gravesite to honor these tragically ill-fated lovers.  Ibid. at 943-944.  That is a fact.

For an excellent site which addresses not only the architecture and building of the cathedrals, but also, the arts, religious reforms, and sculpture during that period up until 1400, see http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/mona/hd_mona.htm

For an excellent humanities-based discussion of the Middle Ages, including Christianity and other religions, see http://www.becomingcloser.org/History/the_middle_ages.html.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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Medieval Music and Scholasticism

Medieval Music

Music strongly paralleled architectural styles as each moved through Romanesque into Gothic. For architecture, that meant development from the basic Roman basilica form complex architectural wonders to meet lofty Gothic demands; for music, it meant incorporating into the single-line, unison Gregorian chant, often embellished with an accompanying part parallel to the melody, or later with independent melodic lines that were both interesting in themselves and i interplaying with the predominant melody.  And then more independent melodic lines were added to make a Gothic structure in sound that reverberated among the stone surfaces of the cathedrals and soared to the ethereal heights to which the architecture not only pointed, but drew the congregant.

As secular forms came to descend upon sacred sculpture, so did secular melodies affect church music. With the rise of polyphony , i.e. , combining several independent melodies that would weave a cloth in sound and together make pleasing combinations.  Later those combinations could be identified as chords and still later they could be combined in a progression that would help the music to come alive and make a statement in sound supportive of its text , yet interesting in its own right.  As the skills of polyphony developed in church music, the enterprising composer could play a game with both the common folk in the congregation and unsuspecting clergy and ecclesiastical officials: often the polyphonic music was based upon a predominant melody derived from Gregorian plain chant, but the skilled composer could weave into that texture a melody familiar to the peasant – serfs, such as a drinking song, spicing their otherwise rapturous interest while by no means distracting the eclesiastical authorities from the otherwise worship experience.

The Orthodox Church (Byzantine)  and the Western Church (Catholic ) developed along different cultural and theological lines from the fourth century.   That separation became formalized in what has been known as the Great Schism in the 11th century.   Their theologies differed, and also their music.   In the Catholic Church, instruments were not permitted , from which tradition comes the name of unaccompanied singing called a cappella (as “in the chapel”).   Catholic chant was unaccompanied.   This difference of Orthodox theology and music is demonstrated in the website of the Orthodox Church , found at http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/SJK1/breath.shtml.   There, you will find examples of chant in various monasteries of the Orthodox Church, including some with percussive  accompaniment, with links that you can click on at the bottom of the far left side of the page.   These examples also demonstrate early polyphonic development.

Scholastic Philosophy and Theology

At this time of transition to Gothic architecture, requiring the development of scientific principles of force transfer necessary to build their cathedrals, theologians of the church looked to logic to seek rational justifications of their faith.  For example, they asked whether the Trinity was merely a representative name for three aspects of one God; or were they three distinct deities?  Of faith and reason, Anselm put faith at the fore: “I believe in order to understand.”  Thereby he inaugurated Scholastic philosophy. Anselm asked why it was necessary that God become man to save man. His reasoning has been adopted by many a fundamentalist Christian: because, he answered himself, Adam and Eve, the parents of all mankind, had sinned against God, an infinite being.  The offense was likewise infinite, requiring infinite atonement to restore the moral balance between humanity and God.

Scholasticism emerged in the latter part of the Medieval Period and bloomed during the Gothic period. As Durant describes it, scholasticism had two main branches that developed during this time.  The first was associated with the Franciscans, that of Platonic mysticism; the second was associated with the Dominicans, that of Aristotelian intellectualism. These two branches each had many varied interpretations and expressions making of them, together, a very colorful spectical.

Bonaventura represented Christian Platonic mysticism in the 13th century.  He was a theologian that suspected rationalistic examination of the senses, claiming the goal of the Christian life to be participation in the spiritual world of the soul through intuition. As Durant describes it in The Age of Faith, at page 959, “God is not a philosophical conclusion but a living presence; it is better to feel Him than to define Him. The good is higher than the true, and simple virtue surpasses all the sciences.” When asked, as Jesus was asked, what one must do to “inherit eternal life,” Bonaventura responded as Jesus did: love God!

The dialectic form of Scholastic philosophy derives from Aristotle.  Thomas Aquinas represented the branch of Aristotelian intellectualism. While developing a view of the spiritual world as accessible through learning and logic, Aquinas held that the very fact that knowledge is limited suggested a supernatural world, not accessible by direct experience, but through revelations of the Scriptures. Thus was born another fundamentalist principle, asserting that God’s revelation contradicts man’s reason and by that very contradiction elevates revealed faith above sensual perceptions. Also, as many fundamentalist critics assert certain revelation to be superior to uncertain human perceptions and logic, nonetheless, based upon a view of revealed truth in the Scripture, Thomas models for them a complex system of metaphysics which, as based upon that revelation, supersedes human learning and sensual experience of the world. At the extreme, Scholasticism could assert rational argument to support such notoriously nebulous propositions as, how many angels could fit on the head of a pin.

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The Gothic Flowering: Continental Romanesque: 1066 – 1200

The Romanesque style took inspiration from Roman culture and arts. In architecture, it incorporated the Roman arch and continued the Roman basilica form, with the nave and aisles intersected by a transverse nave in the form of a Latin cross. The early Romanesque churches had wooden ceilings which were prone to fire. By the 12th century the architects (who were mostly monks), had developed sufficient architectural and engineering skills to build a very high stone vaulted ceiling which was strengthened by ribs which transferred the weight of the ceiling through the walls to exterior supports called flying buttresses, which, in turn, transferred that weight to the ground. The effect this architectural style which culminated in the Gothic style was intended to achieve was a heaven-ward experience through elegance of verticle line, both exteriorly and interiorly.  The exterior was richly and ornately decorated with elegant spires, decorations, and sculptures from which the supports of the roof must not detract.  The challenge to the architect of such structures was how to support it so without distracting from its sense of celestial elegance.

The interior was not only spacious, but, with its aisles, stained-glass windows, columns and soaring vaulted ceilings, transported the serfs from their hard and monotonous existence outside the cathedral to a spiritual experience within it through stained glass windows which shone in sunlight with the rich and multicolored light of heaven upon murals and statues depicting the Biblical faith stories to which these common folk clung through the week.

The experience within the cathedral must have been powerful, since the peasant –serfs, despite their extreme poverty, insecure and demanding existence, gave liberally to the Church.  Such  opulence could hardly have been obtained solely by the serfs’ extravagant giving, as meager as it must have been. The feudal system was exceptionally effective to harness serf labor for the financial gain of feudal lords at a minimum cost, which enabled the aristocracy also to give liberally to the Church  for additional “spiritual” benefits such as indulgences.  Beyond that, the Church, itself had large land holdings, in many cases, surpassing that of the kings, lord’s, and nobles.  As Will Durant put it in The Age of Faith, Chapter 32, The Gothic Flowering, at page 863, “The population was small but it believed; it was poor but it gave.”

For video see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwKg4ESvYG4 ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFv_xsns-EI ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYhOaQhV6QE&list=PLqiCW4wMdlA89y_8qPUIGzii9zOFqzCIW

For the role of the peasant in the life of the church and medieval society, see http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_church.htm

For an article on medieval architecture, see http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_church_architecture.htm

For an excellent outline of elements of Gothic style and life, see

http://www.castles.me.uk/gothic-architecture.htm

For an excellent, readable, diagrammatically illustrated article on medieval architecture, see http://www.essentialhumanities.net/arch3.php and http://stacienaczelnik.hubpages.com/hub/Cathedral

For an excellent article on the necessary elements for building a cathedral, including social, financial, and architectural engineering support see

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_cathedrals.htm

For an excellent summary of the pre-Gothic and Gothic periods, their arts and architecture, see

http://autocww.colorado.edu/~toldy3/E64ContentFiles/PeriodsAndStyles/Gothic.html

for an excellent skeletal presentation of medieval ecclesiastical, societal, and artistic life, and other resources on the subjects and on medieval life, see http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_cathedrals.htm

For an excellent site dedicated to presenting medieval society and arts to kids, including both information and games incorporating that information, see http://medievaleurope.mrdonn.org/cathedrals.html,

http://www.yac-uk.org/timeline/medieval, http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/architecture/cathedral.htm, and http://middleages.pppst.com/church.html .

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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The Early Inquisition (1000 – 1300)

Will Durant says on page 784, The Age of Faith, “intolerance is the natural concomitant of strong faith; tolerance grows only when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous.”

I must agree with Durant that certainty can be murderous.  But to say that intolerance is the natural concomitant of strong faith is to misunderstand faith. Faith is not certainty of ideas, philosophies, theologies or beliefs. The great Seventeenth Century mathematician, scientist and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, said, “Faith declares what the senses do not see, but not the contrary of what they see.”  The reason that “faith” can become murderous is that such a faith too often assumes a superiority over matter and reality, bearing bad fruits; Jesus would expose such profession of faith with the practical test: “by their fruits you will know them.”

The Renaissance is named for the rebirth of the classical arts in  society. As with all life, the rebirth quired a period of gestation in preparation fothat rebirth.  Part of that preparation for the Renaissance was the rise of vernacular in the vrious regions of Europe,  first in  its spoken word and then in it’s writing. About 1170 A.D., a rich merchant by the name of Peter Waldo organized some scholars to tanslate the Bible into the vernacular of his own region in southern France. Previously, any writing of scholarly significance would have been written in the formal language of Latin. In this era, riches were beginning to be accumulated beyond the Church, the lords, and generally the aristocracy. His following became known as the Waldenses. In a manner, it would seem, that with the rise of the merchant class, old social structures began to soften.  Waldo gathered a group called the “poor man of Lyons,” who, for all purposes, except formal training recognized by the church, were monks. Gradually, the group became critical of the priesthood and of sinful priests who were administering the sacraments. In some ways, I see it as an early version of modern fundamentalism, in which every one who can read the Bible does so, taking it literally and thereby stripping it of its mystery  which transcends mere human  experience,  and maof Christian precepts an equation for “salvation.”  The Church responded to their anti-clerical and anti-Church positions by condemning this act in 1184. To restrict Bible study outside of the guidance of an ordained priest, the Church in the Council of Toulouse in 1229 prohibited lay persons from having Scripture, except, essentially, the Psalms and that only in Latin, not in the low vernacular of the region.

Will Durant, in Volume, The Age of Faith, pages 770 – 771 speaks of the sects that arose in the middle of the 13th century as “honeycombing” Western Europe, notand that: the most powerful of the heretical sects was variously named Cathari from the Greek for “pure”; Bulgari, from the Balkan provenance (whence, the abusive term bugger); and Albigenses, from the French town of Albi, where they were especially numerous.  It appears to me that it is by no accident that these sects arose contemporaneous with the rise of the middle class in preparation for the Renaissance. “There French medieval civilization had reached its height; the great religions mingled in urbane amity, women were inperiously beautiful, morals were loose, troubadours spread gay ideas, and, as in Frederick’s Italy, the Renaissance was ready to begin.”

Again, not unlike the often uniquely personalized fundamentalism of today, the theologies of the late medieval sects reflected middle-class values. white contrary to the privileges of orthodoxy associated with the Church.  Indeed, not only were these sects returning to many early Christian concepts, such as Arianism or Gnosticism, but many have been precursers, whether intentional or not, for various fundamental Christian concepts of today. Will Durant, in The Age of Faith, at page 771 notes, “The theology of the Cathari divided the cosmos Manichaeanly into Good, God, Spirit, Heaven; and Evil, Satan, matter, the material universe.  Cathari teachings further conflicted with Catholic doctrine holdings that there was no hell or purgatory, and that every soul would be saved.  Will Durant at  Ibid, page 772, concludes that this attack on the Church was the sect’s undoing : “The Church might have allowed this sect to die of its own suicide had not the Catheri criticized the Church. They denied that the Church was the church of Christ; St. Peter had never come to Rome, had never founded the papacy; the popes were successors to the emperors, not to the apostles. . . . The Roman Church, they were sure, was the Whore of Babylon, the clergy were a synagogue of Satan, the Pope was Antichrist.”

It seems clear that not only was the rise of the middle class in the late medieval period a necessary precursor to the Renaissance, but likewise it preparied the way for the Reformation. Particularly, the Cathari sect was primarily located in southern France, where both secular and sacred powers not only tolerated it, but even encouraged it by holding public debates between it and Church authorities.  Not only did the Cathari sect arise in a segment of society that was gaining power among the rising merchant class as feudalism was waning, but the nobility, jealous of the Church’s riches, including much land, found the sect to be an ideological ally and an effective tool to challenge the Church’s power which too often curtailed their own.  The Church saw these heretical sects as a threat not only to there ecclesiastical authority, but also to the state, its own ally . The rise of these sects may have, in addition to laying the foundation for both the end of the Crusades and the beginning of the Renaissance, prepared European Society for the Protestant Reformation.

No more than two months into Pope Inocent’s papacy in 1198 , he wrote to an archbishop,

We give you a strict command that, by whatever means you can, you destroy all these heresies, and retell from your diocese all who are polluted by them. … If necessary, you may cause the princes and the people to suppress them with the sword.

The churcReorientedhe powers of its Crusades from the Middle East to its own territory. With similar inducements, the Crusaders attacked  the town of Beziers, France and demanded that it turn over all heretics. The town resisted, the Crusaders took the town and killed 20,000 men, women, and children. Will Durant at page 775 reports a story that the papal legate was asked who might be spared, there apparently being Catholics among the population. The legate answered, “Kill them all, for God knows His own.”

Thus, the Inquisition saw the Church turn from focus on “infidels” abroad to “infidels” within.

Elsewhere, Will Durant notes that the Christian Church has, in its history, slaughtered more of its own than it has those of other religions in other places.  That hardly is comfort for Muslims, Jews, and those of other religions who have experienced harassment, murder or otherwise been harmed by nominal Christians, but perhaps it demonstrates the unfortunate truism that we tend to reserve our greatest anger, rage and vengeance for those most like ourselves. For some reason, we have the tendency and capacity to make the slightest fissure the greatest chasm.  I have elsewhere noted that the story of Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac, can be interpreted to say that Jews and Arabs are family, they ought to recognize that, and they ought to act as a loving family. But as noted here, it often seems that the greatest hatred is often reserved for family.

For the purposes of understanding the setting of the arts produced during this time, the details of Inquisitional torture and murder are not necessary and are available to any who wish to in inquire. Will Durant at page 781 notes the general character of the tools of the Inquisition, which is consistent with my earlier observation that the punishment was intended as torture for the purpose of eliciting a confession as well as getting the message to its members that heresy has dire consequence for the heretic.  To that confession, Durant would add that the heretic name other heretics.

It took the form of flogging, burning, the rack, or solitary imprisonment in dark and narrow dungeons. The feet of the accused might be slowly roasted over burning coals; or he might be bound upon a triangular frame, and have his arms and legs pulled by cords wound on a windlass.

 

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

Home Page https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/