The Reading List – April 1 – 7

A History of the Church in the Middle Ages By F. Donald Logan. I read this because of the fact that we didn’t really cover this at college. It shows the strange and connected world of papacy, politics, people movements, and power that made the medieval age a rather funny place to be. In Judges, you get this refrain at times, that there was no king in the land, everyone did as he pleased. Well, in the medieval age, there were many kings in the land, and somehow they came through it all. Knowledge was lost and found: lost because of things like some idiots deciding some scholar who happened to know Greek and was in the middle of translating Greek works needed to be executed for treason (for whatever reason), and everyone else in the West was pretty much Greek illiterate; found because the English liked book-learning and copying, and because the Spanish were invaded by the Islamic Barbars, who happened to have Greek texts translated in Arabic, which could then be translated back into Latin by the Spaniards who now knew Arabic. It seems that in all this there was spiritual fervour, as evidenced by the popularity of forsaking wealth and entering monasteries and so forth. But the knowledge of salvation was blurred, confused, like when I go around without my glasses on. You can see the wheels turning towards the Reformation, but only then in the 16th century were the conditions really right for it to spring forth, unlike the failed reformatory efforts of Wycliffe and Hus.

The next few weeks, I won’t be reading so much, but I’ll be learning … umm … something else. Well, trying anyway. I’m going to put my ability to learn to read a language quicker than most to the test.

One Response to “The Reading List – April 1 – 7”

  1. dougo says:

    if you’re interested and haven’t yet read it, the Name of the Rose might be an interesting fictional take on the period (reading it at the mo). it also has heaps of untranslated Latin thrown in to keep it interesting for a linguist like yourself.