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Showing posts from April, 2010

How to Overturn Obama'care

Long Before Hitler

In their attempt to explain the widespread horrors of the Black Death, medieval Christian communities looked for scapegoats. As at the time of the crusades, the Jews were blamed for poisoning wells and hence spreading the plague. This selection by a contemporary chronicler, written in 1349, gives an account of how Christians in the town of Strasbourg in the Holy Roman Empire dealt with their Jewish community. It is apparent that financial gain was also an important factor in killing the Jews.

The following is from Jacob von Konigshofen, "The Cremation of the Strasbourg Jews."
In the year 1349 there occurred the greatest epidemic that ever happened. Death went from one end of the earth to the other.... And from what this epidemic came, all wise teachers and physicians could only say that it was God's will.... This epidemic also came to Strasbourg in the summer of the above mentioned year, and it is estimated that about sixteen thousand people died.

In the matter of this …

Devotio Moderna

The Crucifixion Scene from Matthias Grunewald's "Isenheim Altarpiece." The altarpiece was painted during the second decade of the C16th for the chapel of the Order of St. Anthony at Isenheim, the monastic house of which was a hospital run by the monks. In one of the most horrifying depictions of the Crucifixion in Western art, Grunewald addresses the agonies of the terminally ill by incorporating them within the sufferings of Christ and, therefore, within the divine order of Fall and grace. When opened, the Altarpiece reveals scenes of annunciation, Christ child, and Resurrection (view shown left) The themes of sickness, sin, death, and healing are continued here as elements of memento mori meditation are included within the picture. Thus a green, demonic figure appears behind the head of the cello-playing angel and, in counter-point, the infant Jesus has just been bathed (a symbol of baptism), is wrapped in cloth that recalls the Crucifixion scene, and plays with a stri…

Women in Medieval Thought Not Created in the Image of God

Whether a nun or wife of an aristocrat, townsman, or peasant, a woman in the Middle Ages was considered inferior to a man and by nature subject to a man's authority. Although there are a number of examples of strong women who flew in the face of such an attitude, church teachings also reinforced these notions. These two selections are from Gratian, the twelfth-century jurist who wrote the first systematic work on canon law, and Thomas Aquinas, the well-known scholastic theologian of the thirteenth century.

Gratian writes in Decretum,
The image of God is in man and it is one. Women were drawn from man, who has God's jurisdiction as if he were God's vicar, because he has the image of the one God. Therefore woman is not made in God's image.In his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas says,
As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the product…