medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
It reminds me of when I was starting out on my PhD research.  I was asked what I was doing by an acquaintance and told them I was going to work on a fifteenth-century bishop.  'Was there anything interesting about him?'  Trying to get beyond the many things I thought were interesting but they might not, I said 'well he burnt a few heretics' and got the response 'I hope you are going to EXPOSE him for his evil acts.'
 
Rosemary
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Madeleine Gray
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2016 7:07 PM
Subject: Re: [M-R] Readable version of Augustine's confessions

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

I got all the message and it definitely struck a chord. With a lot of my students it's what they perceive as intolerance that upsets them most. Awfully difficult to explain why perfectly nice people thought it was necessary to torture heretics to death.

Mind you, I think we do make things worse for ourselves if we fall into the trap of trying to explain historical phenomena with modern analogies (Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy and Brexit ?)

Maddy

---
Prof. Madeleine Gray
University of South Wales
http://www.heritagetortoise.co.uk
http://twitter.com/heritagepilgrim

'The communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living' (T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding)

 

On 30/07/2016 18:44, Sue Ridyard wrote:

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

And now I'm not sure that people are receiving my message, or more than the last sentence of it, since it doesn't seem to post on my email and I don't see it in the most recent post on this thread.
 
I'm a little puzzled by the fact that this sub-thread seems to have started with a quotation from my note describing the significance of "presentist" to someone who asked. 
My original post explained as follows:  It's pretty well-established. Carries the implication that whoever is being "presentist" sees the world from an almost solely contemporary perspective -- I encounter it often, for instance, in reading the Rule of St Benedict and seeing students outraged over the fact that Benedict can think it perfectly reasonable to beat boys who fail in some respect, something that would never enter my head as someone raised in the 70s. Also of course in teaching women's history one endlessly encounters outrage at the limited choices and power available to women. The theme is always: what we do now is the best, and if it hasn't always been this way it should have been. For a Brit teaching in the US, presentist attitudes are complicated by the "what America does is best" syndrome.
 
What I meant by the last sentence is the tendency  I see among my students to add the belief that "what WE do is best" to the presentist "what we do NOW is best". I didn't think I needed to include further explanation, but I was referring to the ingrained nature of ideas such as "separation of church and state is best" (unshakable even after a whole semester studying religion and power in the pre-modern world) or, of course, only democracy is a "good" political system. I hasten to add that I don't teach using concepts of "good," "bad" etc.; these are simply ingrained attitudes that I've encountered over a 20+ teaching career in the US and which complicate especially the study of the pre-modern world.
 
Sue
 
 

On Jul 30, 2016, at 9:30 AM, Greeley, Prof. June-Ann T. wrote:

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Why has this become so snarky and bitter? 
Please leave your politics (and hostilities) to your private communications with each other. It is so unprofessional and unnecessary.

 
 
June-Ann 
 

From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Anne Willis [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2016 5:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [M-R] Readable version of Augustine's confessions
 
medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

There are two answers to this one.

 

The Canadian response 'it must be tough living next to the greatest country in the world, but somehow the Americans seem to manage'. 

 

Or the rather more succinct phrase 'gun laws?'

 
 

Anne

 

From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sue Ridyard

For a Brit teaching in the US, presentist attitudes are complicated by the "what America does is best" syndrome.

 

Sue

 
********************************************************************** To join the list, send the message: subscribe medieval-religion YOUR NAME to: [log in to unmask] To send a message to the list, address it to: [log in to unmask] To leave the list, send the message: unsubscribe medieval-religion to: [log in to unmask] In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to: [log in to unmask] For further information, visit our web site: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/medieval-religion