It’s a really, really great book. I had to read it for my AP Euro class, but I still managed to enjoy it tons.

Basically, it is about what led to the Renaissance and what live was like in the Middle Ages. It’s also majorly about the Catholic Church, since they were in control of almost everything. I had a few tiffs with it, mainly Manchester’s attitude towards all Christians (I’m betting he’s an atheist). He frames the total corruption of the Catholic Church as representative of Christian faith in general. That bothers me, not because I think he’s completely wrong, but I hate the last sentence of the book “Hardest of all is the sense of loss, the knowlede that the serenity of medieval faith, and the certitude of everlasting glory are forever gone.” Are they forever gone? I think many fundamentalists, whether Christian or Jewish or Muslim, still have that assurance of everlasting glory and serenity. Many still have that, “There’s no other way, I’m 100% right in my faith” like the general population of Europe in the middle ages. Heck, even I am that faithful at times, in a different way. The faith is still there, Mr. Manchester, we’ve just realized that we must depend on ourselves to keep the faith and not despotic, corrupt clergy. That statement is incorrect in so many ways. The knowledge that not everyone has the same faith is gone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be faithful!

I think the best part was focusing on Martin Luther. I hardly knew anything about him, and suddenly, I realized that this man split the Catholic Church! And he wasn’t like Savonarola, who believed in a democratic government. Luther was in many, many, ways a very flawed man. He swore, and was a bit eccentric. After posting the 95 theses, he even went into seclusion for a time. And I’m not even starting on John Calvin…

My favorite of the people focused on is without a doubt Erasmus. I really would like to read a biography of him.

Well, I’d best get back to my essays on the book. I’ve written four, but I have two left, and they’re the hardest.

Advertisements