Project Augustine

Home » Medieval History

Category Archives: Medieval History

Archives

The Evolution of Satan

Statue of Satan at the Satanic Temple in Detroit, MI.

Statue of Satan at the Satanic Temple in Detroit, MI.

 

Great article and post on the development of Satan/the Devil in Judeo-Christian thought and theology through the centuries over at isthatinthebible.wordpress.com.

Highly fascinating.

“Princes of Darkness: The Devil’s Many Faces in Scripture and Tradition”

Time-lapse History of Europe and the Middle East in the Last 1000 Years, Emergence, and Divine Sovereignty

 

 

 

I came across this rather interesting time-lapse map of Europe, Western Russia, and present-day Turkey, where you see the dynamic evolution of human history over the course of a millennia which is still going on right now.

 

(Also, history is so much more kick-ass with music from the movie “Inception” in the background.)

 

For a little over a year now we have been studying the history of the Christian Church and delving quite a bit into the history of Europe from ancient times, through the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Empire, and now into the Reformation, so the vast movements in this map should be familiar to those in our group.

 

I was never much into history, but if you want to be a serious student of theology, a solid knowledge and foundation in history is invaluable to see how ideas and beliefs began and evolved over time, and how everything fits together.  Studying history may radically alter your beliefs even.

 

Also, in my spare time, I’ve been delving into the science of emergence by reading Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson.  Here’s an excerpt of the book that I read today that directly relates to history and the map shown above, specifically in terms of information and energy flow as cities, civilizations, and countries grow more and more complex over time.

 

(more…)

New Updates: Chapter 16: Perspectives of the True Church (1300 – 1517) – Part I: The Black Death, Purgatory, Indulgences, Jan Hus and the Hussites

 

 

New updates can be found here.  Lots of new material to go over.

 

Also, we reached over 1,000 views/hits to this site!  Amazing!  I’m amazed that people from Russia, England, Norway, and even Saudi Arabia have been checking out this site.  I really do hope that Project Augustine and this site will continue to expand and reach more people the world over.

 

Tonight we had another interesting discussion on various topics.  We discussed whether God still sends plagues down to mankind today. For instance, just as people in medieval Europe thought the Black Death was a punishment from God for their sins, in today’s world, can we say the same thing about AIDS being God’s punishment for homosexuality?  Many believers still hold onto this belief, even in today’s scientific world.  Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that this was the case – that God had sent the AIDS epidemic as punishment; how would that effect your understanding of God’s character?

 

(more…)

Chapter 16: Perspectives of the True Church (1300 – 1517) – Part I: The Black Death, Purgatory, Nominalists, Lollards, and Hussites

 

File:Thetriumphofdeath.jpg

“The Triumph of Death”, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1562

For next Wednesday, March 26, please read the first three sections of Chapter 16The Church, Death and Purgatory (1300 – 1500); Papal Monarchy Challenged (1300 – 1500); Nominalists, Lollards and Hussites (1300 – 1500).

Please write a summary on one of the following topics:

  1. Discuss the impact the Black Death had upon the Catholic Church and people’s faith; also discuss the flagellant movement and anti-Semitism that was prevalent during this time.
  2. Discuss how the industry of Indulgences gained popularity during the time of the Black Death
  3. Discuss why Purgatory became so prevalent during after the 12th century.
  4. What was the significance of Council of Konstanz in 1417 with Pope Martin V and the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund?  What was the impact of the Conciliarists?
  5. Discuss the philosophy of William of Ockham and the Nominalists and why they were a threat to papal authority.  Also how did printed texts and the printed Bible change the spiritual landscape of Europe during this time?
  6. Discuss the impact of John Wyclif in the 1370s and his followers the Lollards.  What was the impact of the English translation of the Vulgate, and then subsequent translations of the Bible in the other European countries’ native language?
  7. Discuss the impact of Jan Hus and his Hussites during the 1400s in Prague.  What impact did his execution have on the Czech Church and relations with the Catholic Church?

 

As you can tell, we are on the cusp of the Reformation revolution that is to come full force.

Essays will be posted next week.

 

 

New Updates – Chapter 15: Russia: The Third Rome (900 – 1448) – Part 1

Russian Orthodox Ice Church

Hi everyone, here is the update for Chapter 15 that you can read here.

Topics on the Tartars, Mongols, Kiev, Vikings, and how the Rus’ adopted and accommodated Byzantine culture and the Orthodox faith into their own.

Engineering an Empire – The Byzantines

We just concluded our readings about the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire.

One of my favorite programs that aired on the History Channel was a series titled “Engineering an Empire” hosted by Peter Weller, lecturer of ancient history at Syracuse University – yes, that Peter Weller who starred in “Robocop”, “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai”, and most recently in last year’s “Startrek: Into Darkness”.

Chapter 14: Orthodoxy – More Than an Empire (900 – 1700)

 

Next Wednesday, we will discuss Chapter 14 which deals with the Orthodox Church during the time of the Crusades, up until its fall by the Ottomans in 1453, and the Orthodox Church’s struggle under Ottoman control afterwards.

 

The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453

(more…)

Submissions for Chapter 13: Part II – Byzantine Iconoclasm and Patriarch Photios

 

Here are our written submissions from last night.

 

Also, I caught an error in one of our links for Chapter 12, from Dec. 18, 2013.  Here is the corrected link.

 

Good conversation from last night as we centered around the often uneasy relationship between religion (the institutionalized version) and politics.  (And first time in a long while where we had the whole crew present in a meeting.)

 

Amanda pointed out that she felt that MacCulloch’s book was more about a “history of the church” rather than the “history of Christianity”.  I think I understand her position.  It’s a bit depressing to read about how corrupt and power-hungry people have been when reading about church history, even though they hide under the veneer that they are followers of Christ.  I believe she wanted to read about accounts of believers in the early part of the church who were not only doing good deeds, but really living out their convictions for the love of Christ and for others.

 

I think one of the main underlying questions was: What does true Christianity really look like?  Does it have to be defined by church denominations or traditions?  (No, of course not, but…)

 

I posed the question, “Didn’t Christ die for the church?”

 

(more…)

Chapter 13: Faith in a New Rome – Part 2 – Icons and New Missions to the West; New Social media links

Emperors Constantine and Justinian Presenting Constantinople to the Virgin Mary Holding the Christ Child, Hagia Sophia

For next Tuesday, we will be finishing up the rest of Chapter 13 by covering the final two sections: Smashing Images: The Iconoclastic Controversy (726 – 843)  and Photios and the New Missions to the West (850 – 900).

Before getting to the questions, please check out our new social media pages on facebook and twitter.  Please join if you have accounts on both sites.

(more…)

Chapter 13: Faith in a New Rome (451 – 900) – Part 1

Hello folks and Happy New Year!

We’ve definitely come a long way since we first embarked on this book last year and hopefully garnered much since then – let’s keep the momentum going throughout this year.

For our next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 9, we’ll cover the first two sections of Chapter 13 that deals with the Byzantine Empire and the Orthodox Church“A Church to Shape Orthodoxy: Hagia Sophia” and “Byzantine Spirituality: Maximus and the Mystical Tradition”.

We’ll spend the next couple of months dealing with the Orthodox Church that will hopefully lift the veil of obscurity that most evangelical and Western Christians have of it.

(more…)