A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #29

I read this passage and couldn’t help but think of my home region in the Bible-Belt Deep South:

“Within the conceptual landscape of Western Christianity, two central features stand out as pre-modern. The first was a willingness to accept the authority of ‘reputable’ texts to establish the facts of life. The scientific method of testing hypotheses through experiments only became fashionable in the 1600s. Before this, many propositions were accepted on the word of authoritative sources, usually taken from the ancient world. The second characteristic of pre-modern Christian thinkers was their unshakeable conviction, derived partly from the same authoritative texts, in an ‘invisible world’ of metaphysical beings: God, the Devil, angels and demons. An edifice of rational and consistent belief was constructed within these parameters. This system of thought provided a satisfactory account of all the phenomena of human existence, and offered reasonable options for for dealing with all manner of practical situations.”

— from the “Introduction” to Strange Histories: The trial of the pig, the walking dead, and other matters of fact from the medieval and Renaissance worlds by Darren Oldridge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.