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Francis of Assisi

“Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun … Sister Moon … Brother Wind … sister Water … Brother Fire … Sister Mother Earth … Sister Bodily Death”  Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Sun, 1224   The Medievals persist in their relevance for the present day. Several Italians, […]

The Dream of the Crown

‘Dream of the Crown’ is a poem that pays homage not only to the Christ who suffered the crown of thorns or the crown itself but medieval dream poetry. Specifically, ‘Dream of the Crown’ echos a pivotal piece of English Literature that was composed early on in the medieval period, circa 1,300 years ago, ‘Dream […]

An Unlikely Witness

The poet who penned The Dream of the Rood for the Anglo-Saxon people faced the challenge of communicating the saving power of Christ’s death on a cross to a people who placed great value on heroic battle and victory. Accomplishing his goal required communicating a sacrificial death in a way that these warriors would see […]

The Book of Kells

A manifold mass meanders through the museum. A line leads to the legendary illumination. The crowd creeps to the crepuscular cranny. I approach the plinth and peer at the pages.   The tome is tarnished by the touch of time. Its margins marred, musty and mottled, The perishable parchment is perhaps no longer perfect, But […]

Hogwarts in History: The Neo-Medieval Vision of Harry Potter

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling writes that the Dursleys “had a very medieval attitude toward magic.”[1] Here Rowling either reveals a bit of ignorance, uncharacteristic carelessness, or perhaps she teases us with a tongue-in-cheek jab at modern prejudices. It is the modernist represented by the Dursleys and not the medievalist […]