Essay - Changing Concepts of Nature and Individual Differences in the Late...

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Changing Concepts of Nature and individual Differences in the late Middle Ages

Explore the ways ***** which the humanities reflect changing concepts of nature and individual differences during ***** Late Middle Ages. Select specific works to illustrate your view of the changes that have occurred and present explanation ***** how ***** why the concepts characterize the period. Make a connection to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome and discuss ***** ***** that are evident.

***** would be too easy to generalize that the ancient Greeks and Romans saw nature as 'good' and that early Christian medieval society did not. ***** such as Hippocrates celebrated ***** need to c***** of the body, while Pla*****nists disdained the value ***** the material, bodily world in contrast to the heavenly sphere of ***** 'forms.' Roman Stoics stressed mastery of the ***** as a w*****y ***** *****coming more harmonious with the natural ***** and strove ***** to counteract humanity's innate sense of balance ***** ***** but the Roman army mastered nature by constructing mighty aqueducts. Later, while Christian ascetics mortified their physical bodies, the ***** world could not be rejected entirely by *****s as God had created the world, thus ***** world must be good, even if humanity was fallen. In fact, the stress upon physical relics ***** signified the miracles and presence of the saints in the material world were not unlike ***** religious significance given to the corporal body in Ancient Egypt. Of course, the body itself did not ascend ***** heaven in Christian *****lief, as it did according to the pagan, Egyptian belief system. However, the ***** upon creating beautiful tombs to enclose the physical remains of the dead is analogous to Egyptian attitudes.

Thus, the divide in human thought regarding the individual ***** nature is not as clear as one might be tempted to assume. Particularly ***** the *****, as opposed to ***** early Middle Ages, there w***** a revivification in the interest shown towards the classical world, and learning which was part ***** a new respect for the individual and an acceptance of the natural sciences. For example, the early ***** philosopher Augustine wrote that although God had created the universe "as nebulous matter, within which lay 'primal seeds'" ***** "grew and developed into the universe and its life forms, guided by the natural laws that God had laid down...investigation ***** debate about ***** matters was ***** encouraged in ***** early Middle Ages; ***** himself wrote, 'Seek not to understand that you may *****lieve, ***** believe that you may understand'" (Waggoner, 1997). But later, Aquinas joined the two approaches ***** philosophy and *****ology to present a theory of the cosmos. "Reason was no longer conceived as the nemesis of Faith...***** [claimed] that both were paths to a single truth: 'God exists'" (Kreis, 2000). Philosophy ********** reason in general were no longer seen as hostile to faith.

***** Late Middle Ages was characterized by interest in ana*****my, as is ********** ***** the more individuated re*****ations ***** the human form in


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