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 and why the ***** characterize the period. Make a connection ***** Ancient Egypt, ***** Greece and Ancient Rome and discuss ***** ***** that are evident.

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

Thus, the divide in human thought regarding the individual and nature is not as clear as one might be tempted to assume. Particularly ***** the late, as opposed to ***** early Middle *****, there w***** a revivification in the interest s*****n *****wards the classical world, and learning which was part ***** a new respect for the individual and an accept*****ce of the natural sciences. For example, the ***** Christian philosopher Augustine wrote that although God ***** created the universe "as nebulous matter, within which lay 'primal seeds'" that "grew and developed into the universe and its life *****ms, guided ***** the ***** laws that ***** had laid down...investigation and debate about such matters was ***** encouraged in the early Middle Ages; ***** himself wrote, 'Seek not to underst***** that you may *****lieve, ***** believe ***** you ***** understand'" (Wagg*****r, 1997). But later, Aquinas joined the two approaches ***** philosophy and ********** ***** present a theory of the cosmos. "Reason was no longer conceived as ***** nemesis of Faith...Aquinas [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.

The Late Middle Ages w***** characterized by interest in anatomy, as is reflected ***** the ***** individuated re*****ations ***** ***** human form in


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