Interesting Insight from an Unexpected Source

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Interesting Insight from an Unexpected Source

Post by AmyJ » 16 Jul 2018, 07:03

My husband and I listen to some of the "Great Courses" lectures online now because we find them interesting and entertaining.

We are currently watching/listening to one entitled "How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition" which includes sections on music history. The lecture covered some information on what shifted musically between the 14th and 15th centuries and produced the change in music from the Middles Ages Plainchant to Renaissance Secular music.

The fundamental conclusion:
There was a collective faith crisis involving eroding belief in the Catholic Church that was responsible for the shift.

Contributions to the Faith Transition include:
  • Printing Press - encouraged both the printing of music for choirs, the scriptures (and philosophical writings) from Latin and Greek
  • The shift of the Vatican seat of power from Rome, Italy to France allowed multiple Popes to compete and caused a loss of confidence in which one was the "true" pope.
  • Corrupt leadership - leaders living luxurious lifestyles.
  • Scientific research and experiments did not back up what the church was teaching to the expected degree. The church took the authoritative approach, which didn't always end well.
  • Black Death Plague - the church could not and did not solve the problem of the outbreak between 1348 and 1350. The loss of population (as high as 60% of the entire population in Europe) particularly wreaked social and economic havoc.
Rebellion of the People from the church:
  • Philosophical shift back to principles/theories such as Humanism.
  • Shift from focus on God to a focus on the Capable Human - secular music, art focusing on capturing the beauty of human anatomy
  • Protestant Reformation - part of the reformation effort was an attempt to take a second look at the relationships between God and Humanity, the relationships between Humans
Personal Connection:
My transition started because I learned for myself that my capacity to perceive and process all messages sent my way was a lot more limited than I believed before. Yes, there are historical issues - but there are always historical issues. Usually there are social issues - mostly because humans (including me) are gonna human and see things differently.
But I found it surprising and comforting that my shift back to a more humanist (both from a personal and societal) perspective is historically what happened globally.

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Re: Interesting Insight from an Unexpected Source

Post by Roy » 16 Jul 2018, 14:44

I also find it worth reflecting that the faith crisis / faith shift of the 14th and 15th centuries was a necessary antecedent to both the renaissance and our own LDS "restoration" movement. Rebirth, renewal, restoration

I am thinking about how this relates to forest fires. A fire can be healthy to remove the weaker and diseased trees & vegetation, to kill parasitic insects, to clear out the thick and sometimes choking underbrush, and to return important nutrients to the soil. For a long time humans have worked very hard (and with the best of intentions) to prevent forest fires. Michael Stambaugh, assistant research professor in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, says ""Many forest ecosystems are fire-dependent, meaning that in order to maintain their health and vibrancy, they must be subjected to fire on a regular basis." He adds that they are now seeing many forests "suffering because of the lack of fire to help renew the ecology." Without small scale fires the forest can easily become overgrown with an abundance of diseased and deadwood and thick underbrush. When a fire finally does strike under these conditions it can be much larger and more destructive - also killing many of the old wood healthy trees that might have survived and even flourished with exposure to more regular and smaller wildfires.

Like Amy, I see parallels to both societal, institutional, and personal faith / fire management.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: Interesting Insight from an Unexpected Source

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Jul 2018, 15:30

Excellent points, Amy and Roy. There are tons of applications in all kinds of areas.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: Interesting Insight from an Unexpected Source

Post by Heber13 » 18 Jul 2018, 18:50

AmyJ wrote:
16 Jul 2018, 07:03
I found it surprising and comforting that my shift back to a more humanist (both from a personal and societal) perspective is historically what happened globally.
Fowler's stages of faith were similarly comforting to me. Not Mormon.

I also work with a Catholic organization and have seen their acceptance of the Bible and their own pivot from literal historical beliefs interesting to me.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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