Friday, February 10, 2006

History repeating itself in a new way?

     Gutenberg printed the Bible. Within 50 years, Luther's tracts had converted nearly half of Christendom to the new Fundamentalism.  Gone was any respect for the Popes who had sponsored Leonardo Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, humanism, intellectual pursuits.  Replaced with centuries of hatred and war.

     Part of the success of Protestantism, at least Calvinism, was the quality schools they set up.  For example, Henry VIII, a Catholic, father? of the Church of England, gave his son (Edward VII) Protestant teachers.  He knew, full well, the result, it is said (the Queen after, Elizabeth I, was the first Protestant Monarch of England).  The (illegal, after the Index of Banned Books) book distribution system they set up in Switzerland (under Calvin) was critical.  To bad I can't speak in the lay tongue.

     The enlightenment was evolving at the same time.  A new regard for ancient texts, and the translation of ancient Roman, Greek and Hebrew texts was part of it.  Certainly Erasmus of Rotterdam was a contemporary of Luther's.  The Church had been in charge, the Church was not happy with Erasmus.  The Church oppressed, killed, and generally kept humanity in a backwards, primitive, superstitous state (for a long time).

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