Brave little boy

Gather round ye children come,
Listen to the old old story
Of the power of death undone
By an infant born of glory
Son of God, Son of Man.

So sing out with joy
For the brave little boy
Who was God, but made himself nothing.
Well, he gave up his pride
And he came here to die like a man.

Andrew Peterson’s “Gather ‘Round, Ye Children Come” (click to download) is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It’s fitting that I’m writing an essay primarily concerned with the Incarnation at Christmastime.

In other news, I’m tired of modern skepticism and cynicism tainting readings of medieval religion. Not all medieval clerics were obsessed with oppressing the laity, or medieval women with having sex with Christ. Seriously. Some people actually believed with sincere, honest, beautiful faith.

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2 thoughts on “Brave little boy

  1. Priscilla says:

    Urgh, your last paragraph makes me have flashbacks to the Da Vinci Code = *is sooooo not looking forward to Angels & Demons* “…medieval women with having sex with Christ,” okay, I feel like my brain may break upon learning the answer, but I admit I am (morbidly) curious – someone ACTUALLY proposed this??!

    But seriously though, that is super annoying – it’s one thing to try to discover new insights and whatnot into medieval religion/life that people may not have previously seen (one that comes to mind was a rather….illuminating article by Madeline Caviness I read in my Court Art & Patronage class that talked about some of the sexualized aspects of medieval art), but to try to inject some weird postmodern thought process just DOES NOT WORK. I think your last sentence says it best – there *was* genuineness there, and it’s sorta sad that people can’t see it for what it was, and are convinced that *everything* had some insidious, ulterior motive… *end ramble*

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  2. Chera says:

    My comment was a summary of pages about the supposed orgasmic experiences a handful of medieval women had while praying/meditating/receiving the eucharist, etc. The accounts don’t actually say that they’re having sex with Christ, but postmodern readings have latched onto the highly sensual language, claimed that the women were repressed sexually, with the result that the women supposedly were having perceived mystical sexual experiences with Jesus.

    I understand postmodernism being a response to modernism, and modernism to the schools of thought before it, but as someone who DOES believe in Truth and Beauty, I’m tired of postmodernism telling me that there isn’t, and that, as you said, there was some ulterior motive to social conventions that could very well have been genuine, and most likely were.

    There is a glimmer of hope: part of my research included a PhD thesis from 2006, “Holy Church, the Simple Soul, and the Literary Articulation of Orthodox Religious Sensibility” (by Bethan Williams), and is precisely a defense for genuine belief in the Middle Ages. I hope Dr Williams gets published because her dissertation was *great.*

    Now, in my essay, I just have to be careful and not go off on a rant regarding religious orthodoxy that will make me appear like I’m defending Arundel’s Constitutions (most of them were meant to regulate the teaching of the laity, with the intention to teach them *well*—but of course, we in the postmodern age say CENSORSHIP IS BAD BAD BAD, even when it happened 600 years ago. You’d think postmoderns would be better at applying to each time period its own standards).

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