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From Medieval to Modern: Understanding Civilization, Religious Practices, Perceptions, and More
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Finding Genius Podcast
Published Thursday |
When you think of medieval people and practices, what comes to mind? Whatever your answer, this episode may very well change it.

Tune in to discover:

The main differences between medieval and modern Christianity
How modern technologies and communication methods might impact prayer practices, and how the printing press already has
How writing Christian poetry compels engagement with the world through imagination

As an associate professor of history at the University of Chicago, Rachel Fulton Brown's teachings are based on questions revolving around historical and present-day civilization and creativity, with special emphasis on J.R.R. Tolkien. Since 2006 she’s offered a class that examines how Tolkien, as a Catholic, drew on medieval understandings of the imagination and creativity in order to touch the modern world, which he certainly did. Brown also offers a class on writing Christian poetry, and she explains the art and value of this practice.

Brown discusses obvious and subtle yet meaningful differences between medieval and modern-day human perceptions, religious practices, and the interaction between the two. She also shares ideas about the ways in which modern society, with its emphasis on fame and technological prowess, is turning us into idolaters, perhaps without us even realizing it.

Learn more about Brown’s beliefs and work at, and check out her book, Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thought.

Episode also available on Apple Podcast:

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