Old Books With Grace
Meditations on Henry Vaughan’s “The Night”

Meditations on Henry Vaughan’s “The Night”

May 5, 2021

"There is in God, some say, / A deep but dazzling darkness..." What does Vaughan's famous line mean? Let's think about this beautiful poem and its Welsh 17th-century author together.

Dabbling in Old Words: Whole

Dabbling in Old Words: Whole

April 21, 2021

Feeling broken, distended, fragmented? Me too. This episode meditates upon spiritual and bodily wholeness, via the ancient origins of the word "whole" and supplemented by Augustine of Hippo.  

Jesus as Us: Concluding Thoughts

Jesus as Us: Concluding Thoughts

April 7, 2021

We, too, are representations of Jesus, images of God, which medieval folks know well. This episode thinks about the mystery cycles of late medieval England, Lollard heretics, and a non-medieval poem (gasp!) to help us think about the many faces of Jesus.

Jesus in Mortal Suffering: Medieval Art and Poetry

Jesus in Mortal Suffering: Medieval Art and Poetry

March 31, 2021

In honor of Good Friday, this episode considers medieval portrayals of Christ on the cross. They paid deep attention to Jesus's bodily suffering in order to recognize his divine love. Let's learn from sermons, anonymous poets, Herrad of Landsberg, Fra Angelico, and Mathias Grunewald.

Jesus the Good Medieval Christian: Nicholas Love and the Institutionally-Approved Christ

Jesus the Good Medieval Christian: Nicholas Love and the Institutionally-Approved Christ

March 24, 2021

How do we adapt Jesus to our agendas? How do we make him safe for us? This episode in the Lent series considers how Nicholas Love, a monk in the fifteenth-century, created a "good medieval Christian" Jesus. 

Jesus Our Mother: Julian of Norwich and the Monastic Tradition

Jesus Our Mother: Julian of Norwich and the Monastic Tradition

March 17, 2021

In this episode in the Lent series, "The Many Faces of Jesus," we meditate on Jesus as Our Mother. Join medieval monks and anchorites to think through the beauty of this image.

Jesus of the University: Thomas Aquinas and Scholasticism

Jesus of the University: Thomas Aquinas and Scholasticism

March 10, 2021

If you’re a Protestant, or even if you’re a particular kind of Roman Catholic, the word scholasticism may cause you to grimace. But this episode in the Lent Series, "The Many Faces of Jesus" is going to think through the methods of scholasticism in talking about Jesus... and hopefully convince you that there's a lot of value there today for us in modernity.

Jesus the Knight: Langland and Dunbar

Jesus the Knight: Langland and Dunbar

March 3, 2021

Done is a battle on the dragon black! / Our champion Christ has confounded his force!

So begins a crackling, exciting poem by William Dunbar that thinks through the Resurrection with Jesus as a knight battling death and evil. We will meditate on this image together, especially through William Langland's vision of Jesus as a knight in the fantastic fourteenth-century poem, Piers Plowman.

Jesus Our Lover: Margery Kempe, Gregory the Great, and Lyric Poetry

Jesus Our Lover: Margery Kempe, Gregory the Great, and Lyric Poetry

February 24, 2021

This episode explores the ancient tradition of portraying Jesus as our intimate lover. There's some fascinating writers and art here: the fifteenth-century writer Margery Kempe, Pope Gregory the Great, medieval lyric poetry, and some... interesting... drawings of Jesus's side wound. What can we learn from this image today?

Jesus the Judge: Old English Poetry and Medieval Doom Paintings

Jesus the Judge: Old English Poetry and Medieval Doom Paintings

February 17, 2021

The second most ubiquitous representation of Jesus in the Middle Ages, after the Crucifixion, was Jesus seated in judgment on Doomsday. This version of Jesus is certainly less popular today! Grace considers the ramifications of this image for us through its appearance in Old English poetry and in the Doom paintings on the inside of all English medieval churches. 

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