The Magisterium of Religion, by Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer recently wrote about his trip to Köln, Germany, where he stood amazed at "the magnificent cathedral in the city center that has defined the region for nearly eight centuries." [Photos included] Shermer says "It is a reminder of the power of faith in a pre-modern world lit only by fire and plagued by poverty, disease, misery, and early death." He really explains what it was like living in the latter Middle Ages, and how science displaced superstitious thinking. Awesome!
On this trip to the Cologne Cathedral I time-traveled back to the latter Middle Ages and into the late Medieval mind to imagine what it must have been like to experience the awe-inspiring magnificence of such a culturally-dominant edifice that literally and figuratively puts all other structures in the shade. Imagine walking into this sanctuary after a long and exhaustive journey from one’s provincial countryside and spartan abode....

To fully feel that world let’s go back to a time when civilization was lit only by fire, centuries ago when populations were sparse and 80 percent of everyone lived in the countryside and were engaged in food production, largely for themselves. Cottage industries were the only ones around in this pre-industrial and highly-stratified society, in which one-third to one-half of everyone lived at subsistence level and were chronically under-employed, underpaid, and undernourished. Food supplies were unpredictable and plagues decimated weakened populations. Read further here.

John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 12 critically acclaimed books, including The Case against Miracles, God and Horrendous Suffering, and Varieties of Jesus Mythicism. Please support DC by sharing our posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying our books at Amazon. As an Amazon Associate John earns a small amount of money from purchases made from Amazon. Buying anything through them helps fund my work here, and is greatly appreciated!