Medieval setting in Laurus

five-laurel-leaves  Recently I finished reading Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin. It is quite possibly the best fiction I have ever read (and I’ve read a lot).

One reason I like the book so much is that it’s set in Medieval times (the 1400s). I love the medieval worldview. Some have called it the dark ages, filled with ignorance and superstition. Aren’t all ages filled with ignorance and some type of superstition? Think about it, the Roman Empire fell in the West about 400 AD. Nations were invaded by those in the north. Much was lost. It was a time of regrouping and gathering fragments of understanding to make sense of the world again. The medieval man was a codifier. And most importantly, his main understanding came from the light of God. The medieval man looked into the heavens and gazed upon the stars and planets and saw God’s world filled with angels and demons. It was teeming with life, much like the ocean–though unseen. It was the same on earth–the earth was rich with life, the life that God breathed into existence and sustains–the seen and unseen. All things, events, history, speech, had meaning in the larger scheme. All things a part of God’s will. (Not sin, of course, but even the tragedy of sin had an endpoint and a redemption.) In the medieval age, it was a time of survival, but people’s faith and spiritual life was strong. It was the high time of contemplation of God and his working within the cosmos. (Of course there were errors in war and justice, but again, all age has its grave errors).

I wish modern man at least saw the world as the medieval man did, in that there is more than just a material world. That the heavens above us are not just empty, cold, vacuous space. But that the supreme God moves all things in His divine love. And that all of history is moving toward an endpoint redeemed by God.

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