feb 032020
 

De siste to ukene av januar leste jeg meg også gjennom bok to av Chris Wickham, nemlig The Inheritance of Rome. Det var svært mye (noen ganger litt for detaljert) og interessant informasjon på de 600 sidene. Amazon skriver om boka:

The world known as the ‘Dark Ages’, often seen as a time of barbarism, was in fact the crucible in which modern Europe would be created.

Chris Wickham’s acclaimed history shows how this period, encompassing peoples such as Goths, Franks, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, was central to the development of our history and culture. From the collapse of the Roman Empire to the establishment of new European states, and from Ireland to Constantinople, the Baltic to the Mediterranean, this landmark work makes sense of a time of invasion and turbulence, but also of continuity, creativity and achievement.

feb 012020
 

Dette var et emne jeg visste lite om, jeg hadde hørt navnene til Attila huneren (406-453) og Djengis Khan (1162-1227), men ikke så mye mer. Nå har jeg hørt gjennom over 18 timer med foredrag om disse “Barbarian Empires of the Steppes” (kanskje for mye detaljer en del steder) og lært en hel del. Audible skriver om boka:

The word “barbarian” quickly conjures images of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. Yet few people realize these men belong to a succession of nomadic warriors who emerged from the Eurasian steppes to conquer civilizations. It’s a part of ancient and medieval history that’s often overlooked, but for an accurate view of how the world evolved, it’s essential.

Covering some 6,000 miles and 6,000 years, this eye-opening course illuminates how a series of groups – from the Sacae and Sarmatians to the infamous Huns and Mongols – pushed ever westward, coming into contact with the Roman Empire, Han China, and distant cultures from Iraq to India.

Along the way, you’ll learn how these nomads caused a domino effect of displacement and cultural exchange; meet fascinating figures such as Tamerlane, the “Prince of Destruction”; witness struggles to control the legendary Silk Road; trace the spread of Buddhism and Islam, and more.

By looking past the barbarian stereotype, you’ll understand who these people were, the significance of their innovations – which include stirrups, saddles, and gunpowder – and the magnitude of their impact. Of course, these warriors did wage campaigns of terror, and you’ll hear many accounts of violence as well.

Led by an award-winning professor, these 36 lectures provide new insights on how the world was shaped and introduce you to cultures and empires you’ve likely never encountered.

jan 252020
 

Jeg kjøpte denne lydboka for 4-5 år siden, men først nå fikk jeg hørt gjennom den grundig. Den var interessant og tok opp mange flere kulturelle trekk ved vikingene enn jeg hadde regnet med; bl.a. dere bosettninger og innflytelse på Island, Irland, Normandie og Ukraina/Russland. Audible skriver om boka:

As raiders and explorers, the Vikings played a decisive role in the formation of Latin Christendom, and particularly of western Europe.

Now, in a series of 36 vivid lectures by an honored teacher and classical scholar, you have the opportunity to understand this remarkable race as never before, studying the Vikings not only as warriors, but in all of the other roles in which they were equally extraordinary – merchants, artists, kings, raiders, seafarers, shipbuilders, and creators of a remarkable literature of myths and sagas. Professor Harl draws insights from an astonishing array of sources: The Russian Primary Chronicle (a Slavic text from medieval Kiev), 13th-century Icelandic poems and sagas, Byzantine accounts, Arab geographies, annals of Irish monks who faced Viking raids, Roman reports, and scores of other firsthand contemporary documents.

Among the topics you’ll explore are the profound influence of the Norse gods and heroes on Viking culture and the Vikings’ extraordinary accomplishments as explorers and settlers in Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland. And with the help of archaeological findings, you’ll learn to analyze Viking ship burials, rune stones and runic inscriptions, Viking wood carving, jewelry, sculpture, and metalwork. By the end of the series, you’ll have a new understanding of what it meant to be a Viking and a richer appreciation of this remarkable race – a people who truly defined the history of Europe, and whose brave, adventurous, and creative spirit still survives today.

jan 182020
 

Første halvdel av januar leste jeg meg også (i tillegg til flere lydbøker) gjennom Chris Wickhams Medieval Europe. Det var ganske lærerikt og Amazon skriver om boka:

A spirited and thought-provoking history of the vast changes that transformed Europe during the 1,000-year span of the Middle Ages The millennium between the breakup of the western Roman Empire and the Reformation was a long and hugely transformative period-one not easily chronicled within the scope of a few hundred pages. Yet distinguished historian Chris Wickham has taken up the challenge in this landmark book, and he succeeds in producing the most riveting account of medieval Europe in a generation. Tracking the entire sweep of the Middle Ages across Europe, Wickham focuses on important changes century by century, including such pivotal crises and moments as the fall of the western Roman Empire, Charlemagne’s reforms, the feudal revolution, the challenge of heresy, the destruction of the Byzantine Empire, the rebuilding of late medieval states, and the appalling devastation of the Black Death. He provides illuminating vignettes that underscore how shifting social, economic, and political circumstances affected individual lives and international events. Wickham offers both a new conception of Europe’s medieval period and a provocative revision of exactly how and why the Middle Ages matter.

jan 172020
 

Jeg har lest en del om Aleksander den store også tidligere, men denne lydboka ga meg en hel del ekstra informasjon om ham. På Audibles nettsider leser man bl.a. dette om den:

More than two millennia have passed since Alexander the Great built an empire that stretched to every corner of the ancient world, from the backwater kingdom of Macedonia to the Hellenic world, Persia, and ultimately to India – all before his untimely death at age 33. Alexander believed that his empire would stop only when he reached the Pacific Ocean. But stories of both real and legendary events from his life have kept him evergreen in our imaginations with a legacy that has meant something different to every era: In the Middle Ages he became an exemplar of knightly chivalry, he was a star of Renaissance paintings, and by the early 20th century he’d even come to resemble an English gentleman. But who was he in his own time?

In Alexander the Great, Anthony Everitt judges Alexander’s life against the criteria of his own age and considers all his contradictions. We meet the Macedonian prince who was naturally inquisitive and fascinated by science and exploration, as well as the man who enjoyed the arts and used Homer’s great epic, the Iliad, as a bible. As his empire grew, Alexander exhibited respect for the traditions of his new subjects and careful judgment in administering rule over his vast territory. But his career also had a dark side. An inveterate conqueror who in his short life built the largest empire up to that point in history, Alexander glorified war and was known to commit acts of remarkable cruelty.

jan 122020
 

Enda en interessant lydbok er “fortært”. Her kan man se den på Audibles nettsider – og lese dette om den:

For well over 2,000 years, much of our fundamental “desire to know” has focused on science. Our commitment to science and technology has been so profound that these stand as probably the most powerful influences on human culture. To truly understand our Western heritage, our contemporary society, and ourselves as individuals, we need to know what science is and how it developed.

In this 36-lecture series, one of science’s most acclaimed teachers takes you through science’s complex evolution of thought and discovery, often originating from ideas that by today’s technological perspective might be considered ridiculous or humorous, although many are still relevant today. You’ll consider science’s often fascinating history, from ancient times to the Scientific Revolution, in terms of several penetrating questions, including two of special importance: Who pursued science, and why? What happened, and why?

In the hands of Professor Principe, the history of science becomes far more than just a litany of dates, significant individuals, and breakthrough discoveries. In examining the evolution of science, he restores the vitally important context that has been lost from the discussion, showing how science is characterized by ideas that link eras widely separated in time. A primary theme is the relationship between science and religion. Today, we tend to see the two as separate and even antagonistic. Theology, in fact, is a principal motivator for scientific inquiry. And in the Middle Ages, Christianity and Islam were of paramount importance in preserving and furthering scientific knowledge.

jan 092020
 

New Catholic Register omtaler et program som ble sendt på tysk fjernsyn 3. januar, og som beskriver pave Benedikts liv både nå i Vatikanet og tidligere. Se omtalen av programmet og selve programmet (på tysk). De skriver bl.a.:

Benedict XVI appears mentally alert but noticeably frailer and almost unable to speak in a new German television documentary providing a rare glimpse into his daily life.

In the half-hour film aired on Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian state television) on Jan. 3, the 92-year-old Pope Emeritus speaks only three times but in a barely audible voice.

“I used to have a great voice, now it doesn’t work anymore,” Benedict says in the program, which was filmed at his Mater Ecclesiae monastery residence in the Vatican.

“One sees that his strength isn’t there anymore,” his personal secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein says in the program. “His voice is simply broken, weaker” but he adds that what is “important” to him is “good company” which “lifts his heart” and that he is “at peace with himself.”

His physical appearance has deteriorated considerably over the past couple of years: the documentary shows Benedict thanking guests at his 90th birthday celebration in 2017 with a stronger though still frail voice.

The bulk of the program, entitled “Little Bavaria in the Vatican” and filmed in September, is biographical, recalling Joseph Ratzinger’s childhood, the main events of his life and his personal preferences, interspersed with past interviews with him as cardinal and pope. … …

jan 062020
 

Det er som nevnt mest historiske bøker jeg har hørt og lest under årets frimåned, og denne om Svarteduden var ganske interessant. På Audibles nettsider kan man lese om den:

Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But the Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural. In its wake the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the church, political institutions, law, art, and more. In large measure, by the profundity of the changes it brought, the Black Death produced the modern world we live in today.

While the story of the Black Death is one of destruction and loss, its breathtaking scope and effects make it one of the most compelling and deeply intriguing episodes in human history. Understanding the remarkable unfolding of the plague and its aftermath provides a highly revealing window not only on the medieval world but also on the forces that brought about the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and modernity itself.

Speaking to the full magnitude of this world-changing historical moment, The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague, taught by celebrated medievalist Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University, takes you on an unforgettable excursion into the time period of the plague, its full human repercussions, and its transformative effects on European civilization.

des 302019
 

Denne lydboka, som jeg nettopp hørte ferdig, er også en del av Audibles The Great Courses. Om denne kan vi lese:

This is a land of gods and heroes. Here great myths came to life and epic battles were fought, and the wondrous remains of ancient civilizations still call to you from across the centuries.

In The Great Tours: Greece and Turkey, from Athens to Istanbul, award-winning Professor John R. Hale of the University of Louisville is your guide to the fabulous civilizations of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans, and to the natural wonders and idyllic landscapes that surround them.

These 24 richly enjoyable lectures give you the chance to experience these important sites and cultures through the eyes of an expert archaeologist and scholar, whose knowledge and depth of insight go far beyond any ordinary travel narrative. In each site, you explore the critical history and culture that defined it and the ways in which it influenced our modern world. These lectures offer both a rich resource for travelers preparing to visit these distant lands and a multilevel cultural journey that can be enjoyed just as well from the comfort of home.

des 282019
 

28. desember 1994 – på festen for DE USKYLDIGE BARN I BETLEHEM – ble jeg opptatt i Den katolske kirkes fulle fellesskap, og mottok konfirmasjonens sakrament og min første hellige kommunion.

Jeg hadde akkurat et år tidligere sagt opp min jobb i Den evangelisk lutherske frikirke i Arendal, og ga meg selv et halvt år til å tenke meg om (og om nødvendig ombestemme meg) før jeg avslutta min lutherske prestetjeneste i juni 1994 – åtte år etter min lutherske ordinasjon – og begynte skikkelig på min opptakelesesprosess.

Bildet viser meg denne dagen sammen med pastor Alan Littlewood og min fadder. Littlewood hadde kjent til mine planer om å bli katolikk siden november 1993, han tok meg opp i Kirken, og han hjalp meg svært mye i min fortsatte forberedelse fram mot ordinasjonen 8. januar 2000.

Om noen få dager er det altså 20 år siden min prestevielse.

des 222019
 

Jeg hører nå på en del lydbøker, og det er historiske emner som interesserer meg mest. Nå har jeg nettopp hørt gjennom foredragsserien “Holy Land Revealed”, som er en del av Audibles Great Courses. Om disse foredragene kan man lese:

As the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the Holy Land (the area in and around modern-day Israel) is one of the most important regions in the world and the setting for defining events in religious history.

Comb through this evidence for yourself with The Holy Land Revealed, which will add new dimensions to your understanding of this dynamic place. Delivered by archaeologist and award-winning Professor Jodi Magness of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, these 36 lectures give you an insider’s look at how archaeology helps us relive this period of civilization. And it’s a chance to get up close and personal with long-buried objects that will take you deep beneath the pages of the Bible.

des 132019
 

danske Katolsk Orientering leser jeg i dag at “Polen har hatt markant færre prestekall de siste 20 år.” Og siden dette har ganske stor betydning for Norge, som nå har veldig mage polske prester, siterer jeg hele artikkelen her.

Polens primas siger, at overgrebssagerne har haft betydning for den store tilbagegang i antallet af nye præstekald.

”Demografi spiller naturligvis en vigtig rolle i den faldende tendens, men det er bestemt ikke den eneste årsag”, siger ærkebiskop Wojciech Polak til det katolske nyhedsbureau KAI. ”Jeg stiller også spørgsmål ved de unge polakkers trosliv i dag, vores vidnesbyrd om troen i Kirken, verden og i familierne, og vores evne og vilje til at løse vanskelige og smertefulde spørgsmål i Kirkens liv”.

Ærkebiskoppen kommenterede de nyeste kirkelige data, der viser, at 498 begyndte deres uddannelse på et af landets 83 katolske præsteseminarer i år, hvilket er en femtedel mindre end i 2018. Hermed bekræftes tendenser for de sidste tyve år, hvor antallet af seminarister er faldet med 60 %.

Polak henviser også til den ”massive emigration” og ”et større forbrug” som nøglefaktorer, og en ”stadig større ligegyldighed over for det immaterielle og åndelige”.

”Vi ved, det er et komplekst problem, som kræver en dybtgående og kompetent analyse som udgangspunkt for at tage yderligere skridt”, tilføjer han: ”Spændingerne inden for Kirken har også haft betydning, især den mest smertelige af dem alle, pædofiliskandalen. Alt dette, kombineret med mange problemer i relation til opdragelse og familieliv, har skabt en større frygt for at træffe livslange beslutninger”.

Den polske primas tilføjer, at præstemanglen nu udgør “et virkeligt problem” især i mindre sogne, hvor nogle præster nu får ansvar for flere sogne. I 2017 advarede kardinal Kazimierz Nycz af Warszawa om, at Kirken i Polen – ligesom i andre europæiske lande – bliver nødt til at sammenlægge sogne og rekruttere præster fra Asien. I et hyrdebrev i april 2018 skrev landets bispekonference, at Kirken i Polen ikke længere råder over så mange præster, at man fremover vil kunne betjene polske katolikker i udlandet i samme udstrækning som hidtil.

des 082019
 


Vi leser også i år at Mariastatuen ved Spansketrappen fikk mye oppmerksomhet og kranser 8. desember, dagen for Jomfru Marias uplettede unnfangelse – en krans blir hengt på Marias arm ved hjelp av en lang stige (se bildet over). Hos Catholic News Agency kan vi lese mer om det som skjedde i dag: “For the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Pope Francis on Sunday venerated a statue of the Virgin Mary located in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna …”

Man kan lese mer om denne statuen på Wikipedia – og se et større bilde under (klikk på bildet).

CNA-artikkelen skriver videre: “On the feast day, Pope Francis also offered a prayer before the Byzantine Marian icon Salus Populi Romani in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.” Mer om dette bildet kan man lese på Wikipedia og også se bildet under.

nov 162019
 

Som en del av møtet til Liturgikommisjonen for noe dager siden besøkte vi Vatikanets Gudstjeneste- og sakramentskongregasjon. Under kan man se noen bilder fra møtet (bildene er tatt av Sigurd Hareide, foran med skjerf i første bilde).

okt 222019
 

I dag har vi vært i Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga i Lisboa, og bl.a. sette den berømte Belem-monstransen. Om denne kan man lese:

Commissioned by the king Dom Manuel I for the Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Belém (Jerónimos), the Belém Monstrance can be attributed to the Portuguese goldsmith and playwright Gil Vicente. It was made with the gold paid as a tribute by the king of Kilwa (in present-day Tanzania), as a sign of vassalage to the crown of Portugal, and was brought to this country by Vasco da Gama on his return from his second voyage to India, in 1503. It stands as an excellent example of the taste for pieces conceived as micro-architectures in the late Gothic period.

Designed to house the consecrated host and exhibit it for the veneration of the congregation, it presents the twelve apostles kneeling in the centre, with a swinging dove hovering above them, in white enamelled gold, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, and, in the upper level, the figure of God the Father, holding the globe of the Universe. In this way, moving in an upward direction, the monstrance materialises the representation of the Holy Trinity.
The armillary spheres, the emblem of king Dom Manuel I, which mark out the knot of the central stem as if uniting two worlds (the earthly world, which spreads across the base, and the supernatural world, which rises upwards at the top of the piece), appear as the fullest possible consecration of the royal power at that historic moment of overseas expansion, confirming the spirit of the device of the Fortunate King.

Under ser dere mine egne bilder fra besøket; jeg syns det nest slående er de tolv apostlene som kneler i tilbedelse foran sakramentet.

sep 142019
 

Jeg hadde faktisk ikke hørt om dette tidligere; at man i domkirken i Milano en nagle fra Jesu kors, som erkebiskopen selv henter ned fra det faste tilholdsstedet 40 meter oppe på apsisveggen hvert år 14. september. Men i år leste jeg om det hos New Liturgical Movement, bl.a.:

As one might imagine, the cathedral of Milan, the largest cathedral in Italy and the mother church of one of the largest dioceses in the world, boasts a very impressive collection of relics. Chief among these is the Holy Nail, one of the nails of Our Lord’s Crucifixion, found by St Helena when she discovered the relics of the True Cross in Jerusalem. According to an old tradition, attested by St Ambrose in his funeral oration for the Emperor Theodosius, the holy empress sent one of the nails to her son Constantine, who had it bent into a bridle for his horse. This was then passed on to his son Constantius, who made his capital at Milan, and by him to his successors, until Theodosius consigned it to St Ambrose at the very end of the fourth century.

The reliquary containing the Holy Nail is normally kept in a tabernacle at the very back of the Duomo’s apse, and almost at the ceiling, forty meters above the floor. Its place is marked with a red light which burns before it continually, but the tabernacle itself is often difficult to see when the church is dark. However, each year the reliquary is brought down on Sept. 14, at Vespers of the Exaltation of the Cross, and left for a week in the main sanctuary of the cathedral for the veneration of the faithful. …