A series of twenty reflections on the history of Christian civilization, or Christendom. The entire podcast is organized around the theme of "paradise and utopia"—that is, of the civilization's orientation toward the kingdom of heaven when traditional Christianity was influential, and of its "disorientation" toward the fallen world in the wake of traditional Christianity's decline in the west following the Great Schism.
When Pagandom Was Born Again V: From Adam to Prometheus
In this episode, Fr. John Strickland recounts the efforts of three Italian humanists of the quattrocento ("fourteen hundreds") to rescue the dignity of man from the pessimism of Western culture. Departing from traditional Christianity's dignification of man through communion with God, they looked instead to Neoplatonism and there found a model of the fully autonomous human being, Prometheus.
When Pagandom Was Born Again IV: Petrarch contra Pope Innocent
In this episode, Father John relates a case in which the early humanist Petrarch confronted one of the new Christendom's chief architects, Pope Innocent III. Applying his newly developed secular thinking, he rejected the pope's notorious treatise entitled On the Misery of the Human Condition.
When Pagandom Was Born Again III: The Origins of the Saeculum
Modern historians often bring attention to the effects of secularization on the West. Once traditional Christianity ceased to influence Western culture, the experience of the kingdom of heaven naturally diminished, something the famous German sociologist Max Weber called the "disenchantment of the world." In this episode, Fr. John describes how the concept of the saeculum, a kind of neutral cultural space cut off from the life of the Church, first appeared, and how, with Petrarch, it became a haven for humanists fleeing the pessimism of the fourteenth century.
When Pagandom Was Born Again II: Petrarch’s Despair
In this episode the "father of humanism," Francesco Petrarch, broods over his sense of guilt and despair, seeking a new path for Western Christendom known as the saeculum, or "secular."
When Pagandom Was Born Again I: The Roman Revolution of Cola di Rienzo
In this anecdotal introduction to Reflection 21, Father John relates a remarkable but short-lived revolution in fourteenth-century Rome that served as a sign of what the age of utopia would bring. Listeners who enjoy the music of Richard Wagner will recognize the ill-fated revolutionary's name and understand why the turbulent nineteenth-century composer was attracted to him! And speaking of music, if you are wondering about the new closing sequence, it is a chorus from Mozart's utopian opera The Magic Flute and consists of the following (in translation): "When virtue and justice strew with fame the path of the great, then earth is a realm of heaven, and mortals are like the gods."
Introduction to Part 3
Father John welcomes listeners back to the podcast with the opening to its third part, the age of utopia. He also summarizes some of the main points of his recently released book The Age of Division, which tells the history of Christendom covered in the second part of the podcast.
Strickland's podcast, in companionship with his two recent books, has been a crucial eye-opener to the history of Europe over the last two thousand years. Both for understanding the nature of Christendom during the first millenium, and the degree to which Christendom changed after the Schism in 1054, with the New Papacy. Highly recommended!
The entire series...
Woven beautifully by a master of history and theology. Deep and of great help to minor thinkers our here trying to make sense of the great royal path.
Amazing podcast series
I just finished his book which is also amazing “The Age of Paradise.” I think listening to this podcast series, and reading his book together are very informative. I enjoy studying church history from a variety of sources, and Fr. John Stickland does a remarkable job in both his podcast and his book.