Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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Your Abbot Suger, is an absolutely fascinating character. Clarke describes him as; ”one of the first men of the middle ages whom one can think of in modern terms”.
On reflection, I’m not sure to what extent it was suggested that Suger knowingly contrived in cutting and pasting various achievements and attributes onto the shoulders of his abbey’s (and France’s) patron saint, but that account (in the introduction), of how the legends of three separate historical figures came to be amalgamated into one formidable ‘St. Denis’, each bringing very useful attributes to the party, does seem to illustrate the accommodating workings of the medieval mind.
Is it fair to say that Suger had set his sights on achieving great works, architecturally, artistically, politically and religously, and to accomplish great works it helped to have a great story?
What seems clear from even a brief reading of your links and Clark’s ‘Civilisation’ is that, under the influence of men like Suger, mid 12th century France was a fountainhead of energy and ideas and one of the most enduring of these ideas was Gothic architecture.
I’m not equiped to debate this subject on theological gounds, and while I don’t doubt that faith and the glorification of God played a part in all of this, it’s the other forces; the mastery of material, the inter-urban competitive dynamic, the sheer will on the part of the tiny community of master-masons to push construction knowledge and craft to the limit, that strike me as possibly the more critical factors in the development and evolution of the movement.
I don’t know, I could be completely wrong.
And I think you are completely correct in identifying this element in a complex combination of elements driving the cultural whirlwind of the period.