Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Must love dogs

Since class doesn't formally meet on Wednesday nights, Dr. Patterson suggested (and we agreed) a Wednesday evening movie night.  Attendance is optional, but those who venture out dine on pizza from Yorkside while drinking beer and watching a movie inspired by Medieval history and culture.

Our first viewing was The Name of the Rose starring a young Sean Connery and a pre-pubescent Christian Slater.  The following two weeks we endured a Peter O'Toole double-header with Becket and The Lion in Winter.  (O'Toole is brilliant in both, but Katherine Hepburn stole the show in TLiW, no surprise.  And talk about a star-studded cast, Timothy Dalton and Anthony Hopkins are both in that flick.)  This week we watched a movie entitled Sorceress.  (Despite minor issues with dubbing and Medieval quality acting, Sorceress is a must-see.)

Sorceress shares the account of a monk who goes to a small town to investigate heresy only to learn that the town's inhabitants are not committing heresy but instead worship a legitimate (loose interpretation of the word legitimate) saint.  St. Guinefort, the greyhound, protector of infants.  Yep, that's right.  A saintly dog.

Based upon a true account by the monk, the movie illuminates the philosophy that faith is more than what you can see with your eyes.  It also showed a mother's willingness to go to great lengths for her child, something I haven't seen much from the mothers in Chaucer's tales (with the exception of Constance and Prudence), but speaks to my philosophy of motherhood.  Despite persecution of the church, the women in the village believed in the power of St. Guinefort to protect their children and cure their illnesses.  So what if the ritual in the forest verges on heresy?  It's done for the wellness of the child.

These mothers had faith; although the practice was questioned by others, I admire them for that...even if it was in a dog...

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