Activity Outcome
  • Students will be able to consider attitudes towards gender, ethnicity, science, religion, etc., during the Middle Ages and on the modern era.
  • Students will be able to reconsider whether our own approaches to the Middle Ages are accurate.
  • Students will be able to think about the meanings of the words “primitive” and “progress.”
Relevant Course Outcome
  • Students will be able to recognize and articulate the value of studying early British literature.
  • Students will be able to identify and analyze the textual, historical, and cultural contexts of works of literature.

Instructions:
  • Read each quotation and discuss it briefly as a group.
  • Come to a consensus as to whether you think it is a medieval quotation or a modern quotation (i.e. whether it was said/written by a medieval writer/person or a modern one).
  • Select a scribe to record your decisions in a Discussion Post on this page.
  • Afterward completing all 33 quotations, consult the answer key (don't cheat!). Were you correct? Were you incorrect? If incorrect, does the answer surprise you?
  • For 10 Activity points, respond to the final questions in an individual Discussion Post on this page.

Disclaimer: quotations heavily edited for language to disguise obvious clues (this is not an example to follow!); meanings have been retained

Quotations:
  1. So a woman who is free of wedlock, or a virgin, is concerned with the Lord’s claim, intent on holiness, bodily and spiritual; whereas the married woman is concerned with the world’s claim, asking how she is to please her husband.
  2. God has truly made women's minds sharp enough to learn, understand, and retain any form of knowledge
  3. I have the power during my life over his body, and not he. The Apostle said this, and told our husbands to love us well. I like this a lot.
  4. Women are much happier at home with a husband and children.
  5. We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytising.
  6. The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.
  7. We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads.
  8. But that miserable and afflicted wife endures far greater oppression than her husband. For when she sees the one who should be her comfort in every distress, and from whom she should expect advocacy, being savage and more hostile to her than all others, where can she turn?
  9. A woman’s behavior must be monitored and her decisions subject to approval of a male relative who understands what’s in her best interests better than she does herself.
  10. Marry for love.
  11. If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the rape down.
  12. Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love.
  13. It angers and upsets me when men claim that women want to be raped and that, even though she says no to a man, she won't in fact mind if he does force himself on her. You can be sure that women would find no pleasure in being raped.
  14. The right approach is to accept rape — a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.
  15. "If there came a man to kill me unless I have sex with you as I have done before, would you let him kill me or sleep with me?" "I would rather you be killed than have sex again."
  16. Let every man give his wife what is her due, and every woman do the same by her husband.
  17. Men expect far greater constancy from women than they themselves can manage.
  18. These ideas are encouraged by Satan.
  19. One and all fell prey to women; if I am led astray, I may be excused.
  20. Islam is a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem in their so-called holiest days.
  21. When life begins in rape, it is something that God intended to happen.
  22. When you see your wife commit an offense, do not rush at her with insults and violence: rather, first correct the wrong lovingly and pleasingly.
  23. The wall will go up, and our enemy will start behaving.
  24. Knowledge of the sciences should help inform moral values.
  25. Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love aggressors.
  26. Pagans are wrong, the Christian cause is right.
  27. Women immodestly dressed cause earthquakes.
  28. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.
  29. Let us ask pardon for the divisions which have occurred among Christians, for the violence some have used in the service of the truth and for the distrustful and hostile attitudes sometimes taken towards the followers of other religions.
  30. He agreed to give them assurances of safety . . . He made no difficulties, and when he was advised to imprison them, replied that he would not go back on his word.
  31. Most Muslims are peaceful. But if someone's killed for what they said or wrote, you know the religion of the murderers.
  32. Once you give a woman personal freedom, she enslaves herself to one of numerous vices and undertakes a rampage of destruction to her body and those who want to be a meaningful part of her life.
  33. There is no greater sin in terms of wrongly using God’s name than women who use it during sex. That is one of the filthiest, most derogatory and sinful uses of the Lord’s name.

Reflection (for 10 Activity points - individual response):
What did you learn from this exercise? Were any of your attitudes concerning the Middle Ages confirmed or changed? Do you believe that the people of the Middle Ages were primitive and that there has indeed been progress in the attitudes discussed? Does this suggest any significance in studying the medieval period?


Disclaimer: quotations heavily edited for language to disguise obvious clues (this is not an example to follow!); meanings have been retained
Quotations:

1. So a woman who is free of wedlock, or a virgin, is concerned with the Lord’s claim, intent on holiness, bodily and spiritual; whereas the married woman is concerned with the world’s claim, asking how she is to please her husband.
2. God has truly made women's minds sharp enough to learn, understand, and retain any form of knowledge
3. I have the power during my life over his body, and not he. The Apostle said this, and told our husbands to love us well. I like this a lot.
4. Women are much happier at home with a husband and children.
5. We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytising.
6. The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.

7. We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads.
8. But that miserable and afflicted wife endures far greater oppression than her husband. For when she sees the one who should be her comfort in every distress, and from whom she should expect advocacy, being savage and more hostile to her than all others, where can she turn?
9. A woman’s behavior must be monitored and her decisions subject to approval of a male relative who understands what’s in her best interests better than she does herself.
10. Marry for love.
11. If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the rape down.
12. Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love.
13. It angers and upsets me when men claim that women want to be raped and that, even though she says no to a man, she won't in fact mind if he does force himself on her. You can be sure that women would find no pleasure in being raped.
14. The right approach is to accept rape — a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.
15. "If there came a man to kill me unless I have sex with you as I have done before, would you let him kill me or sleep with me?" "I would rather you be killed than have sex again."
16. Let every man give his wife what is her due, and every woman do the same by her husband.
17. Men expect far greater constancy from women than they themselves can manage.
18. These ideas are encouraged by Satan.
19. One and all fell prey to women; if I am led astray, I may be excused.
20. Islam is a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem in their so-called holiest days.
21. When life begins in rape, it is something that God intended to happen.
22. When you see your wife commit an offense, do not rush at her with insults and violence: rather, first correct the wrong lovingly and pleasingly.
23. The wall will go up, and our enemy will start behaving.
24. Knowledge of the sciences should help inform moral values.
25. Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love aggressors.
26. Pagans are wrong, the Christian cause is right.
27. Women immodestly dressed cause earthquakes.
28. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.
29. Let us ask pardon for the divisions which have occurred among Christians, for the violence some have used in the service of the truth and for the distrustful and hostile attitudes sometimes taken towards the followers of other religions.
30. He agreed to give them assurances of safety . . . He made no difficulties, and when he was advised to imprison them, replied that he would not go back on his word.
31. Most Muslims are peaceful. But if someone's killed for what they said or wrote, you know the religion of the murderers.
32. Once you give a woman personal freedom, she enslaves herself to one of numerous vices and undertakes a rampage of destruction to her body and those who want to be a meaningful part of her life.