Lidská monstra ve středověkých pramenech. Proměny evropského vztahu k "jinému"

Title in English Human monsters in Medieval Sources: Changes of European Attitude towards "the Others"


Year of publication 2006
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Náboženství a tělo
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords Human Monsters; Travel Accounts; East; Missionaries; "the Other"
Description The article deals with a problem of human monsters as representations of „the Other“, and examines medieval attitude towards them. During the Middle Ages various human monsters such as skiapods, headless or dog-heads became popular topics of literal tradition. It has been argued in scientific literature that their monstrous appearance and localization to the margins shows medieval rejection of any kind of “Other”. However, according to medieval authorities (Augustinus, Isidore), even human monsters were part of God’s creation and as such deserved salvation. Medieval concept of the world as an allegory of God’s plan did not allow condemn them as different, ugly evil. I suggest, that the attitude towards “the Other”, including monsters, should be viewed in a close relation to a change of the interpretation of the world. If the concept of the world as an expression of God’s will was abandoned, all its various parts lost their unearthly meaning and became a part of human possession.

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