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SECTION II From the Spiritual World to the Secular World: Changing Concepts of the Body Mechikoff & Estes, A History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical.

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Presentation on theme: "SECTION II From the Spiritual World to the Secular World: Changing Concepts of the Body Mechikoff & Estes, A History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical."— Presentation transcript:

1 SECTION II From the Spiritual World to the Secular World: Changing Concepts of the Body Mechikoff & Estes, A History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education, Fourth Edition © 2006, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

2 Philosophy, Sport, and Physical Education During the Middle Ages: 900-1400 Chapter 5

3 General History Dark Ages:  After fall of Rome (476 A.D.) until 900 A.D. Middle Ages (or Medieval Period)  From 900 A.D. to beginning of Italian Renaissance (14th century)  Views of sport Ranged from athletic feats of knights, to sport in preparation for crusades, to ascetic views of monks

4 Dark Ages Collapse of Rome and the beginning of the Dark Ages caused utter chaos  Many people fled cities to seek protection from powerful aristocrats Commerce, trade, and public administration developed by Rome essentially vanished during the Dark Ages

5 Dark Ages Dark Ages civilization regressed into kingdoms  Similar to tribal societies Europe became feudalistic  Castles and walled cities designed by desperate people for protection

6 Impact of Christianity Judaism and Islam profoundly impacted Europe Not to the extent of Christianity Christian church—only institution left intact after the fall of the Roman Empire  Provided a symbol of stability and order amidst fear Christianity spread throughout the ruins of the Roman Empire

7 Christian Church

8 Impact of Christianity Theology of the church:  Epistemology: based on absolute faith and belief in the certainty of the divine revelation  Divine revelation: God directly reveals truth through prayer and scripture  The promise of heaven to all who followed its teachings Looked good to people of Dark and Middle Ages

9 Christianity and Greek Philosophy Medieval philosophers didn’t have access to many literary sources  Greek works, especially Plato and Aristotle Plato and Aristotle interested in similar metaphysical questions as Christianity:  Existence of soul  Personification and belief in God  Nature of being, system of ethics

10 Christianity and Greek Philosophy Not all Christians were eager to embrace the merging of Christianity with Greek philosophy Tertullian: demanded bodily mortification  Opposed recognizing the pagan Greek philosophy  He and his followers were in the minority Platonism: endorsed by Christian thinkers as intellectual preparation for Christianity

11 Christianity and Greek Philosophy Christian theologians  Attempted to “wed” philosophy with theology  Developed philosophical proofs to support theological beliefs  Scholastics: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, etc. Philosophy and theology have different starting points  Philosophy is based on reasoned inquiry  Theology is based on faith

12 Philosophical positions of the body Biblical Jesus: perfection in body, mind, and soul Philosophical positions of the body emerged from theology  God created universe, men/women, mind/body  Implied the body and the soul were good Metaphysics/ontology became confused during medieval debates  Debate over nature of Jesus’ body contributed to splitting of Christianity

13 Philosophical Positions of the Body Orthodox: rejected idea that body was evil Christian concept of the body  Merging of Eastern Orthodox theology and Greek philosophy Bubonic plague: devastated Europe (fourteenth century)  Millions died  Church: plague was a sign from God  Body was “Messenger of Death”

14 Philosophical Positions of the Body Plague tended to change Medieval view of the body “Scholastics” would disagree with this position

15 Philosophical Positions of the Body: Middle Ages Ontology became confused  Ascetic dualism: blended Platonic philosophy, Christian history, and other religious thought  Sought to purify the soul  Denied all pleasure  Eastern Orthodox church formed an ascetic order— monks Scholastics: saw close relationship between the mind and the body

16 Thomas Aquinas St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)  Embraced physical fitness and recreation as positive for promoting social and moral well- being  Said that intelligence depends in part on the physical fitness level of the individual Believed that we can know things through our bodies as well as through our mind  Thought the mind was superior to the body

17 Thomas Aquinas Agreed with Aristotle  Man is an integral composite of body and soul  Soul needs a body to acquire knowledge. Scholastics: were among the first to establish philosophical and religious justification for the body  Valued physical fitness and recreation for physical, mental, social, moral well-being  God is omnipresent and therefore in the body  Did not believe that body was a “messenger of death”

18 Maimonides, St. Bonaventure Maimonides: Jewish physician  “Nothing is more useful for the preservation of health than physical exercise" St. Bonaventure: Scholastic  Body does not imprison the soul  Is a friend and companion  Individual exists as union of body and soul

19 Holidays and Ball Games Peasant (serf) life was particularly difficult  Owned home but worked land as rent for protection  Recreation: only on Sunday after church  Serfs participated in games and amusements Major holidays considered pagan  Extended over several days  Filled with foods, entertainment, and games  Often degenerated into drunken free-for-alls

20 Games of the Middle Ages Ball games tended to be rough and lax on rules  Soule: resembled soccer and played by peasants  Played between two “goals”  Goals could be anything  Many versions as local customs governed rules

21 Games of the Middle Ages Some early versions of hockey and baseball, bowling (kegels) Horse racing English football: gained popularity in London

22 Medieval Social Structure Hierarchy of aristocrats emerged Feudal relationships based on military allegiance to a local monarch (for protection) Monarchs often had bodyguards (lord/vassal)  Bodyguards given land: lords taxed/protected serfs  Wealth came from property ownership

23 Medieval Social Structure Leisure became unique to nobles (monarch/lord) Social mobility became very restricted as the era progressed

24 Aristocratic Sport Based largely on war games  Tournament (joust): most famous of period—gala affairs that were social and recreational Medieval tournament: celebration of social order  Evolved from free-for-all into ordered events  Joust: mounted horsemen try to knock each other off  Melee: groups of knights in hand-to-hand combat  Condemned by church initially; knightly sports were accepted during era of Crusades

25 Knightly Sport


27 Medieval Concepts of Health Galen—furthered the work of Hippocrates Furthered knowledge of anatomy and physiology  Dissected animals and occasionally humans Believed “humor theory” of health  Body composed of four humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile  Health involved a balance of these humors

28 Medieval Concepts of Health Humor theory (cont.)  Humors explained life stages, personality, moods, and disease  Phlebotomy (bloodletting): common treatment Herbs, minerals, and animal materials also used to treat humoral imbalance Christians employed religious rituals as disease treatment  Prayed to saints to intervene, amulets, incantations

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