Monthly Archives: January 2012

Martin Week 3 Blog 3 ( Final Blog)

During this week in class, the question came up “What exactly is a soul” and it caused some conflict in the air amongst us classmates. Some were saying we all have souls and others were disagreeing. Personally, I believe we do not have souls, it raises question to me what is the difference between a soul and a spirit or a soul and a heart? Someone brought up in the class saying everybody who is born has a soul because once we die our soul either goes to heaven or hell, which can lead to a debate on if there really is a heaven or hell. The answer to if we really have a soul all depends on your faith, I think it all depends on the way you were brought up and raised. People are always going to have different answers and views when it comes to stuff relating to religion and faith. People should believe in what they want because I do not think there will ever be an answer for this type of question. It does make a great debate though, maybe in your next class you can split the class up and set up a debate on this topic, I’m sure it would be very interesting to listen too


Martin Week 3 Blog 2- Class Overview

On the first day of class I was a bit nervous not gonna lie. When I was going through the course outline and saw much work there was my first thought to myself was “I need to drop this class and fast”. I decided to stick it out and what a smart move that was by me. I have never really had a more discussion based class where everyone was involved it was always the lecture type where I always catch myself looking at the clock to see how much time was left, it was not the case for this class at all. I can honestly say this is by far the most I have participated in a class since I have been at St. Norbert College, maybe because there was no shortcuts for this class or really I think the material just interested me to the point where I wanted to share my thoughts on things with my classmates. I also really liked how the class was set up in a circle, it gave everyone a chance to open up and feel more comfortable while talking and participating. Having a teacher who is very understanding and has a fun sense of humor always makes class more enjoyable, in which it did in this case. I had fun these past few weeks in class, even though it was a lot of work , I am glad I stuck through it. .

Martin Week 3 Blog 1- Group Project

At first glance when I was assigned to my group I felt a bit nervous because I did not really know anyone , but after a few quick meetings I felt much more comfortable and realized what a good group we are together. When we picked Oda, we knew it was going to be a challenge but we were still up for the work. We put a lot of time in researching on Oda and yet time after time we came up empty handed on material about her. There was one point where we were all a bit nervous on how our presentation is actually going to turn out with the limited amount material on Oda we had. Even though with limited resources we still managed to put together a pretty neat and informative presentation and powerpoint. Even though it was a lot of hard work and time consuming , looking back now on the project it was really a lot of fun. I feel I made some new friends with in my group which is pretty neat. I feel if you get along good with a group of people the work is always going to have a higher quality. This project is something I recommend in the future with your other classes for this course because I feel our whole class enjoyed it.

Martin 14th Century

Jimmy Martin

14th Century

The 14th century is a century responsible for a very broad range of events. The planet began a massive transition in climate starting from the “Medieval Warm Period” to the “Little Ice Age.” The 14th century is also responsible for famous wars and the beginnings of famous empires.
Only a couple decades into the 14th century, England and France began a battle over the French throne that would carry on for over a century, earning its name “100 Years’ War.” The battles were on and off through out the decades, but France would eventually win the war and keep control of the French throne.
From the Revolt of the Ciompi in Florence to the Peasant’s Revolt in England, Europe was never at rest, no one was happy and the lower class was finally starting to fight back to gain a voice and rights in their country.

The Little Ice age did a lot more damage than your common cold, the ice age may be responsible for the start of the Black Death. The transition in climate caused changes in the agriculture and the way people ate and carried out their daily diet.The Black Death was a massive epidemic spread throughout europe. It is formally called the bubonic plague, and has been to have been the reason for the deaths of one third of the world. The plague wiped out countless amounts of towns and reached various countries. The plague was extremely contagious and could be caught by contact. People wouldn’t make it longer than three or four days before they painfully coughed and bled to their death. If the estimates are true, this plague made a drastic impact on not just a country, but a world’s progress. Looking into it, people have realized how our current population is most likely affected by the butterfly affect of twenty million people missing only a couple hundred years back.

In conclusion, the 14th century has had a huge impact on our population today, with out the plagues twenty million deaths the current population could be larger by hundreds of millions of people. France finally gained its right to their throne and still exist today because their huge win. All of these wars revolts and plagues also played a huge role in leading into the start of the Renaissance in the late 14th century.


Works Cited
1)”14th Century Outline.” Washington State University – Pullman, Washington. (accessed January 18, 2012).
Marseille, January 1348 it penetrated France via, and North Africa via Tunis..
2)”The Disastrous 14th Century.” University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. (accessed January 18, 2012).

Martin Week 2 Blog 3- Reading

This week the reading of Oda caught my attention more so then the other readings. Reason being that I found it so interesting what she put herself through just to stay faithful and honest to God. She was so committed to her religion she put God in front of everything including her family. It did not matter what her father told her, she did what she thought was best for her relationship with God. She went so far to the point that on her own wedding day she took a sword and cut part of her nose off just to look ugly so that no man would want to sleep with her. 

I know it was a completely different era back then but I just feel as if no matter when generation you lived in people had to believe that this type of behavior was crazy, even if she was doing it for Christ. I know this type of behavior would put her into a mental institution if she was doing this lifetime but you really never know how people would go for there Religion. For example, suicide bombers think that they will have 9 wives once they get to Allah, and that heaven will accept them for what they did. I guess it really all depends on your faith, but who am I to know. Its just my opinions.


Martin Week 2 Blog 2- Saint Norbert Abbey

This week we had the majority of our classes at the Saint Norbert Abbey, which was an place I have yet to see but heard a lot about. It was good getting out the normal classroom and changing up the daily scenario but being there really made me think about my faith. The Abbey is a beautiful place and it was good just to just take a few minutes each day to try and become closer with God, whether it was while walking around or sitting on the couch and saying or prayer.

I was really unaware on how many people actually went and supported the Abbey. Before going there, I thought it was more of a convent for the priest. While I was there, people were walking in and out at all hours of the day. It is really great on how open they are to the community and especially us St. Norbert students. I could definitely see myself driving over there one day just to get away from the outside world in the near future.

Martin Week 2 Blog 1

Jimmy Martin

Week 2 Blog 1

Earlier this week, we spit up into groups and talked about the different readings that were assigned for that day. Personally, for me I gained a lot more insight of what was actually going on. In the groups, I feel as if everyone has something to say where as if were talking about it as a class someone may be to timid to talk in front of the group as a whole. It was good hearing different peoples opinions inside my group. It as if we almost had a mini debate going on amongst us.

Sometimes while reading, I am absolutely lost or raise questions to myself. For instance, while reading Oda, I kept thinking to myself I hope I’m not the only one who thinks she is crazy. Luckily when I brought it up while going over the reading with my group they too thought the same thing. I just feel the class as a whole benefited from going over the readings in small groups first then to talk about it as a whole, because after we came back from our groups I feel as if everyone was more engaged in the discussion and had something to say which made the discussion fun to be apart of.  I know there is only 4 more classes left but maybe for future reference it would benefit the students better.

Martin 13th Century

Jimmy Martin

The 13th century was a very aggressive century, after looking through timelines of events that took place through out the century, there never seemed to be a dull moment. I noticed that there was a frequent amount of battle across the european continent throughout the whole century. 

The Holy Roman Empire was very active throughout the century, fighting with the pope over religious issues.The crusades took up a huge portion of the 13th century and caused a lot of wars over religion.The 4th, 5th and 6th crusades all took place within the 13th century, the fourth crusade played a huge role in impacting europe at the time and even today.Only four years into the start of the century, the fourth crusade was already under way.The goal of the fourth crusade was to defeat the Muslim ruled Jerusalem, but the goal was quickly changed after the crusaders put a lot of their time and resources into conquering Constantinople and forming the Latin empire. Even though the Byzantines would reclaim their land a mere fifty years later. The residents of Constantinople were not too concerned with the threats of the crusaders, the crusaders sacked the city with ease.

Even though the century was loaded with battle, the one event that I found the most interesting was the forming and completion of the Magna Carta. This charter or “bill of rights” granted the freemen of England rights and liberties. Some people look at the Magna Carta as any other bill of Rights, but in reality it is the base of many younger countries constitutions or charters. There are many similarities in the American Bill of Rights and the completed Magna Carta.

In conclusion, there were several wars and several documents that greatly affected the way the europeans lived and even formed the way that we as Americans live our lives today. This century played a huge role in affecting the catholic church and how the pope rules over it. The Magna Carter gave english men rights and set the bar on how countries should treat their citizens and how their rulers should rule.


Works Cited
“Featured Document: The Magna Carta.” National Archives and Records Administration. (accessed January 10, 2012).

“Fourth Crusade.” History Net: Where History Comes Alive – World & US History Online. (accessed January 10, 2012).

The Crusades.” Middle Ages. (accessed January 10, 2012).

Week 1 Annotated Bibliography

Ruether, Rosemary. Visionary Women Three Medieval Mystics. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002. (vii-5)

Preface and Three Medieval Mystics-This reading was an introduction on what we are about to start reading and learning about. It talked about some of the different women and also about their mystical experiences. 

McGinn, Bernard. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism. New York: Modern Library, 2006.(xiii-xviii)

Christian Mysticism Intro-After reading The introduction of Christian Mysticism I had a better understanding of what actually was mysticism. It explained the different kinds of mysticism as well which was very helpful for me.

Norbert and Early Norbertine Spirituality. (1-15, 175-191)

Into to Norbert & Early Norbertine Spirituality – Before this reading, I had no idea about the background of Norbert. It gave me a better understanding of how he actually was as a person. I feel as if we should all know a little bit about Norbert, since the college we attend is named after him.

Norbert & Early Norbertine Spirituality-This reading went in more depth about Norbert’s visions and how he feels we should live our life. It is some very useful information not only for class but also in life as well.

McGinn, Bernard. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism. New York: Modern Library, 2006. (27-34, 102-104, 331-335)

Bernard of Clairvaux- In this reading Bernard describes a bunch of different rooms, hes trying to compare all the different rooms to all of the different verses in the bible. Each room( section in the bible) has a different style and message for us to understand.

Hadewijch of Antwerp- In these few short pages Hadewijch’s explains to us her experience with the Holy Spirit. She goes into great detail and explains what had occurred in erotic language . I found this interesting since all these women were celibate at the time.

Hildegard of Bingen as Visionary -After this reading you get a better understanding on what Hildegard  had to go through in order for her to get her works approved by the higher authority. She stood up for what she thought was right and was willing to die for that as well. She was a very powerful and influential lady back then, a lot of people looked up to her.

Ruether, Rosemary. Visionary Women Three Medieval Mystics. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002. (6-29)

Hildegard of Bingen -This reading explains on what Hildegard had to go through to got her work noticed. She stood up for what she thought was right and eventually led to her having a meeting with the pope who gave her permission for her ideas and visions.

Martin Week 1 Blogs

Jimmy Martin

Blog 1

Today In class, I brought up the topic of why is it that the Catholic Church will not allow women to be considered priest and teach us the message of God each Sunday, compared to why is it Christian based churches allow women to have there own ministry. It has been on my mind ever since class ended and I wanted to just share some more of my thoughts on the topic.

Catholicism focuses on religion, which is legalistic and filled with rules that no longer match the world today. The Catholic religion is losing members because they focus on rules rather than a personal relationship with God. Christians use the word of God (The Bible) as our mirror and instruction as how God wants us to love. God does not discriminate against women; he looks at the heart of everybody. There are many great female Christian Pastors such as Joyce Meyer, Paula White and the most successful Joel & Victoria Olsteen who is brining the word of God to masses each week. Christians believe we must accept Jesus as our personal savior & invite him in our heart in order to enjoy a relationship with him everyday. He is always with us, and the Holy Spirit guides us here on earth day by day.

I feel more and more people are wondering off towards this type of religion and relationship with God instead of the same traditional Catholic Church life style.  I feel that the Catholic Church needs to make some changes in the next years to come or else they will be in big time trouble, whether it is allowing priest to have an family or allowing women into the priest hood. It is just my thoughts and ideas on this but I feel some change is needed in the Catholic Church.

Jimmy Martin

Blog 2

The short movie we watched it class today on Hildegard was very helpful for me. After last nights reading I was some what confused, but after watching the film it gave me a better understanding on what exactly what was happening back then. Hildegard was a very passionate person and stood up for things she believed was right, and for that I respect her.

For me, seeing a visual after the reading always helps me understand the material better in each way. I gained more sense of how passionate Hildegard was for her beliefs, at any point in time she could have been killed for being considered crazy and making false statements up. Yet still, she had no problem confessing to higher authorities on her images and visions she was having. I just still can not get over on how the priest treated the nuns, it was almost as if it was a master vs servant type relationship. I feel like God would not have wanted that to go on and yet it still kind of continues on today.

Luckily, Hildegard was not killed for her visions and beliefs. She lived a long successful life and started her on nunnery of Bingen. Through her works we gained a better prospective on how life was for a women with such high religious beliefs back then and we also get to go back and reflect on all of her poems, songs, books and also images.

Jimmy Martin

Blog 3

The readings for the first week of class were very interesting. Entering class, I really did not have a clue on what exactly I was going to learn about but now after reading so much material on all these different women I find myself almost rooting for them. I just can not get over how much pride these women had for themselves and for their beliefs. They were willing to risk there whole reputation and sometimes their life just to have their voices heard outside of there group. It just takes so much pride and faith in order to do that, personally I do not think I would be able to do that, especially during a time where women were looked as next to nothing. This material is starting to interest more and more each day and I look forward to next week’s readings as well.