Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Children and Medieval Christianity

The Innocence of Children.

The notion of the innocence and purity of children was a concept which became connected to a host of medieval religious images. Beginning in the ninth century, children were depicted nude in art to signify their purity. They were often depicted as cherub-like or cupid-like angelic figures. Quite commonly, children were also connected to the notion of the infant Son of God. Many medieval monks claimed to have seen an infant in the consecrated bread during the liturgy at the moment of its ritual elevation by the priest. Familiar scripture quotations that supported the sacred role of children are still often cited: from Psalms 8:2–3 and Matthew 21:16, "out of the mouths of babes;" Psalms 85:12, "truth will spring from the ground;" and Mark 10:15 and Luke 18:17, "whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child." These scriptural...

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This section contains 878 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion Encyclopedia Article
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Arts and Humanities Through the Eras
Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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