Alison came up with an interesting quote in her dissertation research on 12th century France:
Scholars of that time delighted in exploring complex interlocking patterns and eschewed univocal interpretations.*
As I hear more and more about this time period from Alison, I see why she studies history. It sheds light forward onto our own time. Would you describe our current ways of thinking as “eschewing univocal interpretations,” because I wouldn’t. I forget who said the following but I agree and I guess so would the scholars of 1100: the older I get, the more I learn that not only is it okay to hold contradictory beliefs, but the deepest, most important elements of life are bound up in such opposing truths.
*Stephan Borgehammar, “A Monastic Conception of the Liturgical Year,” in The Liturgy of the Medieval Church, ed. Thomas J Heffernan and E. Ann Matter (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2001), 18.