bach in the time of pandemic


I waited to develop assignment #2 until I had looked at some of the papers for #1. Perhaps I was naïve to think that this unique situation would slow our lives down enough that we’d have time for an opera, but it appears that that was not the case. One of your classmates told me that many professors are piling on the work, and I know that we have major concerns about our and our family’s health and economic situations. This kind of turmoil can make concentrating very difficult.

Let’s see if Bach can help us weather our emotional storm better than WagnerJ I cannot emphasize enough how important the Protestant Reformation was in Western cultural history; many historians actually cite the fallout from Martin Luther’s protest against the church as the beginning of the Modern Era. Why is this? It is the beginning of the rise of the rights of the individual. Before the Reformation, the Church had complete hegemony over the spiritual lives of everyone in Europe: unless you had the blessing of the church through participation of the Sacraments, especially participation in the Mass and Confession of Sins you were not going to get into heaven. Moreover, the Pope exercised the power of Excommunication (denial of the sacraments) to keep the secular rulers under his political and economic control. The way that worked was if the Pope excommunicated your ruler, then all of his subjects were also excommunicated and no one could go to heaven.

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