OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - Belief

Updated Monday 30th April 2012

How the world of religion, the supernatural, the cult of the saints and the Crusades shaped the Medieval Mind.    

medieval burial Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: photos.com In Belief, Robert Bartlett explores belief in the supernatural. The medieval dead shared the world with the living: encounters with the dead and visions of the next world ensured a two-way traffic between this world and the next. Robert uses medieval sources to create a keen sense of the after-life.

The cult of the saints was part of the medieval preoccupation with death. The holy dead were active in their intercession for the living, and their relics were prized. Robert explores this preoccupation through one of the few medieval relics in Britain, the skull of St Simon Stock at Aylesford Priory.

The Church governed the lives of the faithful through its teachings and in the sacraments, which Robert explores in a visit to Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland, where the prayers of medieval monks held the devil at bay.

The programme explores how from the 11th Century, the church became increasingly hostile towards outsiders, exemplified in the First Crusade and the so-called Muslim ‘infidels’. A legacy Robert explores in the Temple Church of the crusading Knights Templar in London. Closer to home, the Jewish community comes under scrutiny, culminating in the massacre at York in 1190, while a growing number of reformers such as John Wycliff and the Lollards face persecution as a threat to the established belief of the Church.

Inside The Medieval Mind: Belief was first broadcast on BBC Four, 1st May 2008. For further broadcast details, and to watch online where available, visit bbc.co.uk.

Inside The Medieval Mind series guide:

Find out more

 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - Sex Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: photos.com article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - Sex

Unearth remarkable evidence of the complex passions of medieval men and women in the medieval world, as Robert Bartlett explores Sex.

Article
Medieval history: Ancestral life audio discussion Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC audio icon

History & The Arts 

Medieval history: Ancestral life audio discussion

Robert Bartlett and Rachel Gibbons discuss the surprising ways in which our ancestors' lives were not that different from ours - and the ways in which they were

Audio
30 mins
Paul O'Grady's Working Britain: Order your free copy of 'A journal of working class life' Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Paul O'Grady's Working Britain: Order your free copy of 'A journal of working class life'

Order a free booklet exploring different aspects of working class life in Britain through the years.

Article
My Favourite Fossil: Gavin Boyland Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University video icon

TV, Radio & Events 

My Favourite Fossil: Gavin Boyland

Gavin Boyland, assistant producer for Fossil Detectives, had a surprise awaiting him in Madagascar.

Video
5 mins
OU on the BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World - The Word and the Sword Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World - The Word and the Sword

The third episode of Andrew Marr's epic story charts the spritual revolutions between 300 BC and 700 AD 

Article
Life: The making of Life: Life's rich tapestry Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Life: The making of Life: Life's rich tapestry

Mike Gunton, Executive Producer of the BBC/OU series Life, shares his experiences of filming in the Antarctic

Article
Rough Science 6 Colorado: Photo Video Diaries: Mike Bullivant Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team video icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Rough Science 6 Colorado: Photo Video Diaries: Mike Bullivant

Exclusive video extra in which Mike Bullivant talks about the challenge for the Photo programme, from the sixth BBC/OU TV series Rough Science, based in Colorado

Video
5 mins
Nobody's Normal - Programme 1: Baby love Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Nobody's Normal - Programme 1: Baby love

Programme one in the BBC/OU's Nobody's Normal series explores parenting.

Article
OU Lecture 2005: Hitler's Place in History - Why an OU Lecture? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU Lecture 2005: Hitler's Place in History - Why an OU Lecture?

Derek Matravers explains the thinking behind an annual Open University lecture.

Article