A New Theory for an Old Age

This¬† article was definitely an extension of the Rosenwein article that my group presented for class, wherein Rosenwein gave a history of emotion building up to her ultimate idea about emotional communities. For me, this introduction was her putting the emotional community theory specifically into the context of the Middle Ages, and I appreciated being able to review her argument that emotions are shaped by our different cultures. I find it hard to believe that historians and scholars alike have so easily taken on the “unmediated, child-like” grand narrative, as I would assume (and hope) that people naturally would like to look at things more complexly. That being said, I can understand the convenience of simplifying a time period where sources are more limited and it takes much more effort (sometimes even unorthodox interpretation, as McNamer proved) to be able to discern the different emotions¬†that abounded so long ago. Rosenwein’s argument is sound, and it is always refreshing to see outdated theories, like Huizinga’s and Elias’s, be revised.

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