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Perfect FoolsFolly for Christ's Sake in Catholic and Orthodox Spirituality$
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John Saward

Print publication date: 1980

Print ISBN-13: 9780192132307

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192132307.001.0001

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The Golden Age

The Golden Age

Chapter:
(p.80) 6 The Golden Age
Source:
Perfect Fools
Author(s):

John Saward

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192132307.003.0006

The 13th century was the beginning of the golden age of the fools, both sacred and secular. Henceforth the fool is well established; he has arrived. In the alehouse or the palace, fools, buffoons, and jongleurs are a familiar sight. Whether their sage-folly be greeted with anger or delight, it now has a recognized place within medieval society. This is as true of the fools for Christ as it is of the court fools. In the later Middle Ages there is an unselfconscious revelling in the mirth, joy, and good humour of life in Christ. The star of the fools will be in the ascendant for the next three centuries. This chapter traces the journey of the fools from the world in which they had a fixed and honourable place to the harsh age which regarded them as fit only for Bedlam.

Keywords:   holy folly, holy fools, Christ, golden age

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