Monthly Archives: March 2016

March 29 Meeting

rose Most members found it to be a long, “difficult” read, with all of the Latin, numerous other languages, lots of minor characters and long passages expounding on medieval theology. I think that our newest member, Damian, summed it up best when he said that “this is a book that I should have liked… it had everything I want in a novel… history, interesting literary technique, a Sherlock Holmesish murder mystery, commentary on/a plot that revolved around the big conceptual issues, life and death, religion, good and evil, right and wrong… and yet I didn’t (like it).” There were a lot of pages devoted to controversies regarding the poverty of Jesus, discussions of the Inquisition and perceived heresies, arcane differences between the Franciscans and Dominicans, and the conflicts between the Popes in Italy and France and the Holy Roman Emperor. Personally, I found this all very interesting, albeit often tedious, but was disappointed that the book never seemed to explain or even elude to what these thing meant to the characters in the book (and most of our group thought that there were too many), to the history of the Church and the world to come, or to us today? There seemed to be a consensus that the end of the book was somewhat disappointing. The secret book, that people killed for, turns out to a lost comedy by Aristotle? I was expecting it to be something big, important, earth shattering… a book that disproves the divinity of Jesus and would cause the whole Church to fall if released… or something like that? The abrupt ending, where everything goes up in flames, wasn’t to most members linking either. Is the moral that, the church made sure that no one got to read from one of the greatest libraries in the world anyway, so it doesn’t matter that it all burned down?

Eight of our members rated the book. Scores ranged from a low of 2 to a high of 7. The overall rating was 5.25.

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