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Medieval Answers to Modern ProblemsAlbrecht Classen

Medieval Answers to Modern Problems

(Second Revised Edition)
Edited by Albrecht Classen

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-62131-979-5, 334 pages


Coming Soon
The Third Edition will be published Spring 2017. ISBN: 978-1-5165-1091-7

The Middle Ages were not only times of military conflicts, the formation of nations, and the rise of the Catholic Church, but also an era defined by profound exploration of what is magnificent and sublime in all aspects of life, including ethics, spirituality, aesthetics, architecture, religion, and philosophy.

Rather than focusing extensively on historical events, as is done in many traditional textbooks on the Middle Ages, Medieval Answers to Modern Problems instead focuses on critical issues that have concerned people throughout time, and illustrates how studying the Middle Ages from an interdisciplinary perspective can shed light on contemporary efforts to deal with these issues. Topics covered in this book include the mind-body dichotomy, the relevance of the divine in material existence, interpretations of death and how to cope with death constructively, the pursuit of love in spiritual and earthly terms, and the ideals of honor.

Initially the Middle Ages seem completely alien to modern ways of thinking, yet they still speak deeply to our need for both human and divine values, and inner growth. The broad range of documents presented in the book will challenge readers, provoke thought, and demonstrate just how much can be learned from the past.

Teaching Resources
Dr. Classen's article The Challenges of the Humanities, Past, Present, and Future: Why the Middle Ages Mean So Much for Us Today and Tomorrow was recently published in the Humanities. Read more in The Challenges of the Humanities, Past, Present, and Future - Volume 1.

Dr. Albrecht Classen is University Distinguished Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona, where he teaches and researches medieval and early modern European literature, culture, and art history. He has published more than seventy scholarly monographs, editions, translations, critical volumes, and textbooks, and more than 500 articles. Most recently he published Sexual Violence and Rape in the Middle Ages (2011), Sex im Mittelalter (in German, 2011); War and Piece: Critical Issues in European Societies 800-1800 (2011), and Friendship in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age (2011). In 2010 he published the standard-setting three volume Handbook of Medieval Studies. Currently he is preparing a new Handbook of Medieval Cultures. He serves as editor of the journals Mediaevistik, Tristania, and Humanities. He has received numerous teaching and research awards, most notably the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Band (Order of Merit) from the German government in 2004.