Tag Archives: concrete operations

European art after the Roman Empire

Art between the Roman period and the Renaissance.

The Romans portrayed three dimensions properly in two dimensions in their paintings. They had receding lines and a sense that things further away are smaller. But this did not persist in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, at least not in Western Europe. And I haven’t seen any evidence for it in the Christian, Constantinople-based Roman Empire that persisted into medieval times. Continue reading

Art and Cognitive Development

Representational Art

Early Childhood
Drawing is rarely present in children younger than 2-2.5 years old (Piaget, 1962). Before about age 4, children draw scribbles. At first they are just scribbles, then they evolve into different types of scribbles to represent different things. By age 4 they are drawing recognizable shapes. Continue reading

Virginity, Celibacy, and Religious Purity

This is more about how literal concrete operational faith can be.

The Quest of the Holy Grail (thirteenth century CE Britain, written in Norman French) tells the story of the knights of the Round Table, followers of King Arthur in Britain, who go out on a quest to find the Holy Grail after seeing a vision of it in Camelot. This is a spiritual quest rather than a literal adventure. Everything that happens to them is an allegory. Most of the knights fail to have very many adventures, mostly because they are not spiritual enough to find them. Some of the more famous knights do have adventures, but fail to achieve their goal because of their sinfulness. Only the purest of the knights, Galahad, Perceval and Bors, can succeed. Lancelot comes close, but his sinfulness in having had a twenty-four year affair with Guinevere the wife of King Arthur has tainted him beyond redemption, so even the most sincere repentance only allows him a partial vision of the Grail.
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Concrete mysticism and sacred objects

The following examples are taken from works (The Song of Roland, Records of the Western World, The Travels of Marco Polo) that are written at the level of concrete operations (Cerridwen’s stage 3a) and Kohlberg’s stage 3 of social and moral development. They would also fall into Fowler’s stage 3 of faith.

Concrete mysticism found its expression in the veneration of sacred objects (many of which were probably bogus tourist souvenirs), and sacred sites (many of which were probably also bogus).
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