Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Jan Hus, Prague, and Random Thoughts

One of the last things on my hubby to-do list was to take my wife to Prague before we left Germany (the others included Rome and Budapest).  So we've made a quick 5 hour trip here from Munich.

So here's the Jan Hus part.  He was burned at the stake in the early 1400's for translating the Bible into Czech and arguing for a number of reforms.  100 years later, maybe he like Luther would have survived.  Then again, perhaps not.  The Catholic Hapsburgs put the brakes on the Hussites here in the early 1620's.

The Hussites, I believe, remain a catholic church but one that is not connected with the Roman Catholic Church.

Now for random thoughts I've had today:

  • The lines we humans draw around land are funny.  The trees know no lines.  A walk in the forest knows of no "countries," yet suddenly the languages change and the letters on the signs.
  • As with Hungary, it is fascinating and sad to think that this region was pretty much the same as Germany or Austria up until the days of the Soviet Union.  I saw a house built in the 1700s' in the pre-Napolean Holy Roman Empire days and it pretty much looked like a German house. In fact the architecture reminds me a lot of Bavaria.  The Soviets pretty much killed its economic and technological development.
  • The Moravians were from even east of here.  Again, this wasn't a "backward" part of the world until the ignoramic communists took over.
  • Czech seems further along with post-communist development than Hungary to me.  Nevertheless, I see the faces of people and marvel that I live such a good life as an American.  There are Americans in need to be sure, but it boggles the mind to think of how different your life is through no merit of your own--just where you were born.
  • Glad this place wasn't bombed to heck in WW2.


Rick said...

Christian History Magazine (from Christianity Today) had a good issue that dealt with Hus.

His impact was long lasting, as this quote from the issue indicates:

"Early in his monastic career, Martin Luther, rummaging through the stacks of a library, happened upon a volume of sermons by John Huss, the Bohemian who had been condemned as a heretic. "I was overwhelmed with astonishment," Luther later wrote. "I could not understand for what cause they had burnt so great a man, who explained the Scriptures with so much gravity and skill."

Ken Schenck said...

Thanks for the reference Rick. Yesterday I appreciated why the anti-Catholicism of so much Protestant runs so deep. Of course, the Protestants have plenty of blood on their hands as well. I tell my kids that the RCC today is not the same church as the one that put Hus to death. Having said that, I wouldn't mind another pope like those of Vatican 2.

Rick Dykema said...

Prague was by far our favorite during our European explorations! Such a beautiful city! Like you said, it's great that it didn't get bombed into oblivion during WWII.

I hope your remaining time on Sabbatical is restful and blessed!