Religion And Mortality : An Islamic And Christian Views Of The Black Death

Religion And Mortality : An Islamic And Christian Views Of The Black Death

Length: 1186 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Religion and Mortality:

An Analysis of Islamic and Christian Views of the Black Death



The Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, was a 14th century pandemic that caused widespread discord and eradication of mankind.[1] In response to this cataclysmic event, humanity turned towards religion and magic for explanations, prevention, and remedies. Two of the prevalent religious groups, Christianity and Islam, had dissimilar views on whether this outbreak was a curse or blessing, but nonetheless, acknowledged that it was a potent disaster that left sickness and death in its course.

In youth, many individuals are able to recall the popular chant “ring around the rosie”, but its origins are far less innocent. They are the tale tell signs and customs of the bubonic plague.[2] “Ring around the rosie” may refer to maladies such as a ring on the skin that would come with red blotches. Other side effects included characteristics such as:

“The emergence of certain tumors in the groin or the armpits, some of which grew as large as a common apple, others as an egg, some more, some less, which the common folk called gavoccioli. …[It] soon began to propagate and spread itself in all directions indifferently; after which the form of the malady began to change, black spots or livid making their appearance in many cases on the arm or the thigh or elsewhere, now few and large, then minute and numerous”[3]



The next line, “pocket full of posies”, refers to the admonition of flowers and spices in one’s pockets raise to their noses when walking outside “because the air seemed be everywhere laden and reeking with the stench emitted by the dead and the dying, and the odours of drugs.”[4] Regrettably, “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down” is rather...


... middle of paper ...


...uslims used methods of magic and meditation as treatment. Such methods included the use of amulets and cryptogramming of the Qur’an’s verses. The interpretation of numbers, contemplation of text, and meditation, they claimed, helped them understand the world and assisted in guiding their focus spiritually toward that of the divine[18]

In a sense, the Black Death made people more aware of death. Acknowledged as an act of God, some people retreated to themselves and their possessions, but most made the best of their lives with acts of altruism. All things considered, it made humanity more mindful of their mortality, and brought them together through apocalyptic devastation and fear. Although Muslims and Christians had different views of its causes and remedies, most everyone experienced a sense of loss and vulnerability in the wake of a traumatic and pervasive disease.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Black Death : The And Great Mortality

- Do you know what Black Death is. Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1346–53. Black Death had different names. Today, it 's best known as the Black Death or the bubonic plague. Medieval people called it "the blue sickness," La pest (the Pestilenc), and the Great Mortality. The name bubonic comes from the Medieval Latin word bubo via Italian Bilbo meaning a pustule, growth, or swelling....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague]

Better Essays
1855 words (5.3 pages)

Infant And Pediatric Mortality Rates Essay

- Infant and Pediatric Mortality Rates Mortality rates of pediatric and neonatal patients have improved over the past few decades though, some countries still lack the improvement that has been witness elsewhere. The issue lies within the simple precautions that can be taken to prevent multiple deaths of infants and children. Nurses are also effect by the deaths of their patients. Future implications need to be set fourth to not only benefit the patients but the nurses as well....   [tags: Death, Mortality rate, Demography]

Better Essays
1319 words (3.8 pages)

The Young Turks Fight Against the Decline of the Ottoman Empire Essay

- Between 1301 to 1922, in the region north of present day Syria, was known as the Ottoman empire. It was rooted in the belief that Islam as an ideology should be in power. One territory held by the Ottoman empire was their homeland of Turkey. In 1907, the Sultan Abdul Hamid II, wanted for the most part to have people who were educated outside of the country limited in what they could do, and if not then they were expunged, as he thought that they were the cause of his land’s plight and decline. This resulted in him becoming very unpopular with his people, thus having many secret societies created practically under his nose....   [tags: muslim, death marches, genocide]

Better Essays
1081 words (3.1 pages)

Islam And The Islamic And Christian World Essay

- For many in the United States, Islam is a perplexing religion. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many American’s viewed the Islamic faith with suspicion and hostility. Muslims today are often stereotyped as radical, violent people whose goal is to terrorize and destroy the western world. To take a more broad perspective, this current development is one that is not totally foreign in light of world history. Tensions between Islam and the West, particularly Western Christendom, have arisen throughout the centuries....   [tags: Jesus, Islam, Christianity, Muhammad]

Better Essays
990 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Black Death : The Great Mortality Of 1348-1350

- No other epidemic reaches the level of the Black Death which took place from 1348 to 1350. The epidemic, better regarded as a pandemic, shook Europe, Asia, and North Africa; therefore it deems as the one of the most devastating events in world history. In The Black Death: The Great Mortality of 1348-1350, John Aberth, compiles primary sources in order to examine the origins and outcomes of this deadly disease. The author, a history professor and associate academic dean at Vermont’s Castleton State College, specializes in medieval history and the Black Death....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis]

Better Essays
1821 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on The Christian Bible and the Islamic Quaran

- Similarities and difference exist between the two sacred texts of Islam and Christianity and although the Qur’an and the Bible are considered sacred text and their impact on modern society is ever present. Sacred texts are a collection of historical writings that date back thousands of years and are used by many traditions to have a special significance especially scriptures and holy books as they are often used to show hoe to live an honest and meaningful life. The Qur’an is the sacred text of Islam....   [tags: religion, prophets, scriptures]

Better Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

Premodern Islamic And Christian Thought Essay

- Premodern Islamic and Christian Thought in the Western Mediterranean. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2011. Print. Justin Stearns’s work is a comparative piece written on the ideas of contagion in Islamic and Christian society, focused primarily in the Iberian Peninsula following the Black Death. His thesis explains that his book “deals with how Muslims and Christians in the premodern world conceived of contagion and what meaning they gave to it in their theological, medical, and literary writings” (1)....   [tags: Islam, Religion, Middle Ages, Theory]

Better Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Comparing Christian And Islamic Religions Essay

- Christian and Islamic religions are separate from one another, they have many differences but when you look deeper at the religions they are not as different as you would think. Both religions hold many of the same beliefs including their ideas of what the afterlife holds. These religions have a very similar idea of what goes on in either heaven or hell, and both believe the soul continues to exist and your actions in the real world affect where you eventually end up. Although Christianity and Islam are separate religions their beliefs and ideas of what occurs in the afterlife are not that different....   [tags: Christianity, Islam, Heaven, Soul]

Better Essays
1169 words (3.3 pages)

Islamic Nation Essay

- What is your view on the Islamic religion and culture. Did you know they are the fastest growing religion in the world today, with eighty-percent now developing outside the Arab world(Belt, Don) Today’s generation does not show much interest or knowledge of their own religion; let alone the Islamic people. Most people only expose themselves to information that matches their own opinions and beliefs. Instead of learning and exploring new things about the world they stick to what they know because it is easier and comfortable for them....   [tags: islamic faith, christian faith, arab world]

Better Essays
1391 words (4 pages)

Essay on Islamic Versus Christian Marriage

- The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and analyze the topic of religion in marriage. Specifically it will discuss whether Islamic marriage is better or worse for women than Christian marriage. After study of these two religions, it becomes quite clear Islamic marriage is much worse for women than Christian marriage. This essay will show that Islamic women are subjugated by their religion and do not enjoy the freedoms or the equality that Christian women enjoy, and perhaps even take for granted....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
1508 words (4.3 pages)