The impact of storytelling in church.
Storytelling has been there for the longest time and it is used as a way of passing some life lessons, warnings, as well as uniting people. In Christianity, this has not been left behind, it is used in the same purpose mentioned above but more emphasis is on using it as a way of instilling moral values and education. In the Anglo-Saxon literature, literature was used to tell stories from a long time ago and pass the message to the people of today. Most apart from the stories, some other works were poetry, which is an aspect of literature. The poems were used for oral transmission. For example, every tribe had kings who had poets, and the poets would recite poems on heroism before his king, “The king in each tribe had a court poet who would recite poems and sing long, epic poems about heroism” (Babusci et al. 1989). Poems were refreshing and also instilled a sense of bravery to the kings. During this time, the literature was memorized as a result of conversion to Christianity in England which makes the survival of Anglo-Saxon difficult. English literature was also used to translate the ancient works written in Anglo-Saxon. This has enabled the Catholic Church to convert most of its original works that can be used all over the world today.
In Anglo-Saxon epic poetry, they were written in long narrative, and they deeply told a story. For example, the Beowulf poem, which shows a story of bravery, when Beowulf battled with a monster, this story is similar to the story of David and Goliath in the Bible “I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old, now, but I will fight again, seek fame still If the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me” (Geoffrey Chaucer, 1370). Whenever people read this poem or whenever they listened to it, they remembered the story in the Bible. The church used this type of literature to remind people of the stories of the bible. They also staged plays that were done based on these stories and poetry. Therefore research was used to communicate the message and to keep people reminded about the church and the bible. Poetry united people. It is as a way of entertainment as well, so people would not miss churches, especially in the Catholic Church. Other than a message being passed to them, they also got entertained.
In Beowulf, it is God who is acknowledged the creator of all everything “Our glorious king! By almighty God, I’d rather burn myself than see Flames swirling around my lord” (Geoffrey Chaucer, 19 century). His will is also communicated, and some characters also represented the characters in the bible. There is the use of symbols like the use of the sword in flood stories. It also shows that it is by believing in God that Beowulf became immortal at the end of the day, which teaches the church leaders to embrace him to receive the favor of God. The works used imagery and symbolism which enabled the church to be able to pass and instill moral values to the Christians. The tone of Chaucer in the prologue of the Canterbury, especially when he demands respect where he says he is the judge and the people should obey what he says is a bit commanding I’ll be the judge. Those who won’t follow shall pay for what we spend upon the way. Now, if you all agree to what you’ve heard, tell me at once without another word, And I will make arrangements early for it.” (Babusci et al. 1989) But also remember in the Bible Jesus says I am your Lord your God, this instills some respect to the people. There this element of literature is used to remind people of the connection that is needed from them by God.
The evolution of literature in the Catholic Church was systematic. It began in churches where the monks authored books in different languages. The books told of incidences that happened in the Catholic Church, “The Catholic Church was the most important and most powerful institution of the time.” (Babusci et al. 1989) They explained the decision made by Kings and church leaders on the people. This formed the foundation of the church on how and why it carries the activities that it does. They also acted as directives of decision making in the church. For example, what to do be done to a person who has sinned or what process should an offender go through to be forgiven and accepted back in society. Literature especially the English novel, has helped a lot to translate these stories of the church and into many other languages in the church.
The literature in Anglo-Saxon times was used to tell of the hardships that were experienced. The stories told of how men who used to get food by engaging in fishing activities left their families and went far in seas with poor boats and also harsh environmental conditions. “ Men who made their living on the sea had to leave behind their families and sail long distances in primitive, poorly equipped boats. “The women and children left behind endured months and even years without knowing whether their menfolk would return” (The Exeter Book, 2016). On the other side, the women and the children would wait for long months and years without the knowledge of whether their men would come home safe eventually. This type of story teaches people, especially Christians how to persevere and have faith. It explains the Christians in the churches in believing and hope. It also shows that no matter how we suffer at the end of the day, God will be with us. Apart from telling about the past, they also taught about morality and morality in the church. Like the Pardoners tale which talks of corruption and mockery as well as the importance of pardon church “I have some relics in my bale and pardons too” This story helps in keeping the Christians or the people in line with church values and reminds them of the repercussions of going against them.