Trump vs. the Middle Ages

When you compare the meaning of “sanctuary” in 12 c. England to 21 c. America, you might wonder about 21 century America under President Donald Trump. This year migrants are cross the American border from Mexico, seeking sanctuary from unsafe conditions, and are met with incarceration and separation from their children. Many of us Americans oppose this policy and wonder what has become of American values, in particularly freedom, individual rights and the pursuit of happiness.  With these current events in mind, I was particularly touched by the mercy demonstrated in this tidbit of history from Durham Cathedral.

In 12th century England, criminals could seek sanctuary in Durham Cathedral by knocking on this bronze knocker and hanging on to it until they were admitted. “Fugitives were given 37 days to organize their affairs. They had to decide with to stand trial or to leave the country by the nearest port.” (Quote from a sign on the Cathedral wall.)

Please note, the Cathedral provided sanctuary to criminals, not migrants, but the concept of sanctuary and mercy is cause for reflection.

#knocker, #durham, #cathedral, #sanctuary, #mercy, #criminals, #12century, #middleages, #history, #travel
This bronze knocker on Durham Cathedral is a replica of the original, which is on display in the “Open Treasure” exhibit of the Cathedral.

 

Author: cathykellyphotography

Independent photographer based in Pittsburgh PA and Naples FL. Nature, landscape and portrait photography. Portfolio includes international work in USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Email cathykellyphotography@gmail.com to review work in your area of interest. Nature portfolio includes flowers and wildlife. Prints and digital files for sale. See website: www.cathykellyphotography.com.

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