The Good Question Podcast

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How do modern-day humans compare to medieval ones? Unique ideas explored on today’s show might turn your perceptions upside down.

Press play to learn more and discover:

  • How the rise of the printing press changed prayer practices
  • How modern-day values are expressed even in the architecture that dominates our skylines
  • In what ways modern-day humans can be seen as idolaters

Rachel Fulton Brown is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Chicago, where much of her teaching revolves around civilization, creativity, and religious practices and perceptions in the Middle Ages versus modernity.

For over 15 years, she’s offered a unique class that looks at J.R.R. Tolkien’s work and the ways in which his writings pull from medieval understandings of imagination and creativity. More recently, she’s been teaching a class on writing Christian poetry.

Brown discusses the state of Christianity in the Middle Ages versus today, how and why prayer practices have changed, and comparisons between human perceptions during medieval and modern times. She also explores the idea that humans are becoming—or have already become—idolaters.

Interested in learning more about these and related topics?

Visit and check out Brown’s book, Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thought.