Reconquest Episode 38: Purgatory

This week’s show is a cultural-apologetical romp through the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. This greatly confused and misunderstood dogma of our religion makes sense only in the context of an economy of salvation wherein our acts (our merits and demerits, our sins and our good works) actually have a bearing on our salvation. The Scriptural evidence for Purgatory is considered, mostly in the New Testament, but also in the Old.

Great monuments of Christian civilization are based on this doctrine, including:

  • In architecture, the chantry chapel — a very popular thing in pre-reformation England;
  • In drama, act I, scene 5 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet;
  • In poetry, the second whole part of Dante’s Divine Comedy;
  • In music, a large number of Gregorian and Polyphonic settings, of one particular text written by a Franciscan Blessed (who? LISTEN TO THE SHOW!);
  • In film, numerous movies whose scores introduce snippets of the chant melody of that same text, films including, I Confess, It’s a Wonderful Life, Star Wars, The Lion King, The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, and Groundhog Day to name but a few.

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