Hans Behem: Life After Death

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During one cold spring night in 1476, Hans Behem was wrapped in his cloak playing on his shepherd’s pipe when he had an unexpected visitor: The Virgin Mary appeared to him. This day changed his life forever. Changing him from a miserable peasant to a prophet, bringing him fame, and giving a meaning to his life. He changed the tediously planned social order and challenged the religious authorities. What motivated the simple shepherd to accomplish these actions? It is all related to one thing: obtaining a place in Heaven. Therefore, the most important component of a religious worldview for Hans Behem is Life After Death. Indeed, what permitted Hans to keep going on this overwhelming journey was the promise of going to Heaven, which was the main…show more content…
So, people could communally get rid of their evil distractions. Doing things in community was an important part of Hans’ messages, relating to another component of a religious worldview, which is Community and Ethics. The goal behind getting rid of these distractions was to respect and satisfy God’s demands in hope of being assured of having a great After Life, or in other words having a place in Heaven. The After Life is the most important life (real life vs. after life) to the peasants of the 13th century. They did everything they could to serve God’s mercy in the real material life to potentially have good conditions in the After Life. It’s the main motivation of Hans, knowing that doing what the Holy powers ask of him will guaranty him a place in Heaven. That is, because Christianity turns around the cult of poverty. There’s two parts to it, the religious aspect that claims that rich men can’t go to Heaven, that Christianity wants everyone to be poor so that a group of people won’t be able to oppress others with their wealth. There’s also the second part that says that…show more content…
So people started to leave their occupations to go to Nicklashausen to hear Hans’ words. It completely dissolved the social order: “These people took to the road to Nicklashausen and did not ask anybody’s permission, not from their landlords to leave work, not from their priests to go on pilgrimage. Social rank and obligations just seemed to dissolve” (48). The main reason of going on pilgrimages for peasants in the 13th century was mainly to obtain salvation and protection. Going on pilgrimages cleaned their souls and body. It purified them, making them more apt to go to Heaven and to reach God. It also made them live simply which was asked of them. In one sentence: “Pilgrims enter the holy space, shorn of status and rank, to find salvation for themselves and their loved ones, to heal their souls from sin and guilt, and to heal their bodies from pain” (62). They also went to get indulgences which is a way to reduce the amount of punishment they have by reducing the penance required after a sin has been forgiven, or reducing the time they will spend in Purgatory after death: “[Pilgrims] could obtain a papal indulgence in the form of a piece of paper on which was promised remission of punishment in purgatory for sins committed” (62). Which

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