Scared of the God that speaks through Humans.

“With so much religion abroad, holy madness was on the increase: people who lived with so much God that they didn’t know any longer how to be with humans. You came across them in the streets sometimes, chattering to themselves, laughing, crying, their vulnerability vibrating like a halo around them. For the most part they were benign souls, more like hermits. But not all. When God was fermenting inside them they could be very frightening.”
– The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.


A Time Gone By

“I read a few chapters of the text, entranced by its provenance, but I am ashamed to say that while even a few months before its wisdom would have dazzled me, now such volumes of philosophy had the air of old men about them: venerable but having lost the energy to influence a world that had moved on from them.”
– The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.

I could defend them only afterwards…

“The holy friar, it seemed, was in direct contact with God, and when they looked down together on Florence they saw a city corrupted by privilege and intellectual vanity. After so many years spent daydreaming my way through sermons full of scriptures but no fire, I found his (Savonarola’s) lava flow of words spell-binding. When he railed against Aristotle or Plato as pagans whose works undermined the true church while their souls rotted in eternal fire, there were arguments I could find to defend them, but only afterward, when his voice was no longer ringing in my ears. He had a passion that felt like possession, and he painted pictures of hell that curdled one’s insides with the smell of sulfur.”

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.