The world Press is touting that “ A small Dutch museum achieved the impossible with a Hieronymus Bosch show. ”
And rightfully so, tens of thousands of visitors diligently line up to obtain a slot to visit a the limited 25-painting show, for a brief, but a very rare moment, only once in 500 years.
Hieronymus Bosch, born Jheronimus van Aken (c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) captured the interest of deeply devoted King Philip II of Spain—patron of the Inquisition. The extremely religious King kept one of Bosch’s grim paintings in his bedroom and meditated on it for hours at a time.
Bosch's imaging of beggars, farmers, burghers, clergy and aristocracy in the life-here-after, as if the dead were aware and consciously, and experienced eternal delight or torture, was unique.
During the Middle Ages, some vague phantasies were floating around, of life-after-death in heaven, hell, and purgatory, but never before had the common man participated in renderings, or seen himself pictured in such elaborate, esoteric settings.
The dead were no longer dead and non-existent, but suddenly there was a real detailed life-after-death, no matter how imaginary.
Life-after-death phantasies took hold in Christianity, mostly as a hold-over of previously traditional religions exported back to Europe by the Romans from the Himalayas, Persia, Egypt or the Greek culture vault, and not as a product of itself, or Judaism. Particularly, it was pretty well established that the Sadducees didn’t believe in life-after-death.
So, there you are, it was the power of the Spanish King Phillip II with Dutch painter Hieronymous Bosch who rekindled the belief in life-after-death during the early years of European Christian Reformation.
Although most western Christians, except for Evangelicals, have come to terms with death, and their non-existence after death, like they did not exist before birth, it did not catch on with Muslims.
Most Muslims fervently believe in a conscience life-after-death. They believe in a new reality, in which they will be fully aware, from which they will be able to experience all the delights and tortures, Hieronymus Bosch depicted for them.
The delusion is so strong that it has become the motor behind the Muslims Jihadist fundamentalists suicide bombers and a religion of extensively developed martyrology.
Yes, the killings in ISIS caliphate and beyond under similar surroundings, are because the dead, as in life-after-death, are still alive. See Hieronymous Bosch if you have any doubt.....
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle