Northern Humanists and Delta Bohemians


Sully, a keen observer of all things Delta. Watcher of the imaginary line between the clean and the murky, the clear and the opaque! Picture by the Delta Bohemian

Sully, a keen observer of all things Delta. Watcher of the imaginary line between the clean and the murky, the clear and the opaque! Picture by the Delta Bohemian


Pontificus believes the Renaissance was not completely antithetical to Christianity. Though hard to pinpoint its inception, the era loosely began in the 14th century and lasted for more than 200 years.

The term Renaissance, meaning rebirth in French, was first used by historians in the mid-1800s. It refers to the revival of classical art, literature, architecture and learning originating in Italy and later spreading throughout all of Europe.

Based on an appreciation for Greek and Roman culture and art, the Italian Renaissance had a strong emphasis on humanism–the doctrine emphasizing people’s obligation to promote human welfare and expand their capacity for self-realization through the use of reason, while rejecting religion and the supernatural.

Proponents and key figures in the Northern Renaissance, which occurred in Northern European countries like Germany and England, were more interested in religious ideas than secular themes. Many wanted to learn the classical languages in order to improve biblical translations and to imbue daily living with Christian ideals.

Striving to blend new thinking with core religious values, Northern humanists emphasized human dignity in order to reform society for the betterment of mankind.

They sought to make literature, learning, and particularly the canon of scripture available to the noble and commoner alike in the vernacular of the day, instead of solely in Latin.

The invention of the printing press on the heels of the Renaissance was a major catalyst in the expansion of learning and literacy in Europe.

New ways of thinking combined with old-school values and the ability to propagate this new learning in understandable form for all God’s children sparked life into a darkened continent.

Enter the Delta equivalents of Romulus and Remus–Pontificus Minimus and Poor William as the Delta Bohemians. Both are 21st century men to be reckoned with, fastidious students of the avant garde, possessing a penchant for the spectacular, an ideology abounding with Judeo-Christian ideals and mores, and a healthy appetite for Bohemian largesse.

It might be difficult for Pontificus to meld together so many themes into one professing life credo, but alas, he neither shirks nor shies away from living the indefinable.

The Northern humanists have much in common with Delta Bohemians. The Spanish, who visited the “new world” centuries ago were in search of the 3-G’s—God, gold, and glory. Delta Bohemians are likely in search of some combination of spirituality, good eats, garrulous guitars and palliative aperitifs.

Pontificus Minimus and Poor William have written lately and often about their appreciation for things considered Bohemian—outside-the-box large living embodying creative and artistic pursuits.
Can a Bohemian be a Renaissance man or woman? Why of course!

The term Renaissance man has come to mean someone with exceptional skills and expertise in an array of fields. Pontificus often thinks of himself as a Renaissance man, but likely he is just gravely hindered by attention deficit.

Combine the following traits: A love for living outside of the prevalent culture’s box, a desire to become familiar with multitudinous soul-expanding concepts and an ideology valuing the ideals and commands of He who formed us, and the Delta Bohemian is birthed.

The Mississippi Delta’s emphasis on “keeping it real,” the unclouded belief that what we have here is non-existent anywhere else in the world, and our generalized belief by many in a Creator allows for a newly recognized expression of what constitutes Bohemian.

Maybe one day Delta Bohemianism will be a definable ideology studied the world over, not because Pontificus and Poor William coined it, but precisely because it swirls and pops with neat-yet-discrete themes and retains its ever-evolving and loosely defined subjectivity.

Long live the Delta Bohemians and those who love living wild, carefree, yet meaningful and contributive lives.

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