TsukiShima wrote:What do you think about the historical figure, Joan of Arc? What does your religion think about her?
I've been doing a research about her and browse through what Islam thought about her, whether she's really a holy warrior or she was idealistic. Since she was a Christian, I wanted to know how other religions viewed her. Yes, her existence, histories, and noble sacrifice is really something to admire. In fact, as a female, I really do. To fight alongside with the males, and to have no one believed her at first must been hard for her. She was someone who was considered good, and religious at that. The Christians themselves are divided into two, if I'm not wrong. So how does the Christians themselves think about her?
Apologies for reviving this thread, but I've been meaning to write an answer for this post and hadn't gotten around to it yet. The 'problem' with Joan of Arc is how much myth has taken over. Even academic works are notoriously biased when it comes to her. Therefore, I can only recommend that, if you're really into this topic, you read the actual inquisition report, translated by Daniel Hobbins as "The Trial of Joan of Arc" (this version isn't the entire translation, since for some letters it only gives summaries; but all of Joan's words are there. A complete translation of all Latin documents can be found in W.P. Barrett, "The Trial of Jeanne d'Arc" (which I haven't read myself), but Hobbins adds text from a French version too). Anyway, what is easily noticeable when reading the trial is that Joan was no easy costumer, frequently refusing to answer or to swear oaths, and maintaining that she'd never tell everything. As the trial went on, her answers became more detailed and elaborate. For example, the voices: at first, she claimed to have heard one voice, from God, accompanied by light. A few days later, there are two voices, they do not come from God, but from the saints Margaret and Catherine. She sees them occasionally, as we see normal people, but only remembers their faces and that they were wearing crowns; she couldn't say if they had arms and such or what hairdos they had. Later still, Joan also claimed to have seen Saint Michael. It's quite odd that she didn't know anything about their bodies, because at a later stage she said she embraced the saints, which would surely require them to, err, have bodies. The final part of the trial record has her turn her back on the voices, claiming that they deceived her. Another example: if Joan was sent by God, she'd needed a miracle to prove that. She refused to talk of her miracle in the early stages of the trial, but eventually claimed that it had taken the form of a crown she gave to Charles VII when they were alone; at another point, she said that the crown was given to the archbishop of Rheims who gave it to Charles with many knights and lords in attendance. The whole trial record is full of contradictions, large and small and certainly more lies than you'd expect from a saint. It may seem like a cruel process, but she was condemned to a life locked up by the inquisition, and I don't know if we'd do things much different today if someone claimed to be hearing voices telling her to wage war.
Secondly, while the trial has been traditionally seen as biased, that is really quite unfair. By Medieval canon law, a 'neutral' court would probably have proclaimed her guilty too. As far as I can tell, all 12 points that the University of Paris made, ranging from her dislike of the Burgundians being in contradiction of the command to love one's neighbour, to a blind obedience to voices and apparitions which were in no way proven to be sent from above, to a habit of wearing men's clothing against all law, hit home according to Medieval views. The nullification trial was far more politically motivated and biased than the original trial was. The idea of her sainthood is a 19th century construction and has everything to do with (bourgeois) French nationalism and very little with the actual person Joan of Arc. Even then, the advocatus diaboli
made some good points when he pointed out that prophecy does not guarantee holiness, because it cannot be tested, and that she was lacking in some of the necessary virtues; for example, Joan jumped from a tower in Beaurevoir, when a saint certainly shouldn't show any desperation like that.
Anyway, that's not to say Joan of Arc didn't do some incredible impressive things or that she didn't show an admirable amount of willpower. But at the same time, she was also a pretty big liar during her trial, and that's assuming she didn't even make up her voices in the first place. This may not quite be the kind of answer you were asking for, but dammit, it's so rare to get some use out of my degree :p .