Christianity in the Middle Ages

This essay has a total of 1132 words and 5 pages.


Christianity in the Middle Ages




Christianity played a major role throughout the Middle Ages in society and politics. The
Middle Ages, classified from 600 AD to 1350 AD, was significantly effected by Christianity
because of the impact it had on the daily lives of people of the time. The beginning of
the Early Middle Ages, after the Fall of Rome in 476 AD and the period known as the Dark
Ages, the reorganization of the empire brought a desire for faith and religion, primarily
Christianity. This trend of Christian importance was apparent until 1350, when the Black
Death caused the end of a systematized era. The church is often viewed, during this period
of time, as a center of corruption, greed, and evil, with materialistic popes and unholy
acts. Even though there were immoral times, the presence of Christianity brought hope and
stability to the empire politically and socially. In the Late Age of Antiquity,
Christianity had started its rapid spread becoming the state religion in the fourth
century, and emerging as a "cultural trend" (212). It became further defined, and was the
bases of the Western World's proceedings. Christianity's popularity influenced the church
by people's newfound ability to concentrate on faith and a better life. With this
foundation, the Middle Ages expanded religious importance by employing it in day to day
life. Christianity was consistently present in the social arena of the Middle Ages. There
were many controversies over Christian beliefs. The engrossment in Christianity in the
eighth century had a non peaceful turn because of the Iconoclastic Controversy. It divided
the Western and the Byzantine Empires additionally with the dispute over the use of icons
in religious worship. This quarrel resulted in religious vigor through exploration of
religious traditions and mysticism. The division between the empire was a constantly
present with the arousal of disputes . The view of the Christian Church by the people
varied from agreeable to immoral. In the Early Middle Ages, the church was disorganized
and non-established. Although the progression of the Middle Ages led to the furtherance of
the Church, there were many set backs in the reputation of the papacy. The weakness of the
papacy was a result of ineffective and corrupt churches. The tenth century was a period of
religious decline with privately owned monasteries and churches, the selling of papal
positions, and the incompetence of the popes. Pope John XII, 955, is an example of the
inadequacy of the popes of this time period. He was young and incapable, and gave the
papacy a bad name by acting sinfully. The people lost respect for the church, and could no
longer view it as the ideal way of life. These views were altered in the High Middle Ages
when the papacy became increasingly powerful in a prosperous time. The centralization of
the church enabled Christianity to revitalize the spirit and faith of the Church. The
church was organized by several reforming movements of the cluny, monastery, and papacy.
Corruption was cleansed by new clerical laws, in addition to the canon law, that banned
simony, clerical marriages, and immorality in the church. The succession of popes became
more favorable because the expectations of the pope were heightened, as he was seen as a
leader of faith having the grandest morals. Pope Gregory VII brought hope to the people by
wanting to establish "right order in the world," and this stimulated people to regain
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