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Religion Evolution In The Middle Ages

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Following the fall of the Roman Empire, religion became an important aspect of daily life in Europe, because every person from the King to the peasants was controlled by the church. Religion impacted on the social, economic and political systems of the time and help strong power due to the low education levels of peasants. The Middle Ages is described as a 1,000-year-period. The phrase “Middle Ages” is used to describe Europe between the fall of Rome in 476 CE and the beginning of the Renaissance in the 14th century. Constantine, the Roman Emperor, made Christianity an official religion of the empire and anyone who didn’t follow the same religion would be socially ostracised, and sometimes even get beaten. This meant that everyone in the kingdom had to follow Christianity or would face punishments.

Religion had both positive and negative economic effects. One of the positive effects was the Church’s implementation of an education system, which later paved the way for universities. Their educational scope quickly broadened beyond religious training into medicine and law. This meant that more people could study broader topics and would therefore help the kingdoms and the churches around the area. This would bring in more money boosting the economy. However, there were negative impacts as well. One of them was that there was a high level of corruption in the Catholic Church. This high level of corruption has been reported as one of the causes that eventually led to the downfall of the roman empire. This showed immense flaws in the medieval economical system, once again showing, though negatively, how much of an effect religion had on the Middle Ages. As seen in the information given it is clear that the effect religion had on the economic landscape of Medieval Europe is quite large.

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The Church in the Middle ages also had positive and negative social effects. One of the positive effects was that religion gave people a sense of belonging. Belonging to a church was important during this time because it gave people a sense of security and support, allowing them to deal with everyday problems and issues. This meant that the church would bring in more people to go to their church. This is still true today, as people join religions and go to churches to have a sense of belonging. On the other hand, this new feeling of security, hope and belonging were the constant conflicts of opposing beliefs and struggles. For instance, although there were many Christians with the same beliefs, there were also many that did not accept the Catholic practices of that time. One of such people was Martin Luther who was determined to reform the Catholic Church. The reformation protest caused people to live in fear of being outcast from society or prosecuted.

Religion had a part in all political relationships formed within medieval Europe. Both negative and positive outcomes came from the presence of religion in these times. We can see this from the clear sway the Roman-Catholic Church had on who, and how the King operated. Examples of this can be seen when the church excommunicated King Harold for going back on promises regarding the Catholic Church. This had an immense impact on the people of Europe, as the church had the ability to dethrone Kings, therefore dominating control of all of Medieval Europe. A decree by Emperor Henry IV in 1085 talks about the oppression of Christians and how they were going to change it. In doing so, the church was allowed to write some laws, such as ‘If a freeman or a noble shall have violated [a law] … he shall … be expelled from within his boundaries, and his heirs may take his whole estate’. This meant that the church now had political power. A negative impact was their ability to commence crusades whenever they felt threatened by another state of power such as the Muslims in the Middle East. This led to mass killings due to the alleged ‘protection and serving’ of their religion. Another positive impact was its ability to keep people within their jurisdiction in ‘check’, as well as making sure that those who cheated, lied and scammed were stopped from doing so. This drastically reduced both the number of casualties and stolen money within Medieval Europe. We can see a model of this today, in our constitution as a set of laws which deter and punish those who commit crimes, with fines and potential jail time. As seen in the information given, it is certain that the effect religion had on the political landscape of Medieval Europe was very influential.

From the information presented today, it is clear that religion had a vast impact on the Middle Ages in Europe, across the economy, the society and at all levels of politics. As a consequence, it can be seen that the hypothesis: *point to board*, has been confirmed to be true. This has been proven through, firstly, the way that religion had a dominating effect of the economy, by the church introducing schools and universities, the social life from kings to peasants, by religion giving people a sense of belonging, and the political landscape, by the church having more power than the king. Overall, therefore, it is clear that the perspective that religion had a large impact on all aspects of life in Medieval Europe is correct.

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Religion Evolution In The Middle Ages. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
“Religion Evolution In The Middle Ages.” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2022,
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Religion Evolution In The Middle Ages [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 24 [cited 2024 Mar 5]. Available from:
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