The Medieval Church
The Medieval Church
Lingberg and Duffy have a different look on The Medieval Church in the middle Ages. Unfortunately though, the church is often regarded as the capital of corruption, evil, and worldliness. An overview of the crisis concerned with farming, famine and the Black Death. I thought Lindberg was more persuasive than Duffy because of how he thought about farming, famine and the Black Death. As the Medieval church did offer many opportunities for ordinary people, makes us think they did not really cared about religion at all. The King needed the medieval church for political reasons, he did think about religion too. The medieval church offered salvation, for people to confess their sins to the priest. In medieval times people needed to go to heaven the only way was through the church. People were not allowed to think differently to what church had taught them, People were told that God had willed it; they needed religion and explanations to survive.
The Church was really important in Medieval times than it is now. In those days people needed Church and religion to get their way through life. The Church controlled everyone even the King. It was important to people because it provided education for ordinary people, the priests gave advice, care and leisure in addition to religion. People needed priests to marry, baptize and bury them, without the church there would be no priests to do that. This shows that the Church was important to people in medieval ages. As we know not many people believe in heaven and hell now, but almost everyone believed in them in medieval ages. Everyone wanted to go to heaven when they died. They followed the church’s rules because it was the only way; they had to confess to their sins to the priest, for forgiveness from God. The church was more important to the king. He needed it to do coronations because they were religious ceremonies.
Recognition by the church was important for Kings in the Middle Ages their reputation counted on it. People who were banned from the church and the kings were known as social outcasts. Duffy argues that the churches were directly tied into politics and laws of the land, there was very little distinction between what was holy and what was not. Much of the church was constructed of people who were wealthy and in positions of power; this was an avenue to exercise that power was a bit more. They were abundant in the church and were a major part of that mindset that one’s work can get them into heaven. Much of the reform brought about by Martin Luther challenged the notion of purgatory, and therefore the significance of indulgences the way the church was misusing them. As many things define the distinct characteristics of history, the Christian church has made a remarkable milestone especially during the Middle Ages.
Christianity’s emergence as an official religion influenced not only the church, it enabled people to look beyond the obsession of power and worldly pleasures, but to a final and ultimate reward for a life well spent. Everybody put their faith in the hope and love of the Christian God. It gave the people goals and led them to the right path, yet why is it looked down upon so harshly? Maybe it was because of the wealth it exemplified, or the deterioration of morality in the popes. A contemporary account states: “The money was indeed the thing that killed the Jews. If they had been poor and if the feudal lords had not been in debt to them, they would not have been burnt” (Marcus 1973: 47). One can heedlessly conclude that the Medieval church was corrupt and unholy, but that would not justify its existence. Accordingly, the church was just trying to adjust itself to an age of chaos and uncertainty.
Lindberg argued that along with the monetary benefits indulgence held for the church, there was a psychological component which kept the faithful in a state of fear of purgatory or even worse hell. This was one of the major abuses and signs of corruption in the Medieval Church. The Reformation more often emphasizes its social dimension, going beyond the doctrinal issues that divided Europeans. Because religion helped shape every aspect of European life, the practices of the new churches caused major changes. Duffy’s argues that the English Reformation was inevitable nor that it was the sole means by which the cause of human freedom could progress. Sacramental ceremonies from baptism to last rites had long marked key moments in the lives, families and communities.
By abolishing or changing the sacraments, the Medieval Church challenged the social meaning of these rituals. This shattered older understandings about sexuality and personal holiness and led to intensified debate about the role of women in society resistance. Poor relief and charity meant something different when they no longer served as rich people’s way to perform penance. The idea that the medieval church was immoral. Maybe putting together one thousand years of the history of the church with a disregard to any historical development may represent the medieval church as a corrupt institution, but still it is not necessary to go as far as to say that the church was corrupt.
It is also worth noting that not all contemporaries who were interested in the reformation joined Luther in his famous feature, the Reformation. With this in mind, Luther and other reformers are usually credited with bringing the church back to the New Testament ideal, which is not necessarily the case. The Reformation in particular seems all the more worthy of when we realize that it may not have been merely an inevitable reaction to a corrupt Church but instead maybe a spontaneous movement, simultaneous or nearly so with similar movements that reformed politics and economics in equally radical ways.
Lindberg, Carter. The European Reformations. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell, 2010. Print.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 30 September 2016
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