After having grown up in a staunch Catholic family, I have a huge interest in the medieval times since it is said to be the peak time for the people of the Christian faith. During the planning phase of my research work, I had to come up with a research question that was in line with this particular time in history. This was the reason I went directly to the cultural and societal practices that were imposed by the Christian Church in the medieval times as it was a subject that a classmate of mine had gotten into a heated argument over recently.
The largest obstacle during the question structuring phase was finding neutral ground that will bring out an analytical view that the target audience can understand in terms of the medieval era. My goal was to discuss the medieval times in general but I had to narrow down my topic of a manageable workload that would be of interest to the audience. This led me to research the influence of the Christian Church on the peoples of the Middle Ages. The question I finally settled on is: What influence did the Christian Church have on the cultural and societal expectations and practices of the peoples of the Middle Ages and their view on spirituality?
I hope to understand the influence that the Church had on the people during the Middle Ages as well as influence the audience to gravitate towards my way of thinking in this sense. This exercise should help me understand how to best analyze different sources of information critically and interpret it correctly.
In order to give an appropriate answer from a well-educated point of view, I will be required to source information from literature concerning the people of the Middle Ages as well as those that touch on the Church during that era. This will be from secondary sources that are readily available such as PDFs, books, and web pages. This will give me a better understanding of the era and the people during that time.
This paper will require neutrality to ensure that I have an open mind on the Christian Church during that era. In addition to this, I have to put aside my personal feelings towards the issue so I can be able to give an objective analytical paper. I will give credit to all the previous research papers used in the paper through annotated bibliography.
This research will help me achieve my understanding of analysis of information and the importance of historic understanding. I will allow myself get swallowed into the world of the cultural and societal expectations and practices of the peoples of the Middle Ages and their view on spirituality and their influence by the Christian Church.
The information gathered through this research analysis will be presented through the use of an analysis essay form. As it will best convey the information I intend to relay. Even though the method may be viewed as simplistic, it is an effective method of communication.
The Christian Church in the Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages, the Christian Church as one of the most influential parts on the cultural and societal practices of the people in that era. This era is commonly referred to as the Age of Faith since the religious culture was at its peak. There were several expectations of the people who had attached themselves strongly to the doctrines and their enforcement brought with it the threat of spiritual oblivion. The control the Church had was overwhelming control close to 100% of the people varying from peasants to the rich and powerful in the society. Each person was required to pay taxes to the Church in form of tithes. The peasants had to part with a section of their wealth including their crop, seeds, and animals. This caused numerous problems for the peasants as it meant they had to stave for a section of the year. The peasants would, however, do this since they were pressured into it by the Church which told them that failure to offer tithe would lead to an eternal life in Hell after their death.
During that era, the Church dominated most of the cultural practices that the people undertook. First, the calendar was shaped according to the religious observances put up by the Christian Church. The people were authorized to celebrate each of the holidays marked by the Church faithfully. On the other hand, some cultural practices were set up by the church and needed to be followed to the better. These were sacramental rituals that were of huge importance in the life of an individual. The ritual include marriage, the last rites, confirmation, baptism, penance, the Eucharist, and holy orders. The control the Church had on the people caused a huge rising against it from those who opposed their trenching. Their stretch was so word nonetheless that these people were punished physically and some even killed. Those from other faiths were shunned and had to ensure harsh treatment.
The success of the Christian Church can be highly attributed to the manner in which it is organized. Over time, the church was able to develop a system that could be sustained for law, economy and governance of most of the countries they were based in especially Europe. This was a time that the Church also split into two major sections: the regular church and the secular church. However, the section that had the largest influence on the people was the regular as they imposed their beliefs on celibacy, poverty and obedience vows on their believers. The Rue of Saint Benedict is a good example of such a following that had a belief system that revolved around prayer, study, and manual labor.
During the course of my research, I made it my business to plan out and put down each of the sources the research work was from in order to recognize it in the end. The sources used had to have information that was relevant to the research I was conducting, was credible and had no bias, and the exact information on the source itself. This simplified the work I was set out to complete on the sources required and ensured that I could differentiable between useful, appropriate and credible sources and irrelevant sources. The information put down during this section of the research was the source format, title, publishing date, author, a summary of the work, its purpose in the research, its relevance, its credibility or bias, the useful information sourced, benefits of format, and any further research required on the sources information.
Middle Ages, Influence of Christianity. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from http://history-world.org/influence_of_christianity.htm
Bredero, A. H. (1994). Christendom and Christianity in the Middle Ages: the relations between religion, church, and society. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.
Faith in the Middle Ages. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/faith-in-the-middle-ages-timeline/
Fliegel, S. N., & Fliegel, S. N. (2012). A higher contemplation: sacred meaning in the Christian art of the Middle Ages. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press.
Fossier, R. (2010). The axe and the oath: ordinary life in the Middle Ages. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Liddy, C. D., & Britnell, R. H. (2005). North-east England in the later Middle Ages. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press.
Medieval Christianity. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/faith-in-the-middle-ages-timeline/
Medieval Christianity 1: The Early Middle Ages. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from http://www.christian-history.org/medieval-christianity-1.html
Ramey, L. T. (2014). Remaking the Middle Ages. Black Legacies, 724. http://doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813060071.003.0002
Schmitt, J.-C. (1998). Ghosts in the Middle Ages: the living and the dead in Medieval society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Tanner, N. (2008). The Church in the later middle ages. London: Tauris. Norman P. Tanner. The Church in the Later Middle Ages: The I.B. Tauris History of the Christian Church Hardcover September 30, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from https://www.amazon.com/Church-Later-Middle-Ages-I-B-Tauris/dp/1845114388
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