The Age of Faith The Middle Ages are commonly remembered for King Arthur tales, violent crusades, widespread illiteracy and the bubonic plague. Yet so much more is worthy of remembrance. The philosophers of “The Age of Reason” called the Middle Ages the “Age of Faith”. The Middle Ages were steeped in reason, logic, and natural philosophy. The Middle Ages is usually defined as the period between the fall of the last Roman emperor in the West (476 A. D. ) and the fall of Constantinople to the Turks (1453) or the discovery of America (1492).
During the Middle Ages, the Church was almost as powerful as the government itself. The Age of Faith is the time in which the Church called for the first Crusade, philosophy flourished in the midst of chaos, and the Church expanded and gained more power. In Pope Urban II’s Call for the First Crusade Pope Urban is calling for Christians to fight in the name of God. The reason being that in the Middle East the Turks and Arabs were persecuting the Christians. The invaders killed and captured the Christians, and destroyed the churches.
The Call for the Crusade was a result of a request sent by Emperor Alexios I Komnenos to Pope Urban in 1095. The Emperor asked of the Pope for aid against further invasions. In return for fighting in the Crusade, the Pope promised all who died, by land or by sea, or against the pagans, would have immediate remission of his sins. The remission of sin was a driving factor and provided any God-fearing man who had committed sins with an irresistible way out of eternal damnation in hell. Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Western Europe from about ad 400–1400, roughly the period between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance.
In Medieval Europe by H. C Davis, the accomplishments of the Middle Ages are called to mind. Its culture, specifically the philosophy, flourished even though there were a number of negative factors influencing them. Christianity was an important stimulus to philosophical activity. Its ideas and doctrines constituted a rich source of philosophical provocation. Medieval philosophy, therefore, took root in an intellectual world sustained by the Church and infused with Christianity’s texts and ideas. At the time, he Church was the most powerful influence, almost more so than the government. The government and the Church were almost as one in the same. And that was evident in the philosophies that stemmed from that perspective. The Church was at its peak of power in all of its history. It was that that inspired all the philosophers of that time to reflect and define the world with that mindset; the Church was center of everything in life. In Europe during the Middle Ages the only recognized religion was Christianity, in the form of the Catholic religion.
The lives of the Medieval people of the Middle Ages was dominated by the church. From birth to death, whether you were a peasant, a serf, a noble a lord or a King – life was dominated by the church. The lives of many Medieval people were dedicated to the Catholic church and religion. In The Monastic Vows of Brother Gerald, Gerald is promising when he becomes a monk to, in a sense give up his life. When you undertake the vow to become a monk, you give up your family and worldly possessions in return for a live of purity, chastity, and poverty.
The Truce of God outlines the church’s attempt to decrease the amount of sins that are being committed and restore the peace slowly through a form of a peace decree. This is just one example of the church demonstrating its new power. With its own laws, lands and taxes the Catholic church was a very powerful institution which had its own laws and lands. The Catholic Church also imposed taxes. In addition to collecting taxes, the Church also accepted gifts of all kinds from individuals who wanted special favors or wanted to be certain of a place in heaven.
The power of the Catholic Church grew with its wealth. The Catholic Church was then able to influence the kings and rulers of Europe. Opposition to the Catholic Church would result in excommunication. This meant that the person who was excommunicated could not attend any church services, or receives the sacraments and would go straight to hell when they died. The Church was at its height of secular power during the Middle Ages, or the Age of Faith. The church was integrated into every part of Medieval life. In every way that it could, the church would make sure to make its power and influence known of.
The Medieval church was corrupt, we can conclude nowadays but it was unknown to its followers then. The church used its power to keep its believers in fear and easier to bend to the church’s will. They accepted bribes and favors to reserve and promise you your seat and place in heaven. But, overall the church in the Middle Ages helped protect its holy land, expanded philosophy and contributed new knowledge on a variety of subjects, all the while ensuring its power as a secular leader. This, the extent of the church’s power, is why the Middle Ages are the Age of Faith.