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Impact of the Church, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 740

Essay

Impact of the Church: The Western Tradition episodes 18-22

In reviewing Weber’s view of the impact of the organized church on society, in Western Tradition episode 18 through 22, the following was uncovered.

The Western Tradition 18: The Age of Charlemagne

Charles, or Charles the Great, or Charles Magne was the most important Frankish king and lived between 770’s to 814 AD. He operated in a society that produced little surplus, and he wanted to increase economic production and an increase in resources to fund and prepare his military. His political aim was to revive the Roman Empire to stability and greatness. When he was crowned Emperor of Rome he saw himself as crowned by God.  He also worked towards spreading the Christian message through mural paintings, since the majority of the public was illiterate. The Pope Leo the this thought images were essential to carry the Christian message and ultimately crowned Charlemagne for supporting his belief that was actually challenged by some Christians who believed that promoting images of religious figures was sacrilegious. Charlemagne patented bibles, and provided rich endowments to clerks, scribes and illuminators in monasteries who produced his patented bibles. He built monasteries and churches and decorated them with riches. He also had bell towers built taller than ever before to be used as watchtowers but also to have statues of angels perched atop the towers.

The Western Tradition 19: The Middle Ages

Weber opens this section by pointing out it came out of anarchy and formed a new age and new tradition.  He says the era was invented by the Renaissance. Weber notes that during this time the 12th century the feudal system combined with the poets of France creating the idea of perfect love of a vassal swearing allegiance to their ladies on bended knee with their hands held together became known as the standard act of prayer.  Also living in the feudal system and documenting history and news, were the clerks and monks. They also had the power to tell rulers whether or not they were ruling according to God’s will.  The monk’s and the church documented that the Rulers were to follow the path of Christian faith by taking care of the poor.  Weber points out that this was a complex relationship as the Kings had to keep Lords content who just wanted to go to war and accumulate wealth, and if Kings only appealed to the poor, they would have no real financial support.

The Western Tradition 20: The Feudal Order

Weber begins this section pointing out that coming out of the Middle Ages leading into the Feudal era around the year 1000, the Churches were prominent through large Roman style cathedrals. There were buildings all over Europe that established how churches would be perceived. The clergy saw the Christian ruler as important but communities were broken down into three groups, those who prayed, the men who fought, and the men who labored.  The church tried to reduce conflict within the feudal system by promoting cooperation, interdependence, and charity, as they noticed conflict arising. Soon after 1000 A.D., the first Christian heretics to be burned at the stake were punished.

The Western Tradition 22: Cities and Cathedrals of the Middle Ages

From 1050 A.D. to 1350 A.D. France built 80 Cathedrals 500 churches and over tens of thousands of parish churches. By 1400 there was 1 church for every Christian child. Weber notes that the growth of the church was driven by competitiveness. The larger the church, the more affluent it meant a town or city was and this was also measured by the architecture of the master masons that constructed these great gothic cathedrals.  Weber notes that how these cathedrals rose during the middle ages was not as important as where they were built. He point out that the fact that the churches were built in the towns enriched the tourism and enhanced the community to have a richer economic affluence. This led to the towers being built that were related to businesses, or wealthy families.  The Crusades, which were essentially the struggle between the Pope and Emperor in their early years, stimulated trade.

In sum, the impact of the church was that it progressed civilized society to be more affluent and expansive.  Economies of city developed due to the popularity of churches and cathedrals revising cities in the Middle Ages. Going back to the age of Charlemagne, the church became responsible for developing a community of scholastics and literal individuals.

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