What Role Did Religion Play In Medieval Civilization

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Throughout history, civilizations have thrived and existed due to having some authoritative system. Certain types of authoritative systems can cause a civilization to prosper greatly, but the wrong type of organization could possibly cause a civilization to languish, be taken over by other people, or completely disappear. Across the world and throughout many countries there are numerous styles of authority and various political concepts. Each society is working towards or has already found a style of authority that suits their beliefs to allow the civilization to flourish. A main concept that people focus on when deciding on how they want their country to be governed is religion. Since the beginning of the earliest know civilizations, religion…show more content…
During this time period, religion was still prominently present in the system of governing. Since the Roman Catholic Church was the only church present in Europe at the time, it played a significant role in the authoritative system. Kings, queens, and other noteworthy leaders derived their power directly from the church. The most powerful institution at the time was the Catholic Church, and the pope was at the head of this enormous establishment. Individuals with a high standing in the church community, such as bishops, often played a significant role in governing and in the king’s council. The dominant social system at this time in Europe was known as feudalism. Under feudalism, the king would grant large sections of land, referred to as fiefs, to bishops and noblemen. In the social order, peasants and serf were located at the bottom of the social system. Peasants and serfs worked on and farmed the land owned by the noblemen. They had very little legal rights, received low wages, if any, and were forced to pay high taxes to the lord or noble that owned the land. This system of hierarchy did not give the majority of authority to a centralized state; instead, private individuals exercised most power locally. Noblemen had nearly complete control over their large manors besides paying taxes to the king. As the imperial government began to weaken over time, these powerful landowners even created private armies to provide protection for themselves and their manors. Clergymen also held a great deal of power in Medieval Europe. These men were usually the offspring of the nobles, and they customarily held land also. The feudal system was the primary system of authority and social order for centuries in Europe until the unfolding of several events that slowly brought the downfall of feudalism. The Hundred Years’ War was one of the first occurrences that led to the decline of

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