Christian and Muslim Views on the 14th Century Plague, Known as Black Death

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The infamous plague, known as the Black Death, was a deadly disease which managed to spread throughout Europe and the Middle East in the 14th century. Although both the Europeans and the Empires of Islam experienced the Black Death, each region had different responses and reasons for the causes of the disease. Empires of Islam viewed the plague as a blessing from God while Europeans believed it was a punishment from Him. As a result of the Black Death, Europeans rebelled whereas Empires of Islam respected authority. Europeans used other religions as an explanation for the start of the Black Death while Islamic empires did not blame other religions, but rather had other explanations that caused the disease. The Black Death was God’s …show more content…
As a result of the Black Death, Europeans rebelled while Empires of Islam did not react unmanageably. As the disease became increasingly prominent, Europeans acted rebelliously. According to William Dene, a European chronicler, laborers and skilled workmen had such a spirit of rebellion that no higher authority could curb them (Document 6). This demonstrates how the Black Death changed the lifestyle of Europeans, causing people to resort to problematic alternatives for survival. Muslims, however, did not rebel in any way. Michael Dols stated there was no evidence of messianic movements within the Muslim society associated with the disease, unlike Europeans (Document 10). This shows that Islamic empires respected authority and did not rebel, as opposed to the Europeans. In contrast to the Muslims, who respected authority and remained peaceful during the Black Death, Europeans became defiant and rebellious. Europeans used other religions as a reason for the start of the Black Death whereas Islamic empires did not blame other religions, but had explanations that caused the disease. Christians blamed Jews for the appearance of the Black Death. Michael Kleinlawl, a Christian poet, wrote that it was clear the Jews were to blame for the Black Death, resulting in the burning of Jews (Document 7). Christians believed terminating the source of the Black Death,

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