Distrust Of Religion In The Middle Ages

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During the Middle Ages, the relationship between science and religion was central to the ability of intellectuals to pursue the natural sciences. Without approval from their religious leaders, the great thinkers of the Middle Ages were unable to make any large strides in natural philosophy. However, this does not mean that the pervasiveness of religion prevented science from thriving. Rather, the nature of the relationship between science and religion was wholly dependent on the religion in question. In some cases, such as in Christianity, science was given a comparably more sympathetic environment in which to grow and develop. Due to the necessity of a class of men who were both theologians and natural philosophers in Christian societies,…show more content…
During this period, science was mostly founded on the principles of ancient Greek philosophy. In orthodox Jewish and Muslim societies, these beliefs were unable to gain any religious backing, instead harboring only suspicion. In many cases, these feelings of distrust resulted from a lack of necessity to converse with new converts. While the spread of Christianity was heavily reliant on missionary work, other religions such as Islam were simply instated through military force and did not have to seek acceptance from new converts. Furthermore, for Islam, a lack of Arabic translations of ancient Greek works of science and philosophy was also responsible for the religion’s distrust of science in the Middle Ages. During the early growth of Islam, in which the orthodox doctrine was created, Muslim leaders were unable to read the ideas of ancient Greek philosophers. Once translations were finally created, orthodox Muslims saw no need to incorporate the ideals of ancient Greece into their religion, and these beliefs were shunned. Finally, this research will attempt to provide an explanation as to why Christianity benefitted more from the use of Greek natural philosophy than the other large religions. The motivations for the Christian acceptance of Greek ideals will be shown to stem from fundamental religious differences between Christianity and other religions, such as the concept of the Holy Trinity. It will also be illustrated that the demographics of Christians in the Middle Ages allowed science to develop more easily. Converts to Christianity were often individuals who had been previously exposed to pagan learning, which included Greek philosophy and natural philosophy, and Christianity did not seek to remove this knowledge after
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