Middle Ages as the Age of Faith Essay

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Middle Ages as the Age of Faith

The Middle Ages is often referred to as the Age of Faith and it is correct to do so, as during this period religion dominated all aspects of life from architecture, literature, art and music. The dominant religion during this period was Christianity. The middle ages saw "the emergence … of Christian literary forms… a popular religious culture centred around processions, icons, and relics" (George Holmes 42). The crusades were wars fought in the name of God or holy wars. The first of the crusades began in 1095 when Pope Urban the second received an appeal for help from Alexius the first, the Byzantine Emperor. Alexius wanted Urbans' help against the Turks, "a race alienated from God".
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However philosophical disputes soon arose, this was known as the battle of Universals. One position was called the Realist position. This was the idea that body and soul were separate. The soul goes to its ideal realisation, heaven, there is no need to worry about the material world. The opposing argument was known as the Nominalalist position, "that physical were the only reality" (Robert E. Lamm 212). The middle ground between these two arguments was known as Conceptualism, put forth by Peter Abelard, it suggests that "reality as idea exists only in the sense-apparent object" (Robert E. Lamm 213). Monasticism was a way of life for those who thought everyday life too sinful, and decided to devote themselves to God, either communally in the monastery or lavriote, a life of solitude. St Benedict around five hundred and forty AD set down rules which were to become the basis for monastic life in the Catholic church; poverty, obedience, chastity, and work. In these monasteries theology was preserved. A different form of monasticism developed in Ireland due to the fact it was isolated from the rest of Europe. Monks were more like the hermits of Egypt rather those of Roman Christianity. Scholarship developed in these monasteries, also a new form of art called Hiberno-Saxon. These monasteries kept literacy skills alive. Monks would transcribe and decorate sacred texts by hand. Such texts include the Book of Kells and the Lindisfaire

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