The Importance Of Religion In The Middle Ages

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There is irrefutable evidence that over the period of the Middle Ages, both Christianity and Islam have been anchors in both shaping and influencing governance of kingdoms and empires comprising Western Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and territories ruled by Islam. Religion during this period was widely used to set laws, influence culture, justify armed conflicts, and pronounce punishment on citizens domiciled within the geographies depicted within this essay. I will attempt to illuminate the geopolitical climate, territorial demarcation, and religious influences that depicted life circa 500 – 1517 CE. From the background material submitted, I will directly answer the following questions:

1) The role Religion played in establishing legitimacy
2) The Role Religion played in establishing armed violence
3) The extent that Christian and Muslim leaders believed that their powers flowed from God
4) Did monotheistic Religions make states more or less stable

Thesis:
• State and Religion
• Direct correlation between kingdoms/ruling authorities and Religion as a major influence in governing and prescribing morals and other societal dictates of the time period.

Chronology:

Western Europe and the Byzantium empires 500- 1000 CE:

European kingdoms grew from Germanic tribes that invaded the Roman Empire in the
5th century C.E. Vandals ruled North Africa in a kingdom centered in Carthage. The Visigoths ruled Spain in a kingdom which preserved many elements of Roman culture. Ostrogothe King Theodoric established a kingdom for his people in Italy.
Vandal, Visigoth, and Ostrogoth people all had cultures heavily influenced by Rome and its Religion. During this era, feudalism developed, and Christianity divided in two - the Catholic Church in the west and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the east. In both cases, the Church grew to have a great deal of political and economic power.
The era from about 500 to 1000 C.E. is sometimes referred to as the "Dark Ages" in European history, partly because many aspects of the Roman civilization were lost, such as written language, advanced architectural and building techniques, complex government, and access to long-distance trade. For the most part, these early people of Europe
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