Darkness to night

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  • Publié le : 10 avril 2011
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From Darkness To Light

One of the characteristics of the middle age is the lack of interest in education. Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church thanks to centuries of preaching answered all the great philosophical questions, such as the meaning of life and death. The rise of the Universities in Western is a critical factor of the waning of the medieval society. When at first education exclusivelyfor clergymen, it was now available to everybody. Thos universities taught all the basic disciplines with the Trivium and the Quadrivium. Since they were open to everybody, European from many regions traveled to attend Universities. For instance, in Life of a Student at Paris, Jacques de Vitry is enumerating all the different ethnic group attending courses at Paris: “English”, ‘son of France”,“Sicilians” (Reader2.p.84) … This is relevant because before this traveling wasn’t extended since it was very risky. Also, it developed a new urban way of life, since student were living in cities.
The true heart of the 12th century renaissance is the rebirth of critical thinking. Undeniably, Peter of Abelard a French scholar who was teaching among others in Paris, upset other views and opinion bybook; the SIC et NON (Reader2.p.101). By encouraging people to be curious, and to question the church and their interpretations of the bible, he changed the way the intellectual community was thinking. P. Abelard also brought to light the divergences and the contradiction between the clergy, which contributed to undermine its authority. With this kind of powerful statements: “It is by doubtingthat we come to investigate, and by investigating that we recognize the truth.”, P. Abelard spread the seeds of other interpretation of the Bible, an interpretation that was challenging the Roman Church and the Canons laws.
The principal political and structural aspect of the Middle Ages was the power of the Papacy. The Pontifical was the central power ruling over all Western Europe. One issue thatparticipated tremendously to the weakening of the Roman Church and thus to the change of era was their loss of credibility. Indeed, an important anticlerical sentiment rises among the population throughout Europe, because of the extravagant lifestyle of clergymen. The best examples are in The Babylonian Captivity by Petrarch. He is describing the outrageous abuses of the papacy residing at thattime in Avignon. Instead of living the Christian way the pontiff and his cardinals are having “licentious banquets”, “fool sloth”, and horses decked in gold” (Reader2.p.208). When these were brought to light, when papal power were weakened from residing in Avignon, and added to the anticlerical sentiment of Europe.
The Dictatus Papae states that the pontiff is infallible. But with the Schism andthe heresies it was proven wrong. The Heresy of John Wycliffe is key in the understanding of the fall of Christendom. Indeed, he contested the power of Rome several times. When he protests: “How can an sinful wretch, who knows not whether he be damned or saved, constrain men to believe that he is the head of the holy church?” he is exposing the deeds and the fouls to the population and contestingthe authority of the pontiff (Reader2.p.224-225). Moreover, to him the only the Bible is ought rule: “it is impossible that any word or any deed of a man should be of equal authority with Holy Scriptures.”, meaning that all canon laws are not legitimate in regards of the Bible. Furthermore, John Wycliffe took away one of the most important power the clergy had; the interpretation of the Bible. Infact, by translating the Bible to English he allowed many people to read and understand the Bible.” The sacred Scriptures be the property of the people, and one which no party should be allowed to wrest from them.”. The clergy’s power comes from the fact that they have the keys to the salvation. With the Bible translated those keys are in the hands of whoever is reading it. The Clergy is not at...