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Inquiry 5. Christianization of the West. At some point in our lives, we ask ourselves questions like: Where do I come from? Is there life after death? Why do sickness, death and suffering exist? Many turn to religion for answers and for comfort during difficult times .

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Inquiry 5

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inquiry 5

Inquiry 5

Christianization of the West

At some point in our lives, we ask ourselves questions like:
    • Where do I come from?
    • Is there life after death?
    • Why do sickness, death and suffering exist?
  • Many turn to religion for answers and for comfort during difficult times
how did christianity establish itself in the west
How did Christianity Establish Itself in the West?
  • Christianity, a monotheistic religion (belief in 1 god) , slowly replaced the Roman Empire’s polytheistic religion (belief in many gods).
  • Another monotheistic religion, Islam, spread in the Eastern World.
Each culture had their own values and customs and beliefs.
  • Despite this, they still maintained a commercial relationship.
  • They also exchanged knowledge of one another’s culture.
life of jesus
Life of Jesus:
  • He was born in Bethlehem, Palestine.
  • Judaism (mono.) already existed in this region.
  • At 30 yrs of age, Jesus experienced a revelation, learning he was the son of God.
  • He then travelled throughout Palestine with his 12 disciples to preach God’s message.
  • His message focused on brotherly love, and on the equality of all human beings.
His teachings were successful and his sermons attracted large crowds.
  • Some even said he could perform miracles.
  • Jesus taught people to follow God alone, which worried Roman authorities.
  • At 33 yrs of age, he was crucified.
  • Before dying, he passed the leadership of the Christian faith to his disciple Peter.
  • His disciples spread the news of his resurrection, which they said occurred 3 days after his death.
origins of christianity
Origins of Christianity:
  • Founded by Jesus
  • Teachings spread by disciples
  • Despite the persecutions endured by Christians, Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire
  • Roman Emperors finally recognized Christianity:
    • In 313 AD, Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity
    • In 392 AD, Emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire and banned polytheism
what was the relationship between the church and power in the middle ages
What Was The Relationship Between the Church and Power in the Middle Ages?
  • As Christianity grew, it created an administrative system called the “Church”
  • During the Middle Ages, the “Church” was so powerful that it competed with the kings.
organization of the church
Organization of the Church:
  • Definition of church: a building in which Christians meet to pray.
  • The word “church” with a Capital ‘c’ (C) refers to the institution that embodies the Christian faith.
power of the church
Power of the Church:
  • Church had a hierarchical structure with distinct levels of authority
  • Church was in complete control of the lives of medieval men and women from birth all the way until death!
church s influence
Church’s Influence:
  • Church dictated peoples’ beliefs
  • Made them perform certain duties
  • Instituted sacraments
  • Set the dates of religious celebrations, which regulated life in cities and villages
description of hierarchy
Description of Hierarchy:
  • During the Middle Ages, the Church’s Organization was broken down into four groups:

1- Pope: Head of the Church and also a bishop

2 bishops
2- Bishops
  • Responsible for priests, deacons and the general public
  • One bishop per Christian community in a large city
  • The bishops’ councils, called by the pope, established Christian beliefs.

3- Priests

  • Oversaw religious ceremonies in the villages

4. Deacons

    • Helped the bishops and priests
the church and feudalism
The Church and Feudalism
  • After the fall of Rome, in the 5th century, the Roman Empire split into numerous kingdoms led by kings.
  • The king had lords to help him conduct wars and protect the territory
  • Superior lords (Suzerains) were given land by the king in exchange for swearing an oath of loyalty to the king
  • Inferior lords (Vassals) were given land by their suzerain in exchange for swearing an oath of loyalty to the suzerain
  • This was the basis of feudalism
did you know
Did you know…
  • Knights
    • Knights were lords who fought on horseback. As their equipment was very expensive, only wealthy lords could become knights. When they were not at war, knights hunted or participated in tournaments. The tournament was a jousting match, which involved making opponents fall off their horse. It was a dangerous activity and many knights died while doing it.
power of the king and church
Power of the king and Church
  • In feudal society, the Church exercised major power over the king
    • The king received his power from the pope
    • The kings belonging were managed by the Church
    • The king respected the pope’s authority or he would be excommunicated (kicked out of Christian community)
    • The king donated land and money to the Church to ensure he went to heaven
    • Bishops advises the king










medieval social groups
Medieval Social Groups

1. The king and the nobility (suzerains and vassals):

  • Fought enemies to protect the territory and the assets of the Church

2. The Church (Pope, bishops, Priests, deacons):

  • Prayed for the king and nobility

3. The peasants:

  • 90% of the population
  • Cultivated land to feed the other two groups
how did the church influence medieval society
How did the Church Influence Medieval Society?
  • The Church asserted its power by building numerous places of worship.
  • It also supervised education and controlled science.
  • The Church cared for the sick and for the poor.
Places of Worship:
  • Kings and lords gave land and money to the Church
  • The Church was therefore very rich
  • It used these riches to build numerous places of worship
    • Churches
    • Cathedrals
    • Abbeys and monasteries
the church s role in education culture and science
The Church’s role in education, culture and science:
  • The Church only used Latin
  • The Church forbade anyone from reading books that contradicted its teachings

Ex: The Church taught that the earth was flat, therefore any book stating that the Earth was round was banned (called censorship).

The Bible was the only reference book for education, culture and science
    • As a result science could not truly evolve
    • Ex: The Church taught that diseases were tests sent by God (Did not promote medical progress)

Teachers were members of the clergy

    • The students were sons of lords, destined for religious service
    • They learnt Latin, theology, and philosophy
did you know1
Did you know...
  • Illumination
    • Printing did not exist in the Middle Ages. Monks would meticulously recopy Latin texts. These copyist monks often adorned the texts with small vividly-coloured drawings called “illuminations”. The books therefore, became true masterpieces.
    • Prayer books often contained a calendar that listed the birthdays of the saints and agricultural tasks month by month.
pilgrimages and crusades
Pilgrimages and Crusades:
  • Pilgrimages
    • Trips to locations where the remains of a saint’s body (relics)could be found

Main pilgrimage sites included:

    • Rome, for the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul
    • Jerusalem, for the tomb of Jesus
Pilgrims were easily identifiable by their clothing: a hat, cloak, walking stick and large bag on their shoulder.
  • This bag was used to carry provisions and money for the trip. Their most famous badge is the St. James shell which all pilgrims wore, whatever their destination.
  • Pilgrims often stayed in monasteries.
the crusades
The Crusades:
    • Military expeditions leading towards Palestine, which had fallen into the hands of the Muslims.
    • They were meant to free Jerusalem and Jesus’ tomb from the Muslims.
  • There were eight crusades in all, spread over the period from 1095 to 1291 AD.
  • During the first crusade Jerusalem was taken over by the crusaders.
  • During the seven other crusades, the crusaders again tried to take over the city, which had once more fallen into the hands of the Muslims.
did you know2
Did you know…
  • Pope Urban II and was the first to call a crusade to liberate Palestine’s holy sites. He promised the forgiveness of sins for all crusaders who would die along the trip or in combat.
  • Christians not only fought Muslims in Palestine; they also fought them in Spain in a war called the Reconquista.