Christianity And The Medieval Mind

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Christianity and the Medieval Mind

Conversion of Secular Rulers to Christianity

The secular rulers had to convert to Christianity. It is because they were losing all their power. The pope claimed that the only Supreme power belongs to the Creator who is Almighty. After God, there will be no other authority superior to the pope. He and only he will have the power to rule over the world and all his orders will be followed by and large. Even the bishops and emperors will be under his power. Any ruler whether in Church or in State will not command ruling power over the pope? He also declared that anyone who calls himself a catholic should follow the Roman Church. He blamed the secular ruler for appointing incompetent and corrupt clergy. The secular ruler had converted to Christianity as it gave them the chances to get offices from archbishops, bishops, and priests and continue with their corruption (Stearns, p. 250). Being a member of the clergy gave them state protection. Hence, they converted to an orthodox Christianity.

Therefore, it attacked the kingly authority. By submitting to Christianity, the secular rulers wanted to get their power back or probably even increase it. John of Paris resolved the dispute created by the Pope's statement. He managed to create separate spheres of power for both the secular and the religious authority. He suggested that the religious authority comes from God, hence; any other power will be a derivative of this power and will be subordinate to it. To resolve the issues pertaining to the secular power, the pope is the supreme authority when it comes to spiritual matters, and the emperor is the supreme ruling authority in the secular matters. Hence, coming under the umbrella of Christianity granted them with greater power than they already had.

Spiritual Considerations behind the Conversion

Secular rulers did not want to give in to the papal authority over them. Hence, they thought it better to convert to Christianity. The spiritual considerations were not that important either for the church or for the secular rulers who converted to Christianity. The greater, more dominant reason behind this conversion was self interest and secular motives. It also helped them deal with the divisions among people and territories they ruled. For instance, if a king converted to Christianity, all the tribes that come under him will also convert to Christianity. This will prevent civil wars and will lead to harmony in that there will be no disputes. Other than the self interest motives, some of the converters gave more importance to the spirituality. The architecture and design of the church touched their heart and soul, and they found church to be a testimony of God's presence on earth.

The Conversion of Kings and Emperors to Christianity

The western trouble faced trouble in that it attracted many unwanted unscrupulous men to its service that did nothing but to foster corruption. The lords used their influence to fill the church positions with their own ...
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