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How did the Church play a vital role in medieval life?

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Presentation on theme: "How did the Church play a vital role in medieval life?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How did the Church play a vital role in medieval life?


3 The Church Dominates Medieval Life Priest in each village was often the only contact people had with the Church – Celebrated the mass and sacraments – Explained Church teachings and the Bible (was in Latin) – Some ran schools in the later Middle Ages Life was marked by important events: birth, illness, marriage, death Church involvement Church was social center, Church calendar very important (Gregorian calendar, 1582) Men and women were equal in Church doctrine, but – Church set minimum age of marriage for women – Men were fined for hurting their wife – Women often punished more harshly for similar offenses

4 Monasteries and Convents What are they? Benedictine Rule Benedictine Rule – Created around 530 – A system of rules that regulated monastic life – 3 vows: obedience, poverty, chastity – Day was divided for worship, work, and study (did much to help advance farming methods and the economy Provided basic health and educational services Helped keep learning alivelibraries, copying texts Many women entered convents because of opportunities for learning


6 Church Power Grows Pope = leader of Western Christian Church, head of the entire Church hierarchy Papal supremacy- Papal supremacy- authority over all secular rulers (this would included kings and emperors) Church leaders were usually highly educated, & were appointed to govt positions by feudal rulers Doing good deeds, believing in Christ, and participating in the sacraments were all required to avoid hell. – Only the Church could administer the sacraments – Consequences? Canon law = Church law excommunication interdict – Disobeying could result in excommunication or worse, interdict (excluded an entire town or kingdom from the sacraments and Christian burial). Tried to stop warfare among nobles, called the Truce of God

7 Corruption and Reform Success = problems – Some monks and nuns had possessions of their own – Some priests lived luxuriously Calls for reform: – Cluny, France, 900s, Abbot Berno revived the Benedictine Rule and many other monasteries followed – Rome, 1073, Pope Gregory VII pushed to limit secular influence on the Church and outlawed marriage for priests and selling of Church offices (simony) Friars Friars traveled and taught to the poor (groups like the Franciscans and Dominicans)

8 Jews in Medieval Europe Spain was center of Jewish cultureMuslim controlled, but all religions tolerated 1000s- Jews began to be persecuted in W. Eur. – Blamed for disasters – Not part of parish structure, Christians suspicious – Excluded from land ownership and some occupations Jews migrate to E. Eur. – Welcomed – Formed long-lasting communities

9 Pilgrimage A religious journey European Christians journeyed to the Holy Land – Why the Holy Land? Holy Land occupied by Seljuk Turks (fanatical Muslims) in the 11 th century – Unfriendly to the Christians – Raided north and defeated a Byzantine army Will be the cause of the 1 st Crusade in 1095

10 To summarize:

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