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The Progression of Christianity. From the Apostolic era - the Lutheran Reformation

Uploaded by Koulourakia_Girl on May 02, 2002

The Church was undoubtedly the greatest influence in medieval life, affecting not only the religious and moral codes of the period, but also the political and social climate, which in turn allowed the Church to flourish. The Christianity of the Middle Ages is a highly debated topic. Was it merely "a pragmatic religion, a matter of sensible insurance against the inevitability of death, fear of Hell and the penalties of Divine Judgement?" (Jones, p6) Or did it truly provide its participants with an inner peace, a knowledge that their salvation was assured in the eyes of God? Religion is often considered to be a helpful tool in the study of history, as it can illustrate the ideas, prejudices and wishes of a period. For example, the Middle Ages and the connections between Church and State. Churchmen maintained that their spiritual authority transcended political boundaries acting as an independant third party in disputes. Over time, however, this role seemed to change, with the Church taking on a more dominant role. There was a separation of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, who was both Priest and King - the powers now belonged to two different people, both being expected to keep out of the affairs of the other. The power of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages affected all aspects of life, and perhaps even the way people saw the afterlife.

To truly understand the progression of Christianity through the ages, one need first examine the Apostolic period and the Christianity that it preached. Was the Medieval Catholic Church a natural progression of the New Testament teachings? Or did the Church ‘lose’ something over time? The Apostolic period established the basic theological concepts of Christianity, which do seem to be quite different to the theological teachings of the Medieval Church. For example, on a number of occasions, throughout his Epistles, Paul preaches the absolute necessity of faith.(See Gal 2:16; Rom 3:28; & 5:1-2; Heb 6:1, 12.) The Medieval (and even present Catholic Church) say this is not so - they say that faith alone is insufficient. This is where Medieval concepts, such as confession, penance and purgatory, come into the equation. Such ideas require faith to take a back seat to works and tradition. It was not until the first Century, after all of the Apostles and others who had been in direct contact with Christ were dead, that many Churches developed...

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Uploaded by:   Koulourakia_Girl

Date:   05/02/2002

Category:   Religion

Length:   18 pages (3,991 words)

Views:   1647

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