Christianity and Western Civilization
Christianity is the sole factor that has been present throughout the human age. It has had an integral role and influence in shaping human civilization and, thus western civilization, from the age for fighting for Kings and warlords, such as Napoleon, the age of modern systems of government. It influence is integral to the overall growth and understanding of the western civilization (Spielvogel, 2017a, Spielvogel 2017b). In fact, every aspect of life that is now associated with western civilization, including the law, has some connotations and associations associated and Christian values and ways for life, such as the freedom to worship. In this research paper, that is an attempt at analyzing how Christianity has had a great impact in shaping western civilizations throughout the age of time.
As the Roman Empire collapsed before the renaissance period, the pace of civilization of civilization was said to have completely slowed down. To Christianity, this were referred to as the dark ages where nobody was allowed to own the bible. During this time, men usually hurdled into castles and even sold themselves into servitude for a land tenure system that led them to be used as slaves during wars. This was evident throughout the European continent and was even responsible for the rising of great warlords like Napoleon who conquered vast lands in the entire continent. His rise (Napoleon) was supported by this land tenure system or feudal system that allowed men to be sold into servitude. This era can be traced to have influenced civilization and this course of development and is normally referred to as the ‘dark ages’. It is during the same period that the Christian Bible was allegedly doctored by the people who could read and write, since reading and writing were not universal skills back then.
During this period of confinement into castle and cities, catholic monks who had their origins from the time of the Roman Empire embarked and kept the spirit of learning the Greaco-Roman empire. The monks’ ability to foster learning in the monasteries, although it had a bearing on the alleged doctoring of the bible, was an important step in introducing the modern learning of sciences. It thus comes without saying that Christianity, through the monks, influenced the scope of modern science by influencing the manner in which the scientific learning was inducted in the first place (Sanneh, 2008). After this time, the period of renaissance began in which we were to see the development of scientific discoveries that revolutionized the development of modern civilization. The first evidence of this discoveries can be traced back to places such as: Chartre in France, Helfta in Germany and St. Victor in England. All this places had castles of monks who apart from dissemination religious studies to prospective monks and religious leaders, also supported the vast learning of literature such as metaphysics connotations from re-known philosophers such as Aristotle, scientific observations such as astrology. The age of industrialization and mass manufacturing owes its ideas from the initial teachings. However, this teachings were often done is such a way that they were always coherent to the ideas of Christian religion, its beliefs, rituals and culture. All synthesis of scientific information during this period was also done in such a way that the conclusions, even those made from observations, were always in agreement to what was written in the bible. An example of this was the belief that the earth was flat supported by pillars set by God, the creator. After the advancement of civilization, this theory of analysis was to be disapproved by majority of the scientists and then the revolution began in which scientific paradigms seems to demarcate themselves from the ideologies presented in Christianity by the monks (Sanneh, 2008).
Renaissance soon followed this period of discoveries and was the main driving force that drove Western civilization even has the American continent was discovered and occupied by the confederates. A novel way of learning and observing scientific information was derived and so was a paradigm shift in the analysis of various metaphysics subjects and literature that affected social culture. During this period, the first seeds that were to see America repel against the British King and form its own system of government were laid down. Even though this can be considered remotely related to Christianity and its influence in modern civilization, its influence was to be seen to influence the first making of the American constitution in which freedom from any religious oppression was guaranteed. In the modern day, you are most likely to read or hear about concepts that modern civilization and its advancement, especially during the dark ages before renaissance, was highly arrested by religious views especially with regard to some fundamental discoveries in science. This is because, after the fall of the Roman Empire, and the consequent confinement of monks into castles and monasteries, the period of the dark ages which occurred between the fifth and tenth centuries because religious persecution was marked with profound illiteracy amongst the masses, great wars (especially those associated with the Vikings of Europe), famine and diseases. The results of fostering learning by the monks was only to be seen after the first millennium. Thus, connotations of Renaissance as the age of the great awakening are often very popular and even current analysis demarcate the scope of this period into the northern, eastern and southern. These demarcations often intends to isolate the various streams of learning that were derived during this period, their ideas, modes of travel and even the manner of introducing spread in civilization. For instance, it was during this period that civilization was seen to have spread using wars such as those associated with the Crusaders, who conquered regions that were near current India and even going as far as the Middle East (Oesterdiekhoff, 2011).
Furthermore, this period is often characterized as the period in which anti-Christianity paradigms came into effect. This anti-religious thought processes saw further changes in the bible and more changes in the Christian community as groups of Christian churches started to secede from the Roman Catholic Church to form other churches such as the Orthodox Church and Protestant Churches (Neusner, 2006). Thus, in civilization, this period can be said to have led to the overall contribution of in governance by leading to the creation of Church states such as the Roman Catholic Church. Papacy was to reign in this church and influence the religious setting of modern Europe and its consequent advancement in civilization to the modern age. In real sense, the Renaissance can be seen as a period where the modern form of religion and its ability to integrate into various societies in a humane way became the norm. During this period, various art and designs ideas borrowed from both philosophy and Christianity were to see the rise of classical arts such as the Mona Lisa, which are still revered in the modern age of civilization and iconic and incomparable (Spielvogel, 2017a, Spielvogel 2017b).
Christianity influenced the thinking ways during the enlightenment period that is now referred to as Renaissance. This is especially true when major conflicts between science and religious paradigms became apparent and often caused conflicts. This thinking ways can be seen even in great philosophers such as Voltaire who were to influence the scope and analysis of modern day metaphysical subjects such as Marxism. As a philosopher, he embarked on the deriving the essence and importance of religion because it had a great influence in giving sense to the light of reason and wisdom and it can be seen as the natural outgrown cause of scientific effects such as scientific properties of the universal laws.
Other areas were religion was to seem seen to influence the thought process that led to modern civilizations include the ability of Catholic Fathers to champion for equitable and fair treatment of individuals and the granting of rights and freedoms. Such a role was seen in Catholic Fathers such as Fenelin Francis and is still present to this age and time. Moreover, this Catholic Father, even though not a philosopher, was able to influence the changes in classical vie of individualism. This thinking processes was the major process that led to the culmination of the Witch trials in Europe that saw very many innocent die in the pretext of engaging in black magic. It can thus be said that this though process was a main precipitator for the current civilization and its understanding of the basic rights that must be accorded to each human being on earth.
Finally, another important aspect that can be integrated into the advancement of Western Civilization and its integration with humanity is the ability to influence and popularize important scientific discoveries such the Newton’s Laws of the Universe (especially in the 17th century). For instance, Boyle (a great scientist and religious leader) discovered air pressure but his idea of approach to science was in such as manner as to prove and support the truth in the paradigms of Christianity given in the Christian bible. Since he was also very active in politics, Boyle ensured that this approach lead to the creation of a system of civilization that promoted harmony within the society. Thus, we were to see Boyle promote Newton’s Laws while the Latitudinarians were to promote this as the new model of science. Thus, Christian leaders such as Boyle can be seen to have had a great influence on the manner in which scientific ideas were spread and without them, perhaps, Newton’s Laws of the Universe were to remain unknown for a very long time.
In conclusion, the analysis in the foregoing discussion has considered the scope in which Christianity played a great role in modern civilization, especially when it came to the events that marked the beginning and end to the Renaissance period. During this period, we were to see the growth of the modern civilization being shaped by various religious aspects such as the intention to teach Christianity together with other subjects by the Monks during the dark ages. Other events include its influence in the creation of states and modern systems of government, such as the modern day Roman Catholic Church, the influence the thought processes that lead to scientific discoveries that influence modern civilization and even the spread of these discoveries such as Newton’s Laws.
Neusner, J. (2006). Religious foundations of Western civilization: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
Oesterdiekhoff, G. (2011). The steps of man towards civilization; the key to disclose the riddle of history. Norderstedt: Books on Demand.
Sanneh, L. (2008). Disciples of all nations: pillars of world Christianity. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press.
Spielvogel, J. (2017a). Western civilization: a brief history. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Spielvogel J. J. (2017b). Western Civilization Volume B. Place of publication not identified: CENGAGE LEARNING CUSTOM P.
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