Investiture Struggle and Give Its Effects Essay

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¶ … Investiture struggle and give its effects. What was really at stake?

The beginning of the second millennium saw divergences between the Catholic Church and secular powers intensifying, given that Church officials were no longer willing to accept the sin of simony. Cardinal Peter Damian of Ostia's letter to Henry IV of Germany regarding the conflict between the king and Pope Gregory VII wrote "The royal and the priestly dignity & #8230; are bound together in the Christian people by a reciprocal treaty. Each must make use of the other & #8230; For the king is girded with the sword so that he may be armed to resist the enemies of the Church and the priest devotes himself to prayers and vigils so as to make God well-disposed towards king and people"(Robinson 107). The Cardinal thus wanted Henry IV and Gregory VII to cooperate, mostly lobbying for the king of Germany to refrain from intervening in religious affairs.

Until Gregory VII, it was a secular duty to appoint individuals in religious positions. A great deal of Church officials considered this to be immoral, as members of the state took advantage of their position and appointed whoever they wanted, depending on the social status of the respective person, his relationship to the state, and the amount of money he was willing to pay in order to be assigned.

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Matters were similar in the case of England, with Henry I of England paving the way for the later events that were to take place at the time of the English Reformation (Morris 157). The Catholic Church went through great efforts all across the first centuries of the second millennium, with the purpose of imposing its role. Popes wanted to get as much power as they could while European state leaders were similarly interested in power, with the former struggling to rule over secular powers whereas the latter were determined to keep the ability to invest.

2. In what ways did life improve during the High Middle Ages? Consider in your response the advancements in the Muslim world compared to the Christian one.

Essay on Investiture Struggle and Give Its Effects. What Assignment

The High Middle Ages brought a series of changes, among the most important being the fact that society was no longer limited to having two classes (lower class and upper class), as the middle class emerged with merchants and artisans who experience a steady progress and could strengthen their position. Feudalism was still dominating most areas however, as the Church and the nobility obliged the masses to work for them (Raitt, McGinn, and Meyendorff xiii).

A chain of events involving the middle class and the efforts it went through in order to establish educational institutes made it possible for Europe to advance notably. The rapid spread of Christianity contributed to the progress in Europe, as numerous people converted to the religion at the time (some voluntarily and some by force), bringing power and resources to the Church. Population grew rapidly in urbanized areas around the Mediterranean and great cities emerged, such as Florence, Paris, and Venice. The power of the Church grew steadily and reached its highest point during the pontificate of Innocent III, in the thirteenth century, encouraging European empires to rise against non-Christians, particularly Muslims occupying Jerusalem (Tugwell 15).

While Muslims expanded speedily from the seventh century and until the twelfth, their supremacy began to fade during the High Middle Ages. Europeans were motivated in conquering Muslim territories by their desire to spread Christianity and by the financial profits they hoped to make out of the exploit. Whereas Europeans thrived across the High Middle Ages, they did so in the disadvantage of Muslims, who lost most of their territories in Europe and were forced to conquer parts of Asia in order to restore their strength (Taft 415).

3. What were the crises which plagued the Church during the middle ages? How did these crises damage or improve the Church's status?

Disputes between the Church and European state leaders continued even during the thirteenth century, when the institution's power was at its apogee. Europeans kings were determined to limit the power of the Church and as a result King Philip IV of France captured Boniface VIII (who died shortly afterwards) and demanded that the new pope, Clement V, lived in France, under the Crown's direct supervision (Thompson 27). However, in spite of the fact that the papacy now had to answer directly to the King of France, it was advantaged through the fact that it was also protected by Philip IV. Even with that, Christianity as a whole only had to suffer as a consequence of the dealings between Philip IV and Clement V.

After Clement V was named pope in 1305, he and those who followed him until 1377 were required to reside in Avignon, France. There were seven popes during the Avignon Papacy, all of them of French descent. Historians often refer to the 68-year period of the Avignon Papacy as the Babylonian Captivity, as an allusion to the period during which Hebrew people were captive in Babylon. The Church is believed to have suffered greatly during the Avignon Papacy, as members of the church in Avignon paid little interest in completing their duties, feeling that their position absolved them of any misdemeanor (Logan 297).

Immediately after the death of Pope Gregory XI, Church members in Rome seized the opportunity of installing a new pope, one that would actually live in Rome. These people could not bear with the corruption established during the Avignon papacy, feeling that the role of the Pope and of those around him were no longer what they should have been. The cardinals in Rome elected a Neapolitan Pope, Urban VI. Given the authoritarian character put across by Urban VI, a number of cardinals were left with no other option than to rise against him by naming another French pope-Clement VII, with the alleged reason of continuing the Avignon papacy. In spite of the support Clement VII received across his life, he was always regarded as an antipope, his ostensible papacy marking the beginning of the Great Schism, as the period during which the antipopes in Avignon ruled concomitantly with those in Rome was called (Logan 308).

4. Explain the different views of Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and Jean Calvin. Which of the three became the most influential and why?

Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Luther, and John Calvin were all influential members of the Reformation movement. While the last two came up with very complex theories meant to reform the Christian religious system as it had been at the time, Zwingli believed that simplicity was the key to reform. In spite of his calm character, Zwingli put across radical religious thoughts in his attempts to state his points-of-view. The Swiss initially embraced the Catholic Church, gradually progressing in rank and eventually becoming the "People's Priest" of Zurich. Devoted to his teachings, the people in Zurich did not hesitate to adopt the reforms he issued, making Zurich the first state outside of Germany to become Protestant. Zwingli's writing focused on a single matter, the one relating to how Christians should only act in accordance with the Bible and to what it says, instead of allowing church members to command them.

To a certain extent, Martin Luther's principles were very similar to Zwingli's, with the latter even focusing part of his studies on concepts promoted by the former. Luther also believed that Christians should only consider the Bible to be the true leader of their religious convictions. However, he was certain that one should come at peace with themselves before trying to appreciate religion for what it is. In order to assist the people of Germany in reading the Bible, he translated it. His theories were based on himself, as he wanted people to experience change similar to how he did it, by focusing his spirituality on himself and on changing himself in order to become a true believer. Luther did not impose his point-of-view because he wanted people to discover God themselves.

John Calvin was a very controversial individual during the Reformation, mostly due to his passionate efforts to lessen the influence of the Pope on Christians. The system of priesthood present in the Roman Catholic Church during his time was believed by him to be immoral. He lobbied that all priests should be equal in rank, as long as they believe in God. Unlike Luther, Calvin was certain that only a limited number of individuals could be saved by God and that each individual's life was predestined.

5. Discuss the role religion played in overseas exploration. Consider in your discussion both short-term and long-term effects.

In spite of the fact that European overseas exploration had a series of other purposes, one of the main reasons for which Europeans embarked on a quest to find new lands was their need to spread Christianity. European state leaders were very close to influential church members, thus meaning that there was a strong relationship between Christianity and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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