The concerns of Christians in the 13th and 14th Centuries


Within religion there emerged strong concern and emphasis on the process of renewal and Christian reformation. The Christians of the 13th and 14th century saw the need of approaching such kind of renewal and reformation through reassertion of spiritual priorities, which helped in bringing new life and energy to the societies like that of Cistercians.

The religious concerns of the Christians also penetrated the political arena within Europe where clear interpretation of society’s laws, rules and regulations were required. There was dire need for interpretation between spiritual and secular authority since the society demanded to know how to differentiate what belonged to Caesar and that which was God’s (Thompson 1993, 10-84).

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Comparison of the texts

The nature of argument presented in these texts could be likened to the design nature of overall societal rules, especially those used in various sectors concerned with issues on justice. Every sector functioned in accordance to the nature of its design and each function within certain limits.

This presented good example to religious leaders who were required to undergo education and learnt the art of spiritual and political application of laws for the purposes of creating harmony within the society. The process could also be learnt from nature which harmoniously combined beauty and composition of form to produce peculiar objects (De Voragine 1998, 12-382).

The law became one of the stumbling blocks to reformation since it acted as one of the instruments of kingship within the Roman Empire. The compilation of the Roman Legal sources known as the Corpus Luris Civilis, restored back full heritage of Roman law within Western Europe, introducing Europeans to a much more legal system than before. The church was placed at a much less subordinate position within the society with its own powers and disciplinary measures exercised over the clergy as well as the laity (Thompson 1993, 10-84).

The Roman-derived materials, which were used in controlling the society had expired, hence could not rhyme with the major changes which had taken place within church structures and needs. At the same time intellectual elites from the modern western world took advantage and hence thrived on controversy and actions they took against authoritative bodies, and this met praises from the majority instead of criticism.

There was indeed no sign of respect to the authority of any kind. This was contrary to the medieval scholars, who had respect for institutions and individuals, they were confident of their own source of power, community heritage, holiness and spiritual inclination. The state of uniformity and authoritative nature of Gratian’s work attracted the attention of the church who demanded reediting of the Decretum for the purposes of dealing with the corruption (Thompson 1993, 10-84).

Due to such experiences people were advised to devote their culture to reading from authors that had written materials in Line with society’s moral inclination. The nature of impression left by both secular and religious writers, through their writings was of prime importance since it contributed towards their general character.

Morals taught through religion should have been taken seriously by all within the society (De Voragine 1998, 12-382). A good example was the lifestyle of St. Francis of Asisi who was a great paradoxical figure. He is depicted as a man who vowed not to defile himself and others despite his lustful desires. He was an artist who gave his life to the love of pleasures of the natural world contrary to the belief of many but at the same time chose lifestyle the most austere poverty.

He stripped himself naked in the public square for the purposes of demonstrating his renunciation of worldly pleasures and goods. Francis tried to bring an end to the Crusades through talking to the Saracens, and at the same time prayed together with the king concerning animals and abandoned pagans. He also generated some inspiration in the field of poetry and art (De Voragine 1998, 12-382).

Medieval Christians analyzed the importance of education and discovered its percentage contribution towards noble character. They discovered that every creature of noble character rules the territory it dwells; this is because nobility out-stands other qualities of life. God created each individual with unique qualities irrespective of the environment one dwells. They believed that nobility therefore provides good foundation for wisdom and riches, alongside justified authority.

Extraordinary character always attract serious rebellion hence requires modest approach, which with the help of acquired knowledge acts as the most outstanding reinforcement against ignoble character influence (Thompson 1993, 10-84). The teaching on contemptuous issues was ignored amongst Christians and other people within the society. This had since led to the emergence of both true and false believers leading to denial of basic human principles, hence widespread denial of equality within human circles.


Within the literatures discussed it was depicted that humanistic behaviors is what led to creation of awareness that human dependence upon God and nature is no longer necessary. The argument has been reinforced by the existence of professionals from various fields which considered human reasoning sovereign to God’s.

However, the society was basically characterized by dominance of what was considered superior over inferior. The culture of dominance brought about inequality, social, spiritual injustice and poverty within every aspect. Despite all these, life was considered amongst the people within the society as intrinsically sacred, meaning that within the web of life where people live, every creation has got its own level of intrinsic beauty and value.

Reference List

De Voragine, Jacobus. 1998. The Golden Legend. 12-382. Great Britain: Penguin Books Publishers

Thompson, Augustine.1993.Treatise on Laws with the Ordinary Gloss.10-84. California: San Franscisco