Church and state | rhein-main-verzeichnis.info
In the Middle Ages, getting married was easy for Christians living in According to the church, which created and enforced marriage law. The influence of the Church throughout medieval English society was enormous – it regulated almost every area of daily life. Many institutions and practices that. The European High Middle Ages, which lasted from about to , evoke for many people romantic images of knights in shining armor, magnificent . of a bishop, he sparked a long conflict over the relationship of church and state. wrote and performed lyric poetry celebrating the love between knights and ladies.
A strong supporter of Orthodoxy and opponent of heresy, Justinian secured from the bishops in attendance at the Second Council of Constantinople inan affirmation that nothing could be done in the Church contrary to the emperor's will.
This doctrine remained in effect until the Ottomans conquered Constantinople now Istanbul in the fifteenth century. In the West the Bishop of Rome emerged as the central figure of the Roman Catholic Church and often asserted his spiritual authority over various kings, on both theological and political matters.
There are two powers, august Emperor, by which this world is chiefly ruled, namely, the sacred authority of the priests and the royal power. Of these that of the priests is the more weighty, since they have to render an account for even the kings of men in the divine judgment.
You are also aware, dear son, that while you are permitted honorably to rule over humankind, yet in things divine you bow your head humbly before the leaders of the clergy and await from their hands the means of your salvation.
On the basis of this document the Pope and his representatives claimed the authority to appoint and crown kings suggesting that all temporal authority had to be legitimized by the Church. The Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla proved inthat the Donation was a fake by analyzing its language, and showing that certain phrases were anachronistic and that the purported date of the document was inconsistent with the content of the document itself.
However, the Vatican placed Valla's work on the list of prohibited books, and defended the document's authenticity. It continued to be used as genuine until Baronius in his "Annales Ecclesiastici" published admitted that the "Donation" was a forgery, and eventually the church conceded its illegitimacy.
The precise purpose of the forgery is not entirely certain, but it was clearly a defense of papal interests, perhaps against the claims of either the Byzantine Empireor the Frankish king Charlemagnewho had assumed the former imperial dignity in the West and with it the title "Emperor of the Romans. It has been suggested that an early draft was made shortly after the middle of the eighth century in order to assist Pope Stephen II in his negotiations with Pepin the Shortthe Frankish Mayor of the Palace.
In return for Stephen's support, Pepin apparently gave the Pope the lands in Italy which the Lombards had taken from the Byzantine Empire. These lands would become the Papal States and would be the basis of the Papacy's secular power for the next eleven centuries. Inserted among the twelfth-century compilation known as the Decretum Gratiani, the document continued to be used by medieval popes to bolster their territorial and secular power in Italy.
England in the Middle Ages - Wikipedia
It was widely accepted as authentic, although the Emperor Otto III did denounce the document as a forgery. Nationalism and the Renaissance In Europe, the supremacy of the pope faced challenges from kings and western emperors on a number of matters, leading to power struggles and crises of leadership, notably in the Investiture Controversy of the eleventh century over the question of who had the authority to appoint local bishops.
The reason the kings wanted to be involved was that the church owned and controlled vast areas of land and so the bishops had great economic and thus political power. A see-saw battle ensured during the succeeding centuries as kings sought to assert their independence from Rome while the papacy engaged in various programs of reform on the one hand and the exercise of considerable power against rebellious kings on the other, through such methods as excommunication and interdicts.
In England there was a clash between church and state over the legal jurisdiction. King Henry II wanted the clergy to be tried in civil courts and not church courts on the basis that everyone should be judged by the same law and receive the same punishment.
Church and state in medieval Europe
The problem was that clergy who committed even crimes such as murder were being judged very leniently by the ecclesiastical courts, which was seen as unfair. The Archbishop of CanterburyThomas Becket disagreed as he wanted to defend the independence of the church. During the Renaissancenationalist theorists began to affirm that kings had absolute authority within their realms to rule on spiritual matters as well as secular ones.
Kings began, increasingly, to challenge papal authority on matters ranging from their own divorces to questions of international relations and the right to try clergy in secular courts. This climate was a crucial factor in the success of the Protestant Reformation. He went on to dissolve the monasteries and confiscate much church land which he redistributed to his supporters. The result was the destruction of the country's welfare provision. Modern period Protestant churches were just as willing as the Catholic Church to use the authority of the state to repress their religious opponents, and Protestant princes often used state churches for their own political ends.
Years of religious wars eventually led to various affirmations of religious toleration in Europe, notably the Peace of Westphaliasigned in These seminal documents in the history of church and state played a significant role in both the Glorious Revolution of and later in the American Revolution.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guarantees freedom of religious opinion. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief… The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen likewise guaranteed that: In the French case, not only would the state reject the establishment of any particular religion, it would take a vigilant stance against religions involving themselves in the political arena.
The American tradition, on the other hand, welcomed religious arguments in public debate and allowed clergymen of various faiths to serve in public office as long as they adhered to the U.
The French leadership, having suffered from centuries of religious wars, was also deeply suspicious of religious passion and tended to repress its public expression, while the Americans adopted a positive attitude toward newer and smaller faiths which fostered a lively religious pluralism.
These two approaches would set the tone for future debates about the nature and proper degree of separation between church and state in the coming centuries. Contemporary Many variations on relationship between church and state can be seen today. Some countries with high degrees of religious freedom and tolerance have still maintained state churches or financial ties with certain religious organizations into the twentieth century. Englandfor example, has an established state religion but is very tolerant of other faiths as well.
In Norwaysimilarly, the King is also the leader of the state church, and the twelfth article of the Constitution of Norway requires more than half of the members of the Norwegian Council of State to be members of the state church. Yet, the country is generally recognized to have a high degree of religious freedom.
In countries like these, the head of government or head of state or other high-ranking official figures may be legally required to be a member of a given faith. Powers to appoint high-ranking members of the state churches are also often still vested in the worldly governments. Several European countries such as GermanyAustriaand several Eastern European nations officially support large religions such as the Catholic ChurchLutheran Evangelical Church, or the Russian Orthodox Churchwhile officially recognizing other churches as legitimate, and refusing to register newer, smaller, or more controversial religions.
Some go so far as to prohibit unregistered groups from owning property or distributing religious literature. In most European countries churches are involved in education. In the UK religious education is compulsory in all state schools. There are many Church of England and Catholic schools which are funded by the state and recently Sikh and Hindu schools have received the same status.
In Germany Lutheran ministers and Catholic priests teach confessional religious education in public schools. Turkish women wearing head scarves Other countries maintain a more militant brand of separation church and state. Two prominent examples are France and Turkey. Turkey's policy has changed somewhat in recent years with the advent of a less-secularist government.
This model of a secularist state protects the religious institutions from some types of state interference, but public expression by religious institutions and the clergy on political matters is limited. Religious minorities are also limited from expressing themselves publicly by wearing distinctive clothing in the workplace or in public schools.
A more liberal secularist philosophy is expressed in the American model, which allows a broad array of religious expression on public issues and goes out of its way to facilitate practices of religious minorities in the workplace, public schools, and even prisons.
American churches are forbidden, however, to support candidates for public office without jeopardizing their tax exempt status; and they are limited in the amount of money they can spend to affect pending legislation. The opposite end of the spectrum from separation of church and state is a theocracy, in which the state is founded upon the institution of religion, and the rule of law is based on the dictates of a religious court.
Examples include Saudi Arabiathe Vaticanand Iran. In such countries, state affairs are managed by religious authority, or at least by its consent. In theocracies, the degree to which those who are not members of the official religion are to be protected is usually decided by experts of the official religion. A special case was seen in Marxist-Leninist countries, in which the state took a militantly atheistic standpoint and attempted, by varying degrees, to suppress or even destroy religion, which Karl Marx declared as the "opiate of the people" and a tool of capitalist oppression.
Some have argued that in Marxist states, the ideology of Marxism-Leninism constituted a kind of atheist religion, and that such states in fact do not separate "church and state" but replace a theistic state religion with an atheistic one. While Marxist-Leninist states today are rare, North Korea still officially holds to this ideology and China still adopts a hostile attitude toward various religious groups based in part on the Marxist attitude of its leaders.
Religion and state in Islam The advent of Islam created another attitude toward the relationship between religion and the state. Theoretically, Islam sees no distinction between religion and the state. The ideal function of the state in Islamic tradition is to uphold the Shariaor Islamic law. In practice, however, governments in Islamic countries encompass a wide spectrum of attitudes toward the relationship between religion and the state.
The Christian concept of the secular and the spiritual is founded on the words of Jesus: Two distinct, but not altogether separate, areas of human life and activity had to be distinguished; hence, a theory of two powers came to form the basis of Christian thought and teaching from earliest times. During the 1st century ad the Apostlesliving under a pagan empire, taught respect for and obedience to the governing powers so long as such obedience did not violate the higher, or divine, law, which superseded political jurisdiction.
Among the Church Fatherswho lived in a period when Christianity had become the religion of the empire, the emphasis on the primacy of the spiritual was even stronger. They insisted upon the independence of the church and the right of the church to judge the actions of the secular ruler. With the decline of the Roman Empire in the West, civil authority fell into the hands of the only educated class that remained—the churchmen. The church, which formed the only organized institution, became the seat of temporal as well as spiritual power.
In the East the civil authorities, centred in Constantinople, dominated the ecclesiastical throughout the Byzantine period. Inunder Charlemagnethe empire was restored in the West, and by the 10th century many secular rulers held power throughout Europe. A period of political manipulation of the church hierarchy and a general decline in clerical zeal and piety brought vigorous action from a line of reforming popes, the most famous of whom was Gregory VII.
The following centuries were marked by a dramatic struggle of emperors and kings with the popes. During the 12th and 13th centuries, papal power greatly increased. Townswomen operated brewing and weaving businesses and even briefly formed their own guilds.
Peasant women engaged in intensive manual labor, producing food and sustaining their households. Some women left such circumstances to become household servants in the manor or in towns, where their rights were minimal.
Religious women chose to exchange the material life of marriage and family for a spiritual and intellectual life in a cloister.
While women could not become priests, they did influence society as visionaries, spiritual advisors, and writers. One such influential woman was Abbess Hildegard of Bingen, Germany to who frequently spoke out on the religious, political, and social issues of her day. In both the hierarchical and communal order of the Middle Ages, everyone had a place and knew it. In response to the perceived threat of non-Christian peoples, such as Jews, Muslims, Gypsies, and religious heretics, discriminatory laws placed those groups on the margins of society.
However, despite the discrimination and fear that oftentimes restricted their businesses and social contacts, Jewish communities maintained a strong internal network through family, synogogue, and contacts with Jews across and outside Europe. In fact, Jews played an integral role in medieval society by influencing medieval scholarship. Building on the economic strength of towns and trade, the individual rulers of Europe developed competent bureaucracies to govern their domains, as is evident in the increased use of written legal documents.
The power of these new rulers was limited, however, by pressure from competing social groups and political organizations, such as the aristocracy, townspeople, and the church. In the 11th through 13th centuries, the growing communities in Europe developed stable political identities, usually under a central ruler. The Slavic peoples of eastern Europe were influenced by both western Europe and the Byzantine Empire.
For example, Russia's Slavic population converted to Byzantine, or Eastern Orthodox, Christianity under the Kievan dynasty founded by Scandinavians in the 10th century. They formed a strong Slavic Christian culture that survived even the Mongol conquest of the 13th century. Medieval rulers did not have absolute power; rather their competence lay in developing strategic relationships with the aristocracy, the towns, and the church. Even while kings were centralizing their power, new representative assemblies in medieval England's Parliament and France's Estates General laid down the roots of government by consent of the people.
For example, England's Henry I, who reigned from tocreated an efficient government auditing system in the Exchequer, the body that managed the receipt and expenditure of revenue.
His grandson Henry II, who reigned from tocontributed to the development of common law that united the kingdom. But King John, who reigned from towas forced by his barons to sign the Magna Carta ina precursor to constitutional monarchy in England.
Church and State - New World Encyclopedia
Often conflicts between these competing sources of authority gave rise to new political theories and laws. In the 11th-century Investiture Controversy, for example, popes and secular rulers debated the right to invest, or appoint, bishops. As European religious leaders developed more systematic authority over their churches, reformers sought to free local churches from the control of lay aristocrats and kings. However, Europe's kings were accustomed to appointing their own archbishops and bishops, as these men, who were usually from aristocratic families, served as royal administrators.
Subsequent popes, such as the dynamic Innocent III, pope from toused the same bureaucratic mechanisms that secular rulers used to develop legal theories freeing the church from secular influence. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the arguments made on both sides of the debate helped define the boundaries of political authority for both church autonomy and secular government.
Religion and Scholarship Creative tensions in medieval society and politics led to new ideas, such as those exchanged in the debates over faith and reason in the new universities. They also led to the rise of new religious orders and forms of spirituality. New ideas emerged in popular religion during the struggle between orthodox Christianity and numerous heresies.
The influence of Jewish and Muslim scholarship, the rise of an educated class of career scholars, and the growth of an urban reading public also contributed to this cultural and intellectual ferment in Europe. During the 12th and 13th centuries, universities arose in the major European cities.
Although none of these scholars denied Christian truth as it was revealed in the Bible, some, such as Anselm of Canterbury, placed faith before reason.
Others, such as Peter Abelard, put reason first. The great 13th-century Dominican philosopher Thomas Aquinas produced a brilliant synthesis of faith and reason, while a group of philosophers called nominalists questioned whether human language could accurately describe reality. These inquiries into the nature of knowledge contributed to scientific inquiry, evident in the experimental theories of English scientist and philosopher Roger Bacon ?
Meanwhile, many people sought a more spiritual, holistic experience of the world than what was offered through the intellect or through ordinary church rituals. Visionaries and reformers created new orders such as the Cistercians, Franciscans, and Dominicans.