The terms medieval, modern, and post-modern each represent a different world view. These different ways of thinking are so broad as to include varied philosophies, economic strategies, political systems, religious beliefs and artistic styles. Many historians believe that we are in a transitional period moving from a modern way of thinking into a post-modern way of thinking. History has shown that society is often not eager to embrace new paradigms. Often the institution most strongly against this change is the church. The purpose of this paper is to define and explore the three ways of thinking, and specifically to examine the Christian church’s response to changing world views.
Before contrasting medievalism, modernism, and post-modernism they must be defined. It is very difficult to define in words something as vast as an entire way of thinking. In the next few paragraphs will be a brief overview of each term, and later on the implications of each will be discussed.
The logical place to start seems to be the earliest period of time, the era of medievalism which arguably lasted from shortly after Christ’s death to about 1500AD. One of the defining characteristics of medievalism as a way of thinking is that people assumed that human knowledge was a small subset of God’s complete and perfect knowledge. Because of this, human epistemology was intertwined with God’s revelation. While this may sound like it had mostly theological and philosophical implications, medievalism had a great effect on politics, science, and social structure.
Most political systems during medieval times operated as theocracies. Because God was the ultimate authority, the church developed an enormous amount of political power. In many governments at this time, the pope had even more power than the king. Remnants of this power can still be observed today when looking at the massive cathedrals constructed during medieval times.
Science was very limited during medieval times. During...