Essay about Religion, Superstition & Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

1543 Words Sep 10th, 2013 7 Pages
|HIST208-13B (HAM) |
|Religion, Superstition & Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe |

Early Medieval Period:

Mid-5th – mid 9thC (c.450-850CE)

Augustine died in 430 as the Vandals were besieging his city of Hippo. Some 20 years before, Rome had fallen. In the West the ancient empire was a thing of the past; in its place a variety of `barbarian kingdoms’, although for the most part considering themselves a part of the Roman Empire.

New circumstances called for re-appraisal of the church: its position and purposes. A pragmatic response to changed
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Centrality of ‘Church’
1. Doctrinal focus on the church as such was occasioned by Donatist schism. But although within the Western orbit, this was essentially a North African affair. In Italy and Gaul, where Donatism hardly impacted, there was little real energy in ecclesiology where the views held about the nature of the Church were similar to the mystical views of the East.

2. Hilary was a Western leader influenced by the East: Christ’s body, the Church, is the harmonious fellowship of the faithful. The Church is the ‘bride of Christ’, the ‘mystical body of Christ’ through which Christ speaks. Founded by Christ, established by the Apostles, it is One and teaches truth with authority. Unity is that of a single integrated body: common faith, bond of charity, unanimity of will and action. Baptism = a spiritual transformation whereby the individual is incorporated into Christ: a ‘real unity’ the reality of which is guaranteed by the Eucharistic mystery. Although at one level the Church is a ‘communion of saints’, at a more ‘universal’ or embracing ‘catholic’ level the church is also a mixed society of all comers. (NB - Donatism contra this of course. It stressed purity: so it saw itself the de facto ‘holy’ church).

3. First major response (from theologian named Optatus) to Donatist rigorist puritanism held that the sacraments derive their validity from God, not from the administering

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