The Holy Roman Empire Essay

1425 Words Nov 16th, 2016 6 Pages
Following the inceptive imperial coronation of Charlemagne 400 years after the widespread adoption of Christianity (c. 800 AD), the new theocratic government of the Holy Roman Empire was faced with a monumental challenge: reconciling their subject’s god given freewill with law. As the defining institution of the Holy Roman Empire, the religious schemas taught by Church’s became inextricably wound with politics. One by one, laws were enforced with divine benediction, repurposing the already well-defined belief system into a power structure benefitting those with the divine right to construe the bible to the public – the papacy. In this way, views of Christianity drifted away from the self-humbling image of personal Christian relationships presented in the canonical St. Augustines Confessions, because the Church emphasized the authority of a papal intermediary, giving credence to the hierarchy of the decorous Roman Catholic Church as a ruling institution. Criticisms of the clergy’s ability to limit the “righteousness or freedom” of the pious individual such as in Dante’s Inferno or Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales culminate to produce the Reformation, which is ultimately an expression of human freewill in contrast of the traditions set forth by the Roman Catholic Church. Most subjects of the late Holy Roman Empire would probably have been surprised to learn that the Christianity that lived underground during its prosecution differed greatly from the State Church’s Christianity…

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