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What roles did faith and reason play in the intellectual life of the Middle Ages - Research Paper Example

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What roles did faith and reason play in the intellectual life of the Middle Ages

With this, the paper will explore the concept between faith and reason and how they contributed to the development of knowledge has been studied. With outcomes gathered from the said exploration, this paper came with the conclusion that not only did faith and reason function as a harmonious duo during the medieval era, both also needed each other in the first place to prosper and contribute to the intellectual life modern society is enjoying today. The Middle Ages is a timeline collection of many developments. Specifically, it was both a dark and colorful combination of social reconstruction, formed conflicts in the foreign landscape and the revolution and optimization of many different aspects in the society (“British History: Middle Ages”). Nevertheless, despite the bombardment of many occurrences, one important point of study regarding this period in history is the status of the time’s intellectual life. The construct that makes this a worthy object of attention lies in two molding factors—faith and reason. These two is said to have governed the intellectual presence of the middle ages. The main purpose of this paper then seeks to uncover what roles did faith and reason play in the medieval times that produced the level of intellectual outcome that defined the Middle Ages. Faith and the Medieval Times The discussion of the middle ages, as a point in history, is oftentimes associated with the prosperity of the Christian faith and its consequent contribution in the development of today’s theological thinking. Given that this particular faith is not shared by all of members of today’s population, the interpretation of the Middle Ages in relation to faith differs across academics, critics, historians, and the like. This difference can be considered as a problematic factor in the study of that point in history. The phenomenons where interpretive analysis of the medieval times has differed in extremes have been properly acknowledged with a term. As per the work of Van Engen, the Christian Middle Ages could be considered as a “historiographical problem” (519). For others like Gilson, and similarly with that of Brown, focus of the work on the specific point in time has been devoted to attributing the full development of Christianity and the total characteristic of the faith during the middle ages. The bottom-line with this particular focus is that Christianity has played a major role during that time--affecting many aspects of societal life. Listening to Reason in the Middle Ages On a similar stance, reason during the Middle Ages has also been given an equal amount of attention by scholars and academics alike. The work of Alexander Murray has vastly tackled how reason affected the society during the given period. More importantly, the particular work has contrasted itself to be another definition of the medieval ages. Whereas the period was prominently known to be an era of faith due to its centralization of Christianity, Murray has also given emphasis that reason also governed the said stage (page number). The work of Edward Grant has supported the previous author’s contention as he set his focus on the reason-oriented developments of the Middle Ages (1). In so doing, Grant have detailed that it was during the Middle Ages that the pillars of today’s politics and government have taken the form. Particularly, the emergence of “the nation state, parliaments, [and] democracy” (1) during the time could be viewed as the source of development for the governance of present day nations. Moreover, it was also during the same stage that foundations of commerce and banking have been established. However, if these achievements be tallied, the ...Show more


The status of both faith and reason in the middle ages could be considered as at level with one another. Both are regarded as equally important in the intellectual life of the medieval society. …
Author : tcrona
What roles did faith and reason play in the intellectual life of the Middle Ages essay example
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