Q 5. Arab and Jewish magic had quite a lot of science in it, and involved also knowledge of astrology, the human body and various plants and herbs. Practitioners could heal diseases that the Christians could not, and Christians relied more on prayer than on herbal remedies…
This is because their view of human knowledge is based on a concept of an all-knowing God and a revelation of absolute truth through the scriptures, and through the Pope and the senior leaders of the Church. There was no room for theories that were based on principles outside this rather strict set of rules. The whole issue of whether the earth is the center of the universe, for example, was seen as a theological dogma, not a theory or scientific view, and these issues have the potential to cause the whole foundation of Christian belief to crumble if they are challenged and found to be false. That is why the Church resisted any other views. There seems to have been in Medieval times quite a bit of experimentation with these forbidden arts, just as today people read horoscopes, go to see fortune tellers, and have lucky objects at the same time as holding broadly orthodox beliefs in one of the main religions. Old pagan beliefs linger on in symbolic ways, as for example in the Christmas trees, Harvest Thanksgiving services and Easter eggs that we have in Western culture, even though these are symbolic of pagan festivals (Jolly, 2000, p. 1). In this there is not so much difference between medieval and modern society. The issue of predetermined events and the prediction of human behavior was a very thorny one because it goes to the heart of the Christian doctrine of salvation. It matters a lot, for example, whether a person has free will or not, and whether they freely choose to do good or evil deeds, or whether they are just puppets being manipulated by fate or some demon or other. Christians have a strong sense of being morally responsible for their actions, and relying on God alone, and so any other forces that get in between a man or woman and their god was seen as a bit threat. Q 6. The Christian Church regarded witchcraft with the old gods. It was interesting to learn that many practices such as divination were collective enterprises, with whole towns and villages gathering to make a joint request of the gods. It is clear also that some ancient practices which were originally pagan, were later adapted to fit the new Christian context. The use of runes for example, which previously would have had a protective function, when carved on a special object, was later applied to Christian objects (. The old pre-Christian culture valued words, and this may have meant that they adapted easily to the Church culture which revered scripture. There seems to have been a particular branch of magic that was used as a weapon, which was a negative use that was absolutely forbidden. People could place a curse on their enemies and then they would suffer pain and death. There is no clear distinction between magic, medicine and science since the elements of magic could be herbs and potions, or spells, or other treatments. What makes the distinction is the source of the power that people call upon – this defines whether it is good or bad. If the Christian God is seen as the source, then the Church approves the practice. Otherwise it is outlawed. Q 7. Not answered Q 8. In Scandinavian magic activities linked with the old pagan gods were condemned by the Church. These ancient gods were categorized as demons. People were punished for indulging in any of the old practices that were connected with the Viking gods. In the ancient literature the practice of divination is depicted and this is equated with practices in the bible such as sorcery which are ...
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(Middle Ages Relogion and Theology Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words)
“Middle Ages Relogion and Theology Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/religion-and-theology/67752-mid-ages.
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