Saturday, February 2, 2013

Examining the "Middle Ages"

“Humanists, Roman Catholics, and Protestants commonly err in their accounts of ‘medieval’ civilization in that they ascribe to it a modern perspective with regard to the papacy and then either condemn or approve the ‘Middle Ages’ in terms of their attitudes towards the claims of the papacy. Their historical perspective is thus conditioned by their reactions to an ecclesiastical dogma rather than an examination of a culture...

"...The Roman Catholic approaches the so-called 'medieval" era believing that it possessed a modern papal unity and authority which did not then exist. It was, indeed, the very struggle for that unity which destroyed the culture and led to the chronic conflicts of succeeding eras. The earlier unity of Christendom had been a religious unity, a Christian unity which was a reality in a decentralized civilization. The basic localism of feudal culture governed both church and state. The struggle of both the papacy and the empire was directed against one another, but it was also directed against feudalism, and both papacy and empire worked to subjugate church and state to their own authority. They used feudalism to destroy feudalism."

-R.J. Rushdoony, The One and the Many, p. 202

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