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					                                                                                                   Research Writing
                                                                                                     Maher & Jones


                    The Power of the Ideal: The Church and its Power
Susan Squire writes in her new book that "The centrality of religion in medieval European life is impossible to
overstate. ... If you want to pray, you go to your parish and submit to the direction of a priest. If you want to
confess, you sit in the confessional and [tell] your sins to the man on the other side of the partition, who
pronounces judgment and penance” (166-167).

The collapse of the Roman Empire led to a power vacuum across Europe resulting in manorial life becoming the
norm. The Catholic Church became the major unifying cultural influence, preserving learning, maintaining the art
of writing, and serving as a centralized administration through its network of bishops. Monks and monasteries had
a deep effect upon the religious and political life of the Early Middle Ages, acting as land trusts for powerful
families, centers of propaganda and royal support, bases for mission, and proselytizing. They were the main
outposts of education and literacy. During the High Middle Ages, the Papacy, which had sought independence
from the secular kings, began asserting its claims to temporal authority over the entire Christian world. The first
Crusade was preached by Pope Urban II in response to a request from the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos
for aid against Muslim forces. Urban promised indulgence to any Christian who became a crusader and traveled to
Jerusalem. The resulting fervor that swept through Europe mobilized tens of thousands of people from all levels
of society, and resulted in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099, as well as other regions (Treadgold).

The trade revival stimulated by the series of Holy Wars over the next two centuries caused the growth of towns
and cities and the reappearance of a money economy. Social and geographic mobility became more prevalent. A
new attitude toward life developed, especially in the urban areas of Europe most touched by the economic and
social changes that were occurring.

In this paper, you are being asked to make critical decisions about the Church’s prominence during this important
millennium between the Fall of Rome and the blossoming of Renaissance thought in Europe. The Church deeply
impacted life in Europe—there is no question. The question is how beneficial that impact was for the individual in
Europe.



                                          Guiding Question:
   The Church was the centralizing force of the Middle Ages, but did it do more to free the people or
further place them under its control? In other words, did the Church do more to liberate the individual
                                      or to serve its own needs?




                                                 Your Tasks
   Answer the guiding question in a well-developed paper
   Write a clearly-worded thesis
   Provide ample and specific evidence from the document readings, textbook, and notes
   Organize the paper’s body paragraphs around the evidence you will use to prove your assertion
   Your evidence should follow the cultural universals: the political, economic, social, ideological,
    artistic factors in Medieval European society
   You will choose two (2) of the universals to categorize your evidence for this paper
                                                                                                 Research Writing
                                                                                                   Maher & Jones


                                             Sample Outline
Introduction: Set the stage for your reader. You will want to provide important dates and locations, and remind
    the reader of the historical context of the readings and documents, for example, changes since the Fall of
    Rome.

Body Paragraphs: We see this paper as having two (2) body paragraphs. Arrange the evidence you have found.
   Your body paragraphs will discuss…
    The category of cultural universals being supported
    Each body paragraph must have at least two (2) quoted pieces of evidence. Background information is
       essential, but quoted material is key for this paper.
    The event of historical importance
    The major changes in people’s lives during this period
    How the information pertains to the Church providing further freedoms or controls

Conclusion: In the conclusion you will summarize your evidence, being sure that the reader can clearly see the
   main points within your analysis. You may wish to wrap up your paper making a statement about the
   continuing importance of the organized religion.



                         Rubric for Evidence Papers – See Attached

Deductions in grade will be taken for late work. Papers must be typed, double-spaced, and formatted in
a plain 12 pt. font. Use the 4-line heading and give your paper an appropriate title.
                                                                            Research Writing
                                                                              Maher & Jones


                                     Sample Outline

My Thesis:
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________


Topic Sentence#1
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

                         *Remember the formula: Set-up, “quote.” Analysis

Quote #1
Set-up and quote:
____________________________________________________________________________________


Analysis – So What?:




Quote #2
Set-up and quote:
____________________________________________________________________________________




Analysis – So What?:
                                                                             Research Writing
                                                                               Maher & Jones

Topic Sentence#2
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

                          *Remember the formula: Set-up, “quote.” Analysis

Quote #1
Set-up and quote:
____________________________________________________________________________________


Analysis – So What?:




Quote #2
Set-up and quote:
____________________________________________________________________________________


Analysis- So What?:




Thesis version for the conclusion:
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

				
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posted:10/31/2011
language:English
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