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Word Count: 723
Religion in the Middle Ages The Middle Ages was an era that extended from approximately the fifth century to the fifteenth century in Western Europe It was a time of change like many other periods in our history With careful reading I have come to realize that the lives of many people in the Middle Ages were highly influenced by religion especially Christianity and reflected their beliefs and moral values The Gothic cathedral symbolized the primary role of the Christian church in medieval life Here the priests conducted their worship services baptized babies and married young people The church grew great and powerful and had its own courts and laws The cathedral was to be the most beautiful structure on earth and was the largest building in the center of town because people believed the church held the keys to the kingdom of heaven and provided the only way to salvation Matthews Platt Western Humanities It was decorated with many sculptures and stained glass windows that told stories from the Bible since many peasants were unable to read For example in the photo on page 224 of the textbook fifteen of twenty-four panels of stained glass windows of the Chartres cathedral in France tells the Life of Christ In addition there were also huge figures that were created to decorate the doorways and columns of churches Like in the image of The Last Judgement in Notre Dame on page 232 of the textbook Jesus is surrounded by the Apostles the prophets the church fathers and the saints - who were arranged in order of their importance in relation to Jesus People believed that height and light were symbols of the divine and so they built the cathedrals tall with many windows For example the church of St Denis in Paris which was the first church to be built using the Gothic style presents an overwhelming image of Gods majesty and
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