Extract of sample "Assess the assertion that an increase in Eucharistic devotion contributed to a narrowing of medieval society"
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As a result of such circumstances, where individuals in the society were content with their lot, most of the population of medieval Europe could neither read nor does write, leaving these to the higher rank of the priesthood. In addition, this period saw the growth of the power of the Church, where almost all of the activities of the Christians in the whole of Western Europe was dictated from Rome, thus solidifying the authority of the Church hierarchy.1 Therefore, the Church established the doctrine, which was followed by medieval Europe, and this more often than not was developed in the Church’s favour, since it worked towards the promotion of its power. While these situations often worked in favour of the church, they had the negative impact of ensuring that there was little development of independent thought within the populace, meaning that the society became narrowed. Among the major causes of the narrowing of medieval society was the practice, instituted by the Church, of Eucharistic devotion, which was a requirement for all of those people who professed the Christian faith during this period.
The practice of Eucharistic devotion was a church tradition, which was based in the exhibition of the Blessed Sacrament by a priest so that it could be adored by the faithful. The adoration of the sacrament was considered a sign of the devotion that individuals felt towards Jesus Christ as their saviour. The faithful believed that Christ was present in the form of the consecrated altar bread and their adoration of it meant that they were opening their hearts to receive him. Furthermore, the faithful in medieval Europe, through their devotion to the sacrament, were able to meditate by looking directly at it, adding to the belief that they were participating in the continuation of the Eucharist. The Eucharistic devotion was considered to be a form of the worship of Christ as the saviour, which involved his being present in
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