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I have been reading a book from one of my early college classes called The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 by Brian Tierney, and have been reminded how close the medieval period still is to our modern place in the sphere of politics. Tierney’s writing style give an opinion or fact, and provides the primary source for the reader to take in and drawn conclusions from themselves.

While I am only still within the first chapter the second time around, I am glad that I chose to read it during the election year. It reminds me that the idealism brought on by religion is so ingrained, that even with the laws separating the secular and temporal, no such separation can easily exist. Looking at modern-day elections, many use the idealism attached to being a “Good Christian” as a way to drive the voters to a politician. The temporal realm still levees a heavy weight in legislation as well, from health care, abortion, and marriage, to war and military issues.

Tierney also provides an example of why the West is so distinctly different politically from the East, focusing on the break from the Byzantine church to the Roman. Though I do not have this book on hand to show the example, as I am at work :(, it helps one understand not just the cultural differences, but the reasons behind why the East has become so different from the West politically, all basing the conclusions on the religious differences of each.

This is definitely a good read, and one I highly recommend to anyone interested in medieval religious studies, or as a great background on how modern-day politics derived the religious stances, or non existent religious stances, that it does.

And people said it was the Dark Ages….shame on you!