Religion As A Major Aspect Of European Society Essay

Religion As A Major Aspect Of European Society Essay

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Religion was a major aspect of European society. The Church dominated European life, and faith kept the peasantry entertained during the monotony of everyday life. There were few advances in science, and when there were any, they were extremely slow in development. These factors kept Europe thoroughly entrenched in its religion and tradition, until major historical revolutions shook the foundations of these beliefs. From the period 1600 to 1740, Europe saw a dramatic shift from its traditional religious practices towards secularism, due to the scientific advances and philosophies brought about by the Scientific Revolution.
Prior to the seventeenth century, religion was the only constant aspect of European society. When Vikings and Vandals sacked cities and burned away any progress that Europe was attempting to gain, only the bible and its moral teachings kept the continent from tearing itself apart. In this way, religion became the only pillar on which medieval Europe could stand on, and the people of Europe’s belief in God became a crucial part of their everyday lives. Christianity permeated every aspect of society. By the seventeenth century, the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution marked the start of a new worldview and style of cosmology that came to represent the modern approach to philosophy and science, shifting Europe away from its traditional blind faith in the Church.
One of the major scientific advances that took place during the seventeenth century, a large aspect of the Scientific Revolution, was the advancement of the evidence and persuasiveness of the heliocentric universe. The theory of the heliocentric universe had first been proposed in 1514, by a Polish priest named Nicholas Copernicus. The theory of the h...

... middle of paper ... prominent belief. Secularists sought to separate the Church from the state, keeping faith out of politics and public education. For a country that had previously entrusted huge amounts of influence and political power to the Church, and taught religion as one of the three basic aspects of school, this was a monumental change.
With new advances in science challenging preconceived notions about the ways of the world, due to the great minds of men like Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler, the world lost just a little of its mystery. Minds began to turn for science for explanation rather than simply to the Church, and secular thoughts ran around Europe, fundamentally changing the way that Europe treated religion. By the end of the eighteenth century, modern worldviews and cosmologies had transformed the religious traditions of Europe, rather than simply reformed it.

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