The Origin of Luther’s Primary and Secondary Education in the Renaissance

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The 12th century medieval Europe was marked by remarkable changes in the fields of astrology and science. The medieval renaissance was characterized by a lot of intellectual growth and development of new styles and movements such as Romanesque art, the development of poetry both lyrical and spoken and development of Latin literature. The 12th century renaissance was characterized by the development of cathedral schools and development of universities such as Oxford, Paris, Montpellier, Bologna and Salerno. The renaissance period was also marked with the development of Roman and Canon laws, new Aristotle philosophies, Ptolemy and Greek and Arabic works in Middle High German. Remarkable changes in art and literature were experienced in the medieval renaissance with the adoption of Latin during this period. There are a number of contributing factors that led to the development of primary and university education in 12th century; one of the contributing reasons is the development of monasteries and cathedral schools. In France the cathedral schools merged together to form the University of Paris. The church can be described as one of the major contributors to the growth and development and schools and universities during the medieval times. The church financed the travel and buying of scholarly manuscripts for some of their clergy increasing the opportunities for learning and studying (Haskins, The Renaissance of the twelfth century, p. 13).

The growth of the papal monarchy during the period drew many people to Rome in what is described as a religious pilgrimage that inspired poems such as chansons de gestes. The crusades also experienced in the medieval times are credited to have increased the closeness between the East and the West that stimulated trade, transportation and the sharing of intellectual knowledge which saw the growth of the papal monarchy and cathedral schools. intellectual exchange between the East and West led an awakening and increased curiosity in Europe (Haskins, The Renaissance of the twelfth century, p.15). The emergence of a group of clergies who argued and agitated for the establishment of a decent standard of education also contributed to the creation of primary schools and universities. This group of clergies who had a higher interest in learning imported scholars from England, Spain and Italy to train the new generation to carry out their work. The aim of the clergies was the revival of Latin classics and the Latin tongue that had severely been damage during the dark ages. This movement contributed to the development of the Caroline minuscule and created libraries of several Latin classics. Other contributing factors include the insistence on the establishment of schools in every monastery and cathedrals by Charlemagne leading to the growth and spread of an intellectual movement all across Europe (Haskins, The Renaissance of the twelfth century, p.18). Leading to the establishment of schools in monastries such as the Tours and Fulda, Reichenau, St. Gall, and Corbie.

Martin Luther’s perspective on education was that, education should be fundamentally provided to every member of the society and should not be restricted to monastic schools like in medieval times. Luther argued that education was a key requirement for an orderly and obedient society. According to Luther, parents were hugely responsible for the education of their children and under the eyes of God were responsible for teaching on how to honor and praise the Lord (Androne, The influence of protestant reformation on education, p. 85). Luther agitated for religious education across all families and strongly advocated for the enrollment of children into public schools. He viewed education of children integral in the development of orderly, obedient and faithful individuals. He openly rejected the ideology that education should be restricted only to monastic schools and clergies with the view that education should be for only those with a religious calling and argued that education should be unrestricted to all young people irrespective of their gender or social class. Luther’s religious and educational views led to the development of Protestant ideologies where every individual was viewed as responsible for their own salvation before God and that an ordained minister does not have a position of privilege compared to others in the eyes of the Lord.

The Life of Byzantine Empire from the Beginning to its End

The Byzantine Empire also known as the Eastern Roman Empire was a large and organized civilization that occupied vast regions of Europe and Asia whose origins can be traced back to 330 A.D. The Empire experienced unprecedented growth from 843 to 1045 AD. One of the reasons for the growth and expansion of the empire at the time was its silk trade. The Byzantine Empire controlled the supply of silk and other embroidery across Europe and Asia at the time. The empire with its control over vast trade routes in Euro-Asia and large stake in the international silk trade generated a lot of revenue from textiles in this period from trade in silk and textiles with states and foreign churches leading to the establishment of textile cottage industries throughout the empire. During the period there was a steady growth in number of craftsmen and merchants who engaged in the silk trade and proved as a source of livelihood for a number of citizens in the empire (Lopez, Silk Industry in the Byzantine Empire p.3). The strict control of silk trade routes and production of silk and embroidery by the empire lead to generation of a lot of revenue to the empire and fueling its growth. The increased mercantile nature of the Byzantine Empire and trade expansion throughout the region and into other areas promoted the growth of the Byzantine Empire. The contraction of urban towns and the reduction in number of dependent peasants from the reduced importance of provincial aristocracy and expanding the production of silk to other provinces.

The fall of the Byzantine Empire is not attributed to one single attack on the empire but rather a series of events that took part in the empire leading to its ultimate downfall. Even though Mohammad II is attributed for the ultimate destruction of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 but even before his attack the empire had already been experiencing a decline over a period of several hundred years (Charanis, Economic Factors in the Decline of the Byzantine Empire, p.413). The major contributing factors to the decline of the empire included wars or strifes and religious challenges. At the turn of the eleventh century, the Byzantine Empire suffered successive military losses that weighed heavily on the empire. One of the serious military defeats was the battle of Manzikert (1071) that led to the loss of critical Asia Minor trade routes and control of the region. The various losses and military defeats such as the battle of Manzikert is said to have been caused by a shift in the military structure of the empire in the eleventh century. The eleventh century was marked by an increase in military aristocracy and a decline in soldier-peasantry who made up the bulk of the military for several years. The Byzantine empire since it inception was primarily influenced by the large estates.

The empire’s complicated and burdensome fiscal policies also gave rise to the growth of large estates throughout the empire’s existence. Even though the introduction of peasant-soldiery in the seventh century did try to lessen the number of large estates this did not eliminate them. By the turn of the tenth century, the number of large estates in the Byzantine Empire had grown tremendously and the owners of such large estates occupied administrative positions which they used in their advantage to increase the size of their estates (Charanis, Economic Factors in the Decline of the Byzantine Empire, p. 414). The expansion of large estates resulted in the decline in numbers of free peasant proprietors who were forced to give up their smallholdings to the large estate owners. Some efforts such as the allelengyon introduced by Basil II were introduced to curb this growing greed by large estate owners in the empire (Charanis, Economic Factors in the Decline of the Byzantine Empire, p. 416). However, after his death no such measures were implemented to curb the growth of large estates. In this state of unchecked greed the large estate owners also started expanding and grabbing the military estates. The aristocracy in the Byzantine empire had not only driven away peasant proprietors but was also engaged in the process of absorbing military estates reserved for soldiers.

By the end of the 10th century, it was almost impossible to stop the aristocracy from grabbing the properties of small people whether in the military or not. This meant that in the eleventh century the empire had a large number of unmotivated soldiers whose allegiance to the empire was fast fading. The other reasons attributed to the decline in military prowess of the empire is removal of some of the powers of military magnates in the empire’s administration. Some of the emperors in the eleventh century adopted anti-military policies in an effort to consolidate their powers. Most of the military commanders were also huge landowners at the time. There large amounts of wealth and power exercised by such military commanders made the them quite dangerous and bothersome to some of the emperors.

One method introduced to try and control the aristocracy was the introduction of hefty land taxes which eventually failed to keep the aristocracy in check (Charanis, Economic Factors in the Decline of the Byzantine Empire, p. 417). The strong hold of the aristocracy on the military organization made it hard to control and quite influential in the Byzantine Empire. The successive emperors of the eleventh century felt threatened existing military aristocracy and tried to reduce the influence of the military by reducing its numbers (Charanis, Economic Factors in the Decline of the Byzantine Empire, p. 418). There sole aim in trying to accomplish this was to reduce the aristocracy’s military control feeling secure by some of the previous military conquests such as the crushing of the Saracens and the Bulgarians. Constantine IX promoted the development of civil bureaucracy and at the same time initiated the removal of aristocracy from the military. This increased animosity between the two institutions culminated into a several civil wars leading to loss of lives and other resources in the empire at a time when other powerful enemies were coming into play.

The increasing anti-military policies introduced by the emperors led to the decline of the army and demotivation of various enrolled soldiers. By the time Constantine X Dukas came into power the army was no longer a prestigious profession. From the second half of the eleventh century going forward the bulk of the Byzantine army was composed of foreign mercenaries from Russia, Turkey, Germany and Bulgaria (Charanis, Economic Factors in the Decline of the Byzantine Empire, p. 418).

The Bonaventure in his Soul’s Journey into God

Bonaventure places great emphasis on divine fecundity in the Trinity and spirituality of the Greek fathers (Bowman,Review of The Soul’s Journey Into God, p.104). According to Bonaventure, everything was created as an image of God and an intellectual soul is an image of God. The human soul is the true reflection of the image of God. In addition, he states that a soul without grace has lost the likeness to God but still bears the image of God because it consists of one substance with three powers and that these three powers however deformed by sin are related to God. According to Bonaventure’s philosophical doctrines, the soul is considered as the origin of divinity. Bonaventure also links God’s presence to sensible creatures in what is referred in the Glossa ordinaria. In this reference Bonaventure refers to God’s omnipresence and God’s presence and influence in the creatures (LaNave, Knowing God through and in all things p.285). Bonaventure describes the mind as made up of threefold capabilities with them being memory, intellect and Will. By memory, Bonaventure describes the mind as having the capability to remember the past and to be able to use this past information to understand our current situations and chart a way forward. Memory is also described as the ability to imagine and memory enables us to transcend over time an ability we share with God. From the Holy trinity memory is considered as eternity and the first principle. Intellect allows us to understand reason and question ourselves, others and the word around us in the view of what is right or wrong. Our intellect represents the image of the truth and stands for the image of the son. Will can be described as our deliberations, judgments and desires. Will entails the decisions and choices we make and in to make choices we need to understand our decisions and have an inquisitive mind. The Will part of the mind reflects on the judgment part of the mind. In judging we share some of the divine and power from God. The Holy Spirit is considered as an element that flows through the memory and intellect and represents the flow of truth between God the father and God the son.

To achieve upward ascension the soul one should be illuminated with the steps of divine ascension. One of the stairways to this ascension is the university of things, other requirements are a certain vestige, a certain image, certain aeviturnal things that make up the first principle which is the most spiritual and eternal above us. Alongside the six steps to ascension there are six steps of the soul’s power through which one climbs thoroughly from the depths towards the heights. This ascension represents a movement from exterior thing towards the most interior, from the temporal things we ascend towards the eternal an increased reasoning, imagination, intellect and the achievement of the apex of the mind. The trinity conditions our knowledge of supreme delight in the son’s conditions and our experiences of sensate apprehension. According to Bonaventure, judgment occurs through our direct relationship with God and that our mind judges all that enters through our senses. Sensory cognition is described as taking the form of intellectual abstraction of the form from thing and comparison of this abstracted form to its external exemplar. From his analysis, he describes the mind as being created in the image of God and molded into the Lords eternal knowledge of things (LaNave, Knowing God through and in all things p.286).

From Bonaventure’s definitions delight and apprehension are conditioned by the external procession and proportionality. In the trinity, the son is perfectly proportioned to the Father and is the most beautiful, most sweet and most wholesome. In his descriptions of the son and divinity Bonaventure describes speaking of the son of God as speaking of the uncreated word, the incarnate Word and the crucified Word. The uncreated Word is the most beautiful since it is an accurate expression its origins, the Father. The inspired Word is considered the most sweet since it is the revelation of God and is perfectly proportioned to the power of fallen man. The incarnate and the crucified word satisfies our deepest needs that is our need for redemption.

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The Origin of Luther’s Primary and Secondary Education in the Renaissance. (2021, Mar 18). Retrieved from

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