chapter  11
The rise of Christendom
Pages 18

The basic structures of medieval society proved resilient enough to survive in spite of serious disruptions brought on by the plague, by social conflicts, by chronic warfare, and even the papal schism. Government, politics, education and economic life were buffeted by abrupt changes but they continued to develop more or less along the lines laid down in the thirteenth century. Within a generation after the plague, the traditional institutions of Christendom had adapted with varying degrees of success to the new conditions. The problems of the fourteenth-century church were severe, but contrary to what one might expect, Christianity as a lived religion flourished into the fifteenth century, in spite of hard times. The new view, worked out by university-trained lawyers and theologians, is called conciliarism because the centrepiece of their theories was the overriding authority of a general council. Pope Eugenius had triumphed over the Council of Basel and over the theories of the conciliarists.