chapter  15
29 Pages

State, Mind and Spirit in Later Medieval Europe

A political estrangement of the ecclesiastical and secular arms accompanied the growth of a state apparatus in the later Middle Ages. Italian intellectuals of the late Middle Ages displayed a special interest in the languages and achievements of classical antiquity. This chapter talks about the English Spiritual Franciscan William of Ockham who taught that forms have no reality except in the mind and in language. He joined Scotus in seeing the creation of the universe as the result of God's will rather than as a necessary emanation of the divine mind. The chapter discusses the relations between the papacy and the states of Europe had worsened through the thirteenth century. It describes that the popes' need to maintain themselves in Italy had led them into political and military activity against Christian princes. The political involvements of the popes evoked a substantial controversial literature. This chapter explains the expression of religious sentiment among the laity that continued in the traditional patterns.