Western Civilization Ii Essay

1733 words - 7 pages

During the beginnings of the early middle ages, after the fall of the Roman World, there was an assortment of problems for both the Christian and Muslim religious sects. While there were other important issues at hand for the two religions, no problem faired them worse than the inheritance of the Greco-Roman World. Whether it should be kept or discarded was the most problematic question to be discussed (Perry, p.171).
It was argued for and against by both the Christians and Muslim. It was argued that the cultural inheritance would be beneficial for learning; for both logical processing and for reasoning. But with this came an issue of trust. Could the Christians and the Muslims trust ...view middle of the document...

Islam became more involved with preservation of ancient Greek texts, philosophical, and scientific heritages (Perry, p. 207). With the establishment of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, and the appreciation and desire for learning, Islam shaped well-educated Muslim scholars who passed on their contributions to the Christian World (Perry, p.207).
Both religions had several individuals who were heavily involved in addressing the Greco-Roman culture controversy. The major role players in Christianity were Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Saint Augustine. The most influential person in the integration of cultural learning for Islam was Avicenna. These individuals had different ways of handling the emphasis on logic and reason. Each individual went about this in both similar and different ways.
Tertullian was most definitely not a proponent of advancing logic and reason. He was an old fashioned Christian, and he despised the idea of Greco-Roman learning, which he demonstrates in his book Prescriptions against Heretics (Perry, p.171). He also was a supporter of abolishing the ways of the pagans and the ideology that came with- which may or may not- have included the beliefs of philosophical reasoning, logic, and detestable unchristian teachings.
Tertullian said, “Worldly wisdom culminates philosophy with its rash interpretation of God’s nature and purpose,” (Perry, p.171). By this, he means that philosophy could turn away Christians and give them blasphemous thoughts against God, that the reasoning could create heresies among the Christian population who learned such knowledge.
Tertullian would have responded to Charlemagne’s conversions with open arms if there were not any compromises with pagan beliefs and practices. But the problem is that there were many different accommodations made when the Anglo-Saxons and the Germanic tribes were converted (Perry, p.209). He wouldn’t have rejected Charlemagne’s pursuit of spreading Christianity, but he wouldn’t have been supportive of embracing pagan rituals in any form. He also would have been against Charlemagne’s fondness of classical learning. He would insist that Charlemagne reject such nonsense, because he felt that this reasoning and logical dogma could corrupt a person’s very soul (Perry, p.172).
Clement of Alexandria was permanently the exact opposite of Tertullian. Clement was a fond supporter and admirer of Greek learning, and he himself was a Greek Christian Theologian who united the nuances of Platonism with the systematic beliefs of Christianity (Perry, p.172). He was not one who turned away from the philosophical teachings of logical reason. He was a student, as well as a teacher. He didn’t think people should merely look at ancient Greek writings without having any concept of what the teachings actually mean, and then condemn the writings because the people themselves didn’t try to understand them (Perry, p.172).
He says, “Philosophy is not the originator of false practices,”...

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