2 Medieval Foundations

In the period usually referred to as the Middle Ages or premodernity, the exercise of power was tied to a system of religious belief. Yet, the interdependence of religion and politics does not mean that rulers were always (or even most of the time) true believers or the most shining examples of sound faith. To the contrary, in Latin Christendom, rulers were frequently in conflict with religious authorities, particularly the papacy, and as outlined earlier, whereas religion legitimized the rule of Muslim rulers in the eyes of the faithful, for most of history, Muslim rulers have only exhibited loose adherence to religious norms. Nonetheless, rulership and other forms of dominance depended on religious belief systems as ...

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