God’s Heretics

B1324

Medieval history in general has been enjoying a period of greatly renewed interest, as has the history of the Christian Church. Biblical scholars have long been aware of documents in the Vatican secret archives that put a significantly different slant on Christian history. Conspiracy theories have become popular some of them being founded on little solid evidence. The passion of belief makes this a very difficult area of history to research and debate. Some scholars claim the roots of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam lie in ancient Persia or in Egypt. In the process they challenge accepted beliefs. The lack of detailed historical accounts leaves space for theories to be developed and for the priests of a faith to distort the story to suit their own secular needs. The Roman Church had developed into a power base by the Tenth Century, able to challenge secular rulers on the battlefield. The priesthood was becoming rich and corrupt. There is much evidence that the advance of Christianity was due in large measure to the ease with which it adopted pagan festivals and beliefs. One medieval church wall painting uncovered in England includes pagan symbology and is probably typical of painting of the time. Even within the Roman Church there were competing strands that had very different interpretations of the story of the Church. By the Eleventh Century the leaders who were coming out on top were those who were largely indistinguishable from the secular rulers and nobility motivated by greed and power. The Cathars presented a significantly different belief structure

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