The main purpose of this research paper is to de-scribe the transition of religion and superstition to science and technology during the Middle Ages.
According to philosophy, the Middle Ages were di-vided into two distinct eras: The Age of Superstition and The Age of Enlightenment. These two periods were not separated by a definite date and time, but rather many years of gradual realization and awareness. This kind of perception is what creates history.
For hundreds of years, people who lived during the early Middle Ages had been using religion as a gateway to explain their most simplistic questions. During that period, the Church was gaining control over Western Europe. The Church was not only the main religious fo-cus of Western Europe; it was also the central govern-ment. “The Romans never took much interest in theoreti-cal science.” This means that all laws created by the church would be enforced to full extent. Disobeying the rules could result in excommunication, which is the banishment from church membership and from participat-ing in any church rituals. Those who were members of the Church believed strongly in the powers of God and the Holy Ghost. It was thought that God controlled the entire universe, from life to death, from the Creation to Doomsday.
At this point in time, the earth was the center of the universe, with all of planets and stars surrounding it. This belief, originated from the Church, was called the heliocentric theory. However, as in every civiliza-tion, there were small groups of people who refused to believe what the Church was telling them. The Church was not necessarily telling them lies; they were simply dominating religion over common reason and intellectu-ality.
Clearly, an age that takes its name from an intel-lectual atmosphere cannot be fixed within rigid chrono-logical limits. “In one sense The Enlightenment began as far back as the Renaissance, with men’s renewed in-terest in Greek and Latin texts, their critical ap-proach to medieval Christian philosophy and their gen-eral sense of curiosity about this world as opposed to the next.” Even the Protestant Reformation helped to prepare the way for the Enlightenment by disrupting the unity of Western Christendom and weakening the author-ity of the Church.
The Age of Enlightenment was also known as the “Age of Prose and Reason. This age was one-sided, shal-low, rationalistic, unable to understand man and uni-verse, a static rather than a dynamic culture.”
During the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment affected the cities of Geneva, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, London, Edinburgh, St. Petersburg, Weimar, Amsterdam, Milan, and Florence. Other cities obediently followed
the examples set by these eleven municipalities.
People wondered what caused this Age of Enlighten-ment. It basically started with something known as the Scientific Revolution, which took place sometime around the 16th century. “In the 1500s it was not only ordinary people who thought hidden forces controlled the world; the early scientists also hoped to discover what they called the secrets of nature.”
At this period of time, more and more people were being excommunicated for their disbelief in the Church’s ideas. Those that were excommunicated set out on their own ventures to prove the Church wrong in their faiths.
Some famous scientists from the era include Gali-leo Galilei, Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, and Isaac Newton. Their contributions to the world were not appreciated by many at first, because of the high level of benightedness and ignorance circulating throughout the countryside. These men, amongst many others, exem-plified the first true studies of mathematics, anatomy, and physics.
Sometimes the world needs people like these curi-ous men to open eyes more widely. After all, as we know from history, it is often that the ones who do things differently are the ones who change the world.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

 “The Scientific Revolution Swept Europe,” World His-tory: People and Nations, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, ©1990

 “The Practical Philosophers” and “Introduction to the Enlightenment,” Great Ages of Man: Age of Enlighten-ment, Time Life Publishing, ©1966

 “Science and Technology,” The Mind of the Middle Ages, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., ©1958