During the fourteenth century, the people in the little town of Lirey would not have been able to prove or disprove the image on the Shroud of Turin. What they h ad to rely upon was – again – faith, and faith was going around like the plague. Catholics in the fourteenth century were experiencing a form of hyper-religiosity, and the notion of associating geography with ethnography was taking hold and manifesting itself through the singling out of non-Catholics, and was soon followed by expelling Jews from their homelands because of their non-Christian beliefs. Blind faith, encouraged and fueled by Church priests, monks, and others who held positions in the upper echelons of the social ladder, led to cases of ethnic cleansing, and, eventfully the expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homelands. The time was ripe for exploitation of Christian fanaticism and for the Catholic Church to enlarge its sphere of influence. Relics, of course, served as a way by which to link certain areas, especially those remote areas, with Church-mindedness, causing villagers to form close and tight-knit bonds with the Church.
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