Every culture is constituted of many factors such as belief systems. The belief systems are made of the values and individual attitudes expressed within a community based on experiences and traditions.
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In most communities, the belief systems form the basis for validity of governance systems in the community as well as the acceptable laws governing behavior in the society. The belief systems are expressed in the day to day life of such communities through behavior, language, religious beliefs, norms and roles accorded to different gender among others (Gamman, pg. 73).
Many ancient world cultures and civilizations reflect cultural belief systems in almost all features of their lifestyles such as the social order, legal systems, labor division and specialization and even in various artistic expressions such as architecture, painting, sculpture and literature (Nagle, pg.5). In the 11th and 12th century cultural belief systems were developed in Europe.
The high medieval Europe defined women’s’ roles in relation to those of the men. The woman’s role was set as that of marriage and child bearing. The social order established the men’s roles to run businesses and the political systems of the community. The women who would not commit themselves to marriage pursued religious paths and served as spiritual advisors, writers and counselors (World History Project, para.8).
The communities also established stable political systems under holy roman emperors. The communities believed in supernatural dynasty and the political leaders were regarded as God’s chosen.
The Christian beliefs was an integral societal component and a strong Slavic Christian culture was established f rom the 10th century and was so strong as to survive the Mongol conquest. The laws governing the communities borrowed heavily from the belief in Christianity and a strong bond of relationship existed between the political class and the church (World History Project, para.10).
The belief systems of these communities were also expressed in artistic expressions. The religious inclination to Christianity was reflected in literature and arts. Religious literature dominated with handwritten manuscripts of sermons, saints’ bibliographies, miracle stories.
Most of these were originally written in Latin the dominant language of the time but with increased demand for the literature translations into English, German, French and Portuguese were done. Artistic expressions of their beliefs were manifested through decorations and paintings.
Portraits of Jesus, the Christian messiah and other saints of the time as well as religious symbols such as vines, beasts, vessels and plants reflected the peoples’ religious beliefs (World History Project, para.8).
The architecture of the day also reflected their belief in the roman guided Christian beliefs. Under the influence of religious and secular forces, the Romanesque style became dominant. The style was characterized by large cathedrals, with solid religious stone carvings. The integration of the gothic styles in the 12th century revolutionized the architectural designs to create a sense of a heavenly aura in the buildings.
The music was another artistic method of expressing the society’s believes since to a large extent it reflected biblical stories and excerpts as well as worshiping the heavenly God the community believed in (World History Project, para.18).
The ancient European community belief system seems inclined towards religion to a large extent. The secular elements common especially among the urbanites and the emergence of more intellectually driven innovations resulted in animosity between the conservative Christian community that dominated Europe and the urban society (World History Project, Para. 17). This indicates the significant role a belief system plays in shaping all other cultural features in a community.
Gamman, John. Overcoming Obstacles in Environmental Policymaking: Creating Partnerships Through Mediation. Albany, NY: State Univ. of New York Press, 1994.
Nagle, Brendan. The Ancient World: A Social and Cultural History. New York: Prentice Hall, 2010.
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World History Project. The Dynamic Culture of the middle Ages. 2007. Web.