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What changes in attitude about religion fueled the Gothic movement?

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The Gothic movement in literature is associated with death, doom, the macabre, supernatural beings, and a characteristically gloomy and often foreboding atmosphere. The religious debate centered around the existence of God during this period was perceived as in direct conflict with scientific progress, particularly Darwinism and the establishment of psychology in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Gothic authors, particularly Christian authors, expressed this perceived existentialist crisis with either the presence or absence of religion in their literary works, or a strong contrast between the supernatural and the divine.


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The Gothic movement began in the late 12th century.  By this time the Church dominated every aspect of medieval life.  The King was believed to have been appointed byGod to rule.  There was a rapid growth in monastic life. 

Building great churches was a matter of wealth and pride.  Building these churches was a way of showing honor to the King and to God.  In the Gothic movement, the building was vertical.  The cathedrals wer built higher and higher, reaching toward the heavens, symbolizing the striving toward God.

As towns grew and developed, labor and skills were available to build the huge cathedrals, in which light and color were the most important features.