What was the role of the medieval Church in the economy?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As was true with seemingly every other phase of life during the Middle Ages, the Medieval Church played a significant role in the economy. After Pope Urban II urged Europeans to recapture Jerusalem from the Muslims in 1095, significant economic change came to Europe over the course of the next two centuries.

Wealthy Europeans were required to spend large sums of money on these expensive crusades. Those in the noble class funded these crusades through selling property and taking loans. This eventually resulted in a redistribution of wealth in Europe that created a middle-class that wasn't previously in existence.

This wealth redistribution also created a new group of extremely poor people. Though the government attempted to ban the poor from public places, the Catholic Church stepped in and asserted that even the poor should receive basic needs and provided to many free food and shelter.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial