1 year ago
Last edited at 6:38PM on 3/12/2013
That depends on the religion, and the area you're referring to. Which one do you want to know about? I know the most about Christianity in the middle ages (in England) because we heard about that in school (most serfs were Christian) so I'll use that. (Correct me if I'm wrong, it's been a while since I talked about this.)
Well, the majority belief in the middle ages was that human beings were sinful creatures trying desperately to make their way into heaven. Latin was the only language spoken in churches and therefore common people could not read the bible. All serfs, lords, and monarchs followed the Catholic church (yes, I know Henry the 8th founded the Church of England, but protestant churches didn't come along until later). Serfs were not expected to, and in fact were not allowed to interpret the bible; you had to trust the priest to do that.
And now for stuff that came along a little later. There was something called "the sale of indulgences" where you could "buy" your way, or a loved one's way into heaven. You could also buy your way into the priesthood, by the end the middle ages, many priests were illiterate, and couldn't read anything at all.