Pages 1 -25 and 27-29 !
The Unmaking of Traditional Society !
•People believed that the material world was composed of the four basic elements: earth,
waster, air and ﬁre !
•God created the world out of chaos, gave it order and stability !
•Humans could choose good over evil; could also choose desire and strider !
•Human reasoning is diﬃcult and error-prone !
•Reasons was weak, suspect and subordinate to that portion of absolute truth that was
revealed in the bible and church !
•The focus of life should be death, or what amounted to the same thing, life after death or
•Theological thinking was being challenged by modern science!
•Traditional society did not pass quietly into the modern society !
•Beginning of the intellectual transformation of society occurred at the end of the ﬁrst
Christian millennium !
•The social structure of feudal society included a sharply diﬀerentiated social hierarchy - a
setoﬀ categories of people from high to low; at the top of the hierarchy was hereditary
•In feudal Europe, most political and economic power was in hands of local landlords !
•Titled aristocrats were given the right to do horrible but legal things to their tenants!
• Feudal society was dominated by two interconnected institutions of traditional authority:
Church and the state!
•Christian God was believed to be above the feudal pyramid !
•Incorporated traditional belief !
•Truth, was independent of revelation!
•Direct challenge to christianity!
•Rationalism sought to repcnile pagan learning with christian beliefs !
•Reason could be harnessed by the church and used to help maintain the faithful!
•Hierarchy contains diﬀerent orders based on diﬀerent duties and functions existing under the
government of one ruler!
•Aquinas attaches an organic conception of social order !
•Society is like living organism composed of diﬀerent parts, some more essential than others,
but a part of a single whole!
•Each group of people occupies a speciﬁc place in the feudal structure!
•Each receives unequal rewards and possesses unequal rights and is bound by duty to
perform whatever tasks comprehend to this social placement!
•Herbert Spencer’s evolutionary theory!
•Talcott Parsons’ understanding that the social system was composed of functionally
necessary and interdependent parts maintained by a value consensus implies an organic
model of society !
•Hierarchy reﬂects social conditions and the assumed ordering of the divine, christian thinking !
•In essence, human are qual and everyone is born equal in the sight of god and possess an
individual soul that can be saved!
•Theory of hierarchy legitimated the traditional, feudal society !
•Aquinas sought a place for rationality in the traditional social order!
Economy, Politics and Ideology
•Reason, alone, is insuﬃcient for turret!