Social Matter – Fides And Consent

Part of the genius of the system of government invented by the Medieval West was the incorporation of Fides as the organizing principle of the whole of society. In the period between Pseudo-Dionysius’s Hierarchia and the breakdown of feudalism during the 14th Century, the concept of Fides (faith, fidelity) served as the contextual framework through which Latin Christians interpreted their social, political, and religious relationships. This notion is the common thread that ties together the Warband Society of Tacitus’s Germania, the Christianized Franks and Anglo-Saxons of the early Medieval period, Franco-Norman Classical Feudalism, and to a lesser extent the “bastard” feudalism of the High Middle Ages, which still gave lip service to Faith. Furthermore, it is the essential social bond which links the Two Cities and permits the Christian to move freely between them in a way which is less possible in a society where the religious and secular authorities are mutually hostile…

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