World History AP – 8
November 28, 2011
The Black Death was known as a very fatal disease that struck many locations and wiped out many countries and cities. The Black Death took the lives of almost 1/3 of the population. It all started by infection from fleas on rats, but the Christians and Muslims see it differently. Not only did the responses of the Christians and the Muslims differentiate by the way they responded to the plague, but also the non-religious causes. While the Christians thought of it as a punishment from the Holy God, the Muslims found it as a gift from God himself. On the other hand, the causes of the plague involved none of that, just the simple spreading by miasma, insanitation and of course the rat infestation.
The Christians believed that the plague was sent to them as a punishment from God. They assumed it was a way for them to pay for their sins and their wrong doing. According to the information given in Document 4, the plague was received to them from God as a punishment for their sins. So and so stated that, “… When the Lord is enraged, embrace acts of penance, so that you do not stray away from the right path and perish.” Also mentioned in Documents 7, 8, and 9 it is assumed that the Christians also had the Jews to blame for this raging epidemic that struck. Document 7 implied that the Jews had been blamed for poisoning the wells, causing the Christians to die not only from the plague, but also the water they had been drinking. This incident led to the burning and banning of the Jew community(s).
The responses of the Muslim community differentiated from the Christians in which the Muslims actually believed that the plague was sent to them as a worthy gift from God. They took the Black Death in a more positive approach. Muhammad al-Manbiji expresses in Document 4 that the plague that “… the epidemic is abhorrent because the plague is a blessing from God; at the least, a Muslim should devoutly accept the...
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