In the movie “The Name of the Rose?,” monks who run the Abbey recognize that knowledge can be a very dangerous thing to possess. They say that the truth is different from what the ruling authority says is the truth. Then such knowledge can become part of a revolution in thinking that destroys everything that they stood for. A conflict between two different ideologies is at the forefront of this movie. It is the conflict between knowledge, truth, and the ideologies found in an ancient book written by Aristotle.
In the film, Brother William (played by Sean Connery), a monk who has come to investigate deaths at the Abbey, believes that such books are seen as dangerous by the Church, because they contain different thoughts and ideas that are a completely different from what the church is thinking. The Church recognizes how much power a book could have because Christianity, a religion that was the based on the Bible, defined Europe in the Middle Ages. It was thanks to the Church that the practice of reading and writing survived in Europe.
From the beginning, the monkhood made apparent the importance collecting transcribing and studying all of the books they had, they are also trying to combine the Greek and Latin traditions to the teachings of Christianity. This is why in “The Name of the Rose,”? the scriptorium, the building where the books are hand copied, has such as an important place in the monastery, they work day in and day out copying the old books. When William finds the building he is happy because of all the books that are stored there, “We are in one of the greatest libraries in all of the Christian Kingdom. One of the most important goals of the monastery was to keep the knowledge of the past.
However, at the same time, they become dangerous if the books ideas are completely different from the churches. A blind monk who has murdered people in the Abbey, tries everything to keep secret Aristotle’s book on comedy, believing that the truth is to be found in the Bible and in what the Church says is the truth. “The Name of the Rose”? demonstrates how important the discovery of Aristotle’s book was to Christianity in Europe in the early Centuries.
Before Aristotle’s writings were found, the Bible was recognized in Europe as the only important book that is true and any other publication that differs is wrong. With the finding of Aristotle’s writing, it was recognized that another important source of truth and knowledge had been found. The Church did not see this as dangerous as long as the writings were the same as the church’s beliefs: Aristotle’s understanding of a king or sex agreed with the Christian values of good will and faith. Aristotle’s main idea could be used to explain a God-driven universe.
Saint Thomas Aquinas’ teachings and ideas were also used by Aristotle and produced the same truths as the Christianity, although the truth of Christianity is the end all and be all of reasoning, still the truth that human reason is naturally supplied to know cannot be rival the reasoning of the Christianity. However, what the Church thought was dangerous, was if Aristotle’s writings did not support the views and the beliefs made by the Church and could threaten the Church’s power over the people.
This is what is at the center of “The Name of the Rose,”? when the leaders of the monastery believe that Aristotle’s book on comedy is dangerous to the Christian society. The monk said: “Laughter kills fear and without fear there can be no faith. Without fear of the Satan, there is no more need of God. Laughter will remain common man’s recreation. The world would relapse into chaos. He believes that such a book must be kept secret because it could destroy everything the Church had worked so hard to build. He was willing to murder just so the book could be kept a secret.
Brother William, a man who believes in the power of human reason, instead of fearing the power of Satan, and that no knowledge and no book should be forbidden. When William and his apprentice first arrive at the Abbey, the conflicts between traditional Church beliefs, the age of faith, and the new beliefs of the developmental age of reason, as represented by William become clear. William represents a change in thinking that accepts reasoning as well as faith; this is the main conflict of the film involving the monks who believe such a change in thinking will destroy the Christian society.
The church force the peasants to contribute money in order to save their souls, and when they throw out the garbage and the starving peasants eat it. Conflict between the religious orders who believed that the Church should be like Christ and give up all possessions to the poor, and a Church that had grown rich and politically powerful, One of the ways in which the Church showed how much power they had by the drive through of the Inquisition this marks the culmination of a period of change in the Church.
Some of the ways the Church exercised its power, has been through the Inquisition, and it told all those whose beliefs were different from the Church, that they would be executed. In “The Name of the Rose, the monks who believed that the Church should give up the wealth it accrued and give it back to those, whom they stole it from. The Inquisitor orders them to be tortured and executed for being heretics and for working with the Satan against the Church.
The growing conflict between the age of faith and the age of reason to the conflict between a Church that was growing rich and powerful and some of the religious orders that wanted the Church to return to its beginnings, by helping the poor. “The Name of the Rose”? shows how conflict and religion and social change was taking place in the High Middle Ages, and how much corruption and power can enter anyone’s life and get a stronghold of the person and almost never let go.