The prevailing view among historians is that medieval European peasants were deeply dedicated to religion. But the re...

Grace on November 26, 2018

Why is the answer C?

Why not E?

4 Replies

Katherine on December 21, 2018

Hi @GLEE,

The passage states that it is a widely held belief that medieval European peasants were deeply religious. It then raises doubt whether this view is true by saying that the religious clergy were the record keepers during medieval times and were motivated to exaggerate people’s religiosity. The question stem asks us to identify the answer choice that would weaken this argument.

Answer C says that records by the clergy rarely portray merchants and nobles as religious. If the clergy really were motivated to exaggerate people’s religiosity, why wouldn’t they also do so when describing merchants and nobles? This answer would suggest that maybe clergy were not exaggerating when they described the peasants as deeply religious. Therefore this answer weakens the argument and is the correct choice.

Answer E says that the documents produced by the clergy contain detailed descriptions of religious activities performed by peasants and others. This answer is consistent with the argument. The clergy may have exaggerated peasants’ religiosity and provided detailed description of their participation in religious activities as part of that effort. The fact that they also described others also participating in these activities is not inconsistent with the argument. This answer does not weaken the argument and therefore is not the correct choice.

Aidyn on July 8 at 01:28AM

Hi I don't see why not having any records of Nobel's being religious (answer c) has anything to do with exaggerating the religious piety of peasants can someone help thanks

Aidyn on July 8 at 05:01AM

Hi I don't see why not having any records of Nobel's being religious (answer c) has anything to do with exaggerating the religious piety of peasants can someone help thanks

Shunhe on December 22 at 12:31AM

Hi @Aidyn-Carlson,

There are records out there that show that merchants and nobles are rarely portrayed as religious. Let's assume that the clergy were exaggerating people's religiosity. Why would they only exaggerate the peasants? If they were going to exaggerate it, they would most likely exaggerate it for everyone. But the fact that nobles and merchants were rarely portrayed as religious suggests that this depiction of them was realistic. As such, it suggests the depiction of the peasantry is realistic as well. Hope this helps clear things up.