Was also Spain the most affected by this limitations?
Sarah Bowman, Writer & Researcher, volunteer at Atheist Secular Humanism
In European history, the Roman Catholic Church was the only church and yes Spain, along with all the other countries, was affected by the limitations of science/philosophy. In the Middle Ages, science and philosophy were one and the same because the scientific method had not yet been developed.
After the fall of the Roman Empire about 600 CE, schools and libraries either were closed or fell into disrepair. Books were burned. Illiteracy took over and people no longer had a need for these institutions but they had a need for fuel. As civil services fell by the wayside, roads fell into disrepair, trade declined and/or failed altogether as robber bands took over. With survival becoming the top priority so that no one had time or energy for the luxury of reading and book learning, society organized itself into various types of feudal systems for protection against marauding bands.
Those centuries before and after the year 1000 were the Dark Ages. The church was the only authority in the land, its remote monasteries the only places of learning and literacy, so that Catholic Church doctrine as delivered by village priests—who were barely literate—ruled the minds of the masses. Each segment or village of the feudal system had its own church and village priest. The beliefs taught in the village churches were mingled with remnants of ancient pre-Christian religions and rituals.
Supernatural signs were rampant and “proved” that God was the absolute Ruler of the Universe. Signs could be anything from mid-day darkness (known now to be due to sun eclipse) to being struck by lightening to the birth of a child when the moon was in a certain phase to the direction of the wind on a certain time and day. Everything in nature and human life was understood to have a supernatural meaning. When a person did observe that there was no connection between an event and cosmic meaning, there was no way to discuss it with a like-minded person.
Sharing ideas involved months, even years, of travel. One found out about another person with similar ideas via word of mouth from a traveller, set out across inhospitable territory of non-existent roads or roads ruled by robber bands, hoping to survive the journey and that if you did survive, the person you heard about did exist and would take you in. Handwritten documents, meticulous notes taken over the course of many years of observation of the heavenly bodies, were in this way transported across vast territories in the time before and after Galileo.
Out of this was born the science as we know it today. But it took centuries, and for centuries the Church remained a formidable obstacle to progress. It tortured and killed the brightest and boldest observers of the universe, effectively throttling opposition to its doctrines at the root. Five centuries later, the Catholic Church, as well as many other conservative religions, remains a powerful opponent to the progress of science. Governments are under-educated as a result and lack understanding of abstract studies into the far reaches of the universe. Nor does the average person in today’s world connect the comforts and conveniences of his/her everyday life such as electricity and the automobile and computer to the combined lifetimes of dedicated scientists staring through telescopes and microscopes.
So yes, it was the Catholic Church and any other religion that believed, and continues to believe, that God is the final and absolute answer to how the world came into existence and how it works.
P.S. I can’t comment on the history of capitalism because I haven’t studied it. Nor am I sure how political ideology fits in with a discussion of the repression of scientific research and insight.