The appearance of the plague brought with it a radical shift in the very fabric of society. With some death statistics measured as high as one out of every three people in some regions, the losses impacted agriculture, economics, and family dynamics. But the church was also affected as clergy and communities suffering the devastation of the plague struggled for survival and wrestled with questions of theodicy writ large in the unprecedented scale of suffering.
With the rise of scholasticism, people of faith began for the first time to use their rational minds as a way of more deeply understanding those things which they already accepted on the basis of faith. Moreover, in an attempt to find harmony between scripture, traditional authorities (e.g., early Church fathers), philosophy and the observable world, the scholastics attempted to address identified contradictions between (or within) authorities and to work out solutions that would allow each authority to be understood as in agreement.