The medieval Catholic Church may have helped spark Western individualism

Early religious decrees transformed families and, in turn, whole societies, a new study says

Henry V wedding

In the Middle Ages, the early Catholic Church banned marriage between even distant relatives. A resulting transformation in family structure partly explains why Westerners today are more individualistic, a study suggests. This illustration shows Henry V, the King of England in the early 1400s, marrying Catherine of France in 1420.

duncan1890/Getty Images Plus

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