I will reread this text to have it in mind completely. Briefly, the author in the Bibliography describes what the book is about and what it does: “The greatest collection of printed material for understanding the life and thought of the period…[970-1204] is Migne’s Patrologia Latina.”
So how did minds shift for the 240 years to make Western man open to education, learning and art, apart from religion, leading to the Renaissance beginning in 1300 and going onto more recent advances? Understanding this text, from its well-expressed points of view, is an excellent starting point. Southern may not be totally correct in his analyses, but he advances a cogent argument.
What does this text have to do with events today? One can learn minds can shift from set or established rules and philosophies. And today that is needed. It seems regularly human beings are stumbling over the same mistakes that were made in the Tenth Century.