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Christianity in the Middle Ages. Terminology The ChurchChristian Church and all its members in Western Europe PopeLeader of the Church PapacyOffice of.

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Presentation on theme: "Christianity in the Middle Ages. Terminology The ChurchChristian Church and all its members in Western Europe PopeLeader of the Church PapacyOffice of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christianity in the Middle Ages

2 Terminology The ChurchChristian Church and all its members in Western Europe PopeLeader of the Church PapacyOffice of the Pope ChristendomEurope (area where the Church existed) ClergyChurch officials (e.g., priests, abbots, bishops, the pope) Spiritual lordsClergy Secular lordsEmperors, kings, lords, vassals

3 Part I Characteristics of Christianity in the Middle Ages

4 MAs, The Age of Faith Christians believed that God actively involved in everything (superstitious) Actively punished the Wicked, rewarded the Good Life already tough in Europe  wanted to go to heaven (salvation), terrified of hell Church and clergy a necessity for salvation  SACRAMENTS Church a unifying force  all Europeans had it in common

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7 Church and Feudalism Pope claimed to be most powerful feudal lord POPE GELASIUS I –Secular leaders required to obey clergy in matters of faith –Clergy required to obey secular leaders in matters of politics –All things being equal, clergy has more power And many clergymen (like Abbot Fulrad) were lords with their own vassals and fief

8 An excerpt of letter from Pope Gelasius I to Byzantine Emperor Athanatius, written c.500 C.E. “There are two powers, august Emperor, by which this world is chiefly ruled, namely, the sacred authority of the priests and the royal power. Of these that of the priests is the more weighty, since they have to render an account for even the kings of men in the divine judgment”

9 Canon Law Church developed its own set of laws and courts, dealt with: –Religious beliefs –Morality –Performance of religious rituals Powerful punishments for secular leaders who violated canon law: – EXCOMMUNICATION  Kicked out of the Church (no sacraments) – INTERDICT  Lord and everyone under him excommunicated

10 Conclusion Church and clergy controlled sacraments and was unifying force Church was a secular power, Church used canon law to control secular leaders, THEREFORE, Church wielded enormous amounts of power and authority during Middle Ages

11 Part II The Holy Roman Empire: Conflict between Secular and Religious Leaders in the MAs

12 Church and Carolingians Pepin the Short and Charlemagne understood how much P&A church had Established close relationship with it –Carolingians protected Church and Pope in Italy –In return, Church taught Christians to obey emperor –Helped emperors create stability and enforce laws –“ Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar ”

13 German HRE After invasions of 9 th and 10 th Centuries, HRE emerged as a real empire again OTTONIAN DYNASTY established kingdom in modern-day Germany Considered themselves the heirs of Charlemagne A feudal empire

14 HRE, c. 1100

15 Lay Investiture Church resented the power the Ottonian Emperors had over clergy in the HRE In particular, lay investiture –Power of secular leaders to appoint clergy to important positions in the Church (e.g., bishop, abbot) –Church believed it should make those decisions

16 Pope Gregory VII v. HRE Henry IV 1075  Gregory VII outlawed lay investiture Henry IV demanded pope step down Gregory excommunicated Henry German feudal lords side with... Gregory (why?) 1077  Henry begs forgiveness (Canossa) Henry returns to Empire to punish nobles 1084  Henry forces Gregory into exile

17 Concordat of Worms In 1122 C.E. Meeting of HRE, nobles and powerful clergymen in city of Worms Compromise –Church selects church leaders –HRE has veto power Who ’ s happy?

18 HRE Frederick I Ruled C.E. Greater warrior and leader Fatal flaw –Lured by the wealth of Italy (the few cities in Europe there — trade) –Left Germany in hands of feudal lords Result –In 1176, Pope and cities united against him ( LOMBARD LEAGUE ) and defeated him at BATTLE OF LEGNANO –Simultaneously, German feudal lords revolted –Permanently crippled HRE  just a collection of feudal states when died 1190

19 Feudal states of HRE, c.1190

20 Conclusion Church successfully challenged the power and authority of secular leaders (like kings and emperors) Only as long as long as Europeans respected it as a legitimate source of power and authority (connection to God!)

21 3 Orders of the High Middle Ages Those Who Fight 5-10% Those Who Pray 5-10% Those Who Work 80-90% Burghers?


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