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Topic 11 Medieval Christianity ( )

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1 Topic 11 Medieval Christianity (500-1500)
Early Middle Ages Late Middle Ages

2 I. Early Middle Ages ( ) A. Fall of Rome (476) – effects on church: Barbarian invaders provided new prospects for conversion. Church becomes most powerful institution in the West – hierarchy is strengthened. Office of Pope rises to fill power vacuum. Bishop of Rome evolved into office of Pope. “Pope” derives from “papa” – term of endearment for bishops; became title for Bishop of Rome. Bishops of Rome claimed authority over other bishops as successors of Peter. Pope became supreme ruler of (Western) Church. With collapse of imperial power in West, popes now exercised secular power as well. Pope Gregory I negotiated with invaders; organized food relief during siege of Rome. Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor of “Holy Roman Empire” (800). Divided Eastern from Western Christianity.

3 I. Early Middle Ages (476-1054) B. Western vs. Eastern Christianity
1. Name Roman Catholic Church Eastern Orthodox Church 2. Capital Rome Constantinople 3. Language Latin Greek 4. Theology Practical Speculative 5. Salvation Death of Christ pays penalty for sin Resurrection of Christ restores image of God 6. Church-state Church over state State over church 7. Celibacy Celibacy for all clergy Allows married priests 8. Baptism Sprinkling permitted Immersion required 9. Communion Laity take bread only Laity take bread and wine 10. Governance Strong pope No pope (Patriarch)

4 I. Early Middle Ages (476-1054) East-West Schism (1054)
Filioque (“and from the Son”) added to creed in West; Eastern theologians objected. 1054 – Pope and Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated one another. 1204 – Crusaders from West sacked Constantinople! (Dashed any hopes of reconciliation.) Rise of Islam ( ) Religion of monotheism - founded by Muhammed. Muslims captured Southern rim of Christendom: Middle East; Egypt; North Africa; part of Spain. Christianity expanded northward.

5 N. Africa Egypt Palestine Arabia

6 II. Late Middle Ages (1054-1453) Development of the Papacy Corruption
Church hierarchy grew wealthy, powerful, corrupt. Bishops often functioned more like feudal warlords. Specific abuses compromising integrity of church offices: Nepotism – giving offices to relatives Simony – selling offices to highest bidder Lay investiture – appointment of church officials by secular ruler 10th century: Papacy caught up in political intrigue; assassinations; sexual immorality. Cluniac Reform Promoted by monastery at Cluny. Led to strengthening of papacy.

7 II. Late Middle Ages (1054-1453) Development of the Papacy – cont.
Three strong popes in high middle ages: Pope Gregory VII Strong reforming pope. Conflict with Emperor Henry IV over lay investiture (1077). Showdown at Canossa: Henry stood barefoot in snow repenting until Pope forgave him. Pope Innocent III Most powerful pope ever (c. 1200). Most powerful man in Europe. Council adopted doctrine of Transubstantiation (bread & wine become body & blood of Christ). Started the Inquisition – church court for rooting out heresy. Pope Boniface VIII Claimed absolute power of pope. Unam Sanctam (1302): no salvation outside church. Secular authority must yield to pope. No longer had power to enforce these claims.

8 II. Late Middle Ages (1054-1453) Development of the Papacy – cont.
Decline of the papacy Papacy moved to Avignon, under control of French kings ( ). Period of rival popes: popes in Rome and Avignon, each claiming legitimacy ( ). Corruption: by end of Middle Ages, popes were again caught up in pursuit of immorality, wealth, luxury, and power.

9 II. Late Middle Ages (1054-1453) Crusades (1095-1291)
Series of military campaigns to retake Holy Land. Minimal results in military objective. First Crusade won control of Jerusalem for nearly a century. Other crusades were less successful. Side-effects: Enhanced power of papacy. Boosted economy of Europe. Enhanced popularity of “relics.” Reopened contact with East. Rediscovered ancient classics, esp. Aristotle. Sowed seeds of animosity between Muslims and Christians.

10 II. Late Middle Ages (1054-1453) Scholasticism Scholastic theology
Taught in cathedral schools and universities. Used reason to analyze Christian doctrine. Thomas Aquinas ( ) Most important scholastic theologian. Summa Theologica – systematic theology; “crown of scholasticism.” Became official Roman Catholic theology. Salvation is by grace plus works. Grace enables good works. Works earn merit, which is necessary for salvation.. Surplus merit (earned by saints, etc.) is stored in Treasury of Merit – can be dispensed by church.

11 II. Late Middle Ages ( ) Early Reform Efforts (forerunners of Protestant Ref.) John Wycliffe ( ) English priest; Oxford professor. Concerned about corruption in church. Asserted authority of Bible over authority of church. Popes/priests are subject to authority of Bible. All Christians can read/interpret Bible for themselves. Translated Bible into English – earliest complete English translation (worked from Latin Vulgate). Disciples (Lollards) continued message; were persecuted. 1418 – declared a heretic; bones exhumed, burned. John Hus ( ) Professor in Prague; influenced by Wycliffe. Authority of Bible over church. Condemned corruption in clergy. Burned at stake (1415). Followers rebelled; won some concessions.

12 II. Late Middle Ages (1054-1453) Renaissance (1300-1600)
Revival of classical culture Burst of creative energy in art, sculpture. Popes spent enormous sums. Humanism New kind of scholarship. Openness to inquiry; freedom to question authority; reject traditional assumptions. Went back to ancient classics; Bible in Hebrew and Greek. Studied Bible for what it says, as opposed to church tradition. Vernacular translations put Bible in hands of lay people. Gutenberg’s printing press (c. 1450) made books cheap, plentiful. Erasmus – Dutch humanist; published first printed text of Greek NT (1516). Renaissance set stage for Protestant Reformation.


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