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The Medieval Mind: Fusion and Order. Generations If we are not Jewish, then what are we? If Jesus does not return soon, then how do we organize ourselves?

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Presentation on theme: "The Medieval Mind: Fusion and Order. Generations If we are not Jewish, then what are we? If Jesus does not return soon, then how do we organize ourselves?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Medieval Mind: Fusion and Order

2 Generations If we are not Jewish, then what are we? If Jesus does not return soon, then how do we organize ourselves? What, exactly, makes us “Christians?” in other words, what is essential to the Faith? Who has authority to interpret Scriptures now that the Apostles are gone? How does our faith fit with what we “know” to be true of the physical world (Greek philosophy)? Does Christianity have an answer? Is it important to have an answer?

3 Generations (2 Peter 3:10-16) 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

4 Generations: Doctrine & Organization Clement of Rome (c ) “Laymen” Apostolic succession (Demos) Obedience to Elders Ignatius of Antioch (died c.117) Christ fully human and God Docetist Heresy Submit to authority of bishop “Monarchical bishop” Communion central to Church

5 Generations: Doctrine & Organization II Justin Martyr (c ) Athenagoras & Theophilus Triad ( trias ) Tertullian (c ) Trinity = 3 persons, 1 substance Doctrine of Original Sin Clement of Alexandria (c ) Christianity is perfect philosophy Sought synthesis of Christianity (revelation) with Greek philosophers (reason) “Clergy” ( kleros )

6 Late Roman Empire

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8 East – West Differences Secular authority failing, barbarian (Arian) invasions Hierarchy of Church more stratified, secular roles where Roman rule breaks down, growing independence from Caesar Establishes “Orthodoxy” Existential threat in Arian Heresy Relatively peaceful, strong secular authority Hierarchy of Church remains collegial (until Council of Nicaea) Willing to engage philosophies that are heretical & debate them

9 “Eternal” Rome Falls! 410: Rome Sacked by Visigoths Augustine’s The City of God 420: Benedict of Nursia Monte Casino Monastery 451: Council of Chalcedon Nicene Creed now “orthodox” 476: Rome falls to Arian Vandals! Bishop of Rome 664: Synod of Whitby Irish Celtic & Roman Catholic united under Bishop of Rome

10 “Medieval” Church is born Monks Missionaries Councils Pope

11 Monks (Monasticism) Influence of Greek philosophy Material world is corrupt; Spiritual world is pure Church after Constantine Nominally Christian AD 400: 10% Christian AD 500: 90% Christian Anchoritic & Cenobitic Hermits Day in the life of a monk (Benedict) 4 hours communal prayer 4 hours individual prayer 6 hours physical labor 10 hours sleeping & eating

12 Missionaries Mission: Convert & Civilize Celtic Monks “White Martyrs” Missionaries to Arian Europe Over 200 monasteries in France alone Roman Catholic Missionaries Synod of Whitby (664) Selecting bishops, shaving heads, & dating Easter Charlemagne (800) “Emperor of the Romans” Arianism all but eradicated

13 Petrine Theory (Matthew 16: 13-19) 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

14 Pope Petrine Theory Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Tertullian Damasus, Bishop of Rome ( ) Claimed Peter’s authority Latin, pilgrims, veneration of saints Innocent I ( ) Claimed supremacy over all doctrinal issues, East and West Leo I ( ) “To deny the Pope is to deny Peter; to deny Peter is to deny Christ.” Council of Chalcedon (451) “Peter has spoken through Leo.”

15 Pope Gregory I ( ) Sent missionaries to England & Spain Original Sin, not Original Guilt Free Will & Predestination … Both! Bible & Church tradition both equally inspired Now 7 Sacraments Communion, baptism AND confirmation, penance, extreme unction, ordination, marriage Priests set apart from laymen Grace dispensed through sacraments Power & authority of Medieval Church rested on control of access to grace 1 st Century Church had 2 Sacraments Every believer was considered a priest Grace given through faith in Christ

16 “Christian” Europe Begins Charlemagne’s Coronation (800) Fusion of Christianity, German culture/paganism, Greek philosophy Faced Magyars, Muslims and Vikings Church supreme Pope crowned emperor All education is Church-controlled July 16, 1054: Great Schism Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox churches excommunicated each other Not fixed until December 20, 1965

17 Crusades Reason it is still hard to witness to Arabic people Bloody and brutal Even sacked Constantinople!

18 Greek Synthesis Bible and Church tradition are supreme in spiritual matters Greek/Roman philosophers are supreme in matters of this world Ptolemy’s Almagest /Ptolemaic System Perfection of the “heavenly spheres” Crystal spheres Thomas Aquinas (c.1225–1274) Summa Theologica


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