214 Church History Part 3 The Church of the Early Middle Ages
Changing the Face of Europe • Islamic threat grows – Northern Africa falls along with much of East. Invasions stopped in Spain.
End of the Dark Ages • Islam on the move – armies of Arabs on jihad devastated North Africa • Mediterranean becomes a Muslim lake • Italy and other coastal areas constantly attacked by fierce raiding parties who even raid inland Moorish Chieftain • Constantinople, capital of Byzantium, is attacked • Spain overrun by Arabs and Berber allies, but one small area is held by the Christians
Not Entirely Dark: An Example John Philoponus, Christian Scientist, Philosopher, Theologian (c. 490-570) It was because of (not despite) his Christianity that he could go against 1,000 years of Hellenistic belief… • Stars: mutable objects; corruptible matter • Sun is fire • Appearance of cosmic changelessness is the mere effect of the immense temporal and spatial intervals of cosmic movement • Argued against Aristotle: light moves • Hypothesized that space above the atmosphere is a vacuum As a Christian, he saw the entire universe as a “creature” of God
Saving Europe – Tours (Poitiers) • Moors (Arab/Berbers) stormed into France • Pepin’s son, Charles Martel scraped together a Franksh army to meet the Moors as they rode north • Clash at Tours a turning point in European history – Franks soundly defeated the Moors and turned them back from Europe Battle of Tours • Wake-up call for do-nothing Merovingian kings • Charles’ prestige passed to his son, Pepin the Short
Pepin the Short…and Strong • Pepin wrote to the Pope: “Who should rule, he who inherited a title, or he who actually rules?” • Pepin crowned king • Pepin’s concept of kingship: “To us the Lord has entrusted the care of government.” • Very different from tribal concept of kingship: state personal possession of the king Pepin the Short
Pepin and St. Boniface • Pepin also established Papal States • Invited St. Boniface to reform whole of Western Frankish Church • St. Boniface very successful converting German tribes • Everywhere he promoted the authority of the papacy and the need for Catholic rulers to defend it • Boniface died a martyr, June 5, 754 • Pepin overshadowed by his son, Charles the Great who inaugurated the Carolingian era St. Boniface
Irish Monks: Saving Civilization • Toward the end of Merovingian rule in the kingdom of the Franks, learning had nearly disappeared • Ignorance was widespread and writing itself had greatly deteriorated • The Irish missionaries saved the day (and the civilization) by: • Reforming monastic life and discipline • Restoring ascetic ideals, even among the laity • Focusing on literacy among the Franks and others St. Columbanus
Charlemagne, King of the Franks • Unlike Pepin, Charles was super-sized • 1st concern: order throughout Frankish realm & defend borders • In 30 years he waged 60 campaigns, half of them personally • He fought Muslims in Spain, Basques in the Pyrenees, wild Avars in Hungary, and pacified northern Italy • Biggest headache: pagan Saxons • Forced conversion on Saxons; resettled them within his realm Charlemagne King of the Franks
Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor • Turning point: Christmas Day, 800 • Pope St. Leo III crowned Charles as Roman Emperor • Coronation represents two important developments: • Restoration of the Western Roman Empire – dream of European unity under a Catholic ruler would survive the empire’s demise • Shift in geographical focus of Western civilization – from Mediterranean (Mare nostrum) to the North Henri Pirenne: “Had there been no Mohammed, there would have been no Charlemagne.” Charlemagne
Charlemagne’s Reforms • Economic reforms under Charlemagne • Agricultural innovations produced a true agricultural revolution • Issued standardized coins to facilitate local trade • Muslim conquests hindered foreign trade, but Charlemagne achieved increase in foreign trade by using Jewish merchants who moved in both Christian and Muslim worlds The Caliph and Charlemagne • Charlemagne even corresponded with the legendary Caliph of Bagdad, Harun al-Rashid.
Carolingian Renaissance: Education • Charlemagne also began a great educational and cultural revival • Great need, particularly among clergy • Opened school at Aachen, his capital, to promising students of all classes –included girls • Same occurred throughout the country • Schools used ingenious methods and specified humane treatment of students – with playtime & exercise • Recruited Alcuin, English deacon Charlemagne receiving Alcuin
Carolingian Renaissance: Art • Charlemagne also supported a revival of the arts and architecture • One of his greatest works was his palace chapel built in the Byzantine style with a design and mosaics modeled after a Byzantine church he had visited in Ravenna • Charlemagne had numerous other building projects (many of wood perished in the barbarian waves late in the 9th century Charlemagne’s Palace Chapel in Aachen (Aix-la- Chapelle)
Alcuin Alcuin recruited the best and the brightest scholars of Europe Unlocked what had been preserved for centuries in the monasteries Stressed the mastery of Latin, the need for books, and careful copying of texts These scholars also contributed much original work of their own
Books & Writing Few people today realize that only three or four original antique manuscripts of the Latin authors are still in existence. “Our whole knowledge of ancient literature is due to the collecting and copying that began under Charlemagne, and almost any classical text that survived until the eighth century has survived till today.” – Kenneth Clark
Books & Writing Even in the 6th Century scribes were busy copying the Scriptures Alcuin’s zeal for books and libraries was echoed throughout the Carolingian world Carolingian miniscule – a new form or writing, tremendous improvement – clearly formed letters, upper and lower case, spaces between words Charlemagne demanded homilies be translated into common languages so all people could benefit from them
Agricultural Revolution Beginning with Charlemagne, many improvements in how land was farmed in Europe: an true agricultural revolution • Rediscovery of Roman farm technology (waterwheel) • Development of the heavy plow, horseshoe, new horse harness • Dense forests cleared for farming 3 Whippletree Set • Dikes created to hold back the sea and enclose fertile soil • Three-field system of crop rotation – increased output to support larger population • Moved beyond subsistence farming – more people could take up trades – villages grew
Alfred the Great (849-899) English king who, like Charlemagne, strongly encouraged education Ensured classics of previous centuries were translated into Anglo Saxon Personally translated for his people works on the Church, geography and other subjects in simple and popular style, often adding simple material of his own composition
Chaos in Rome, Barbarians Again • After Charlemagne’s death in 814 his empire was divided in two with a Middle Kingdom in between • Barbarian and Muslim attacks continued, battering Europe • Papacy too (with a few exceptions) reached an all-time low • Manipulated elections; popes deposed and replaced • Decline of royal political control; feudal lords gobbled up Church land with impunity • Viking raiders from Scandinavia; Magyars from Eastern Europe Viking
Serf and Turf It’s for whacking peasants. I call it a serfboard.
Feudalism • Complex roots in Roman times & Germanic customs -- by the 800’s invaders and ineffective rulers had splintered the Carolingian Empire • Feudalism: a kind of coping mechanism • Only a strong local warlord could maintain order & public safety – needed support of fighting men loyal to him (vassals) • Feudal pyramid: Cavalry (vassals) required horses and land which the lord would give in return for loyalty • Meanwhile, who farmed the land? The fighting men needed farmers, and the farmers (non-warriors) needed protection – manorialism • Peasants (serfs) lived on lords’ & vassals’ manors cared for the land & produced the food – received a place to live, protection
Feudalism • Serfs made up the bottom lever of feudalism’s pyramid, vassals the middle and overlords and kings the top. • Feudal/manorial system at top & bottom could be brutal with thugs fighting each other and brutalizing peasants – and would have been much worse without the Church • Early on relationships between lords & vassals were ingeniously Christianized • Lords & liegemen swore solemn oaths before clergy to defend & support each other Roland giving fealty • Knights swore to protect the clergy, poor & weak and not to harm their property (the Peace of God) • Truce of God limited times when fighting could be done and finally eliminated most private wars altogether
Feudalism – a Way of Life for Christendom • Bishops and abbots often had large landholdings, and monasteries reflected feudal estates in organization, management, and self-sufficiency. • Feudalism offered stability and protection and became a way of life. • Hard work, warfare and primitive living conditions prevailed for all levels. Cluny
Decline of Feudalism Rise of King’s Power Cause King Help & Obey Land Cause Nobles In France, Spain & England Growth of villages & towns Knights Peasants (serfs) Wars among nobles make them weaker Better life in towns More trade, more towns Kings took back their land & power Kings with more power More peasants moved to towns Trade Developed Create centralized government
The Rise of Towns • Agricultural revolution – increase in superfluous serfs who yearned to set up shop in local villages • Villages growing into towns – organized and self-governing – irresistible to ambitious & talented serfs • Lords often stymied by military strength of towns & their walls – and that most were outside their jurisdiction • “Town air makes free” – if a man could support himself in a town for a year and a day, he was no longer a serf but a freeman • Feudal trappings would survive, but the towns with their new middle class became the center for schools and guilds Medieval Town
The Guilds Organizations of masters and apprentices in various crafts, profoundly influenced by Catholic principles: • Guildsmen had to charge customer a just price & deliver a quality product • Guildsmen agreed to limit hours of work and provide just compensation for his workers • Guildsmen required to assist ill or injured members – came to provide insurance, etc. • Every guild had a patron saint & celebrated the feast day with Mass and processions • Guilds contributed to the support and artistic decoration of the local church, and provided for the schooling of talented youth Guildsmen
The Role of Kings The emergence of national kings throughout Europe meant the reappearance of central political authority and the hope of peace and order • Royal rights were contested by powerful feudal nobility, so kings sought allies elsewhere • The towns withstood the opposition of feudal aristocracy by appealing to the kings • In return for a charter from the king and his protection, towns gave their allegiance • Rich and powerful towns made this cooperation valuable and weakened the impact of the country warlords • 11th century produced some remarkable and admirable kings: Stephen of Hungary, Henry II of Germany Henry II of Germany
Divine Right of Kings “Once you get past the divine right of kings, I’m not much into theology"
Early Middle Ages • Early form of Divine Right of Kings • Lay Investiture Controversy • Popes & many bishops function as Territorial Rulers • Inheritance Disputes • Simony
Renewals & Reforms in the Early Medieval Church • Carolingian Reform (9th Century) • Cluniac Reform (10th Century) • Reforms started by Pope St. Leo IX (11th Century) • Gregorian Reform: Pope St. Gregory VII (11th Century)
1,000 A.D. – A New Sprit The early springtime of Christendom • Invasions has ceased (except for Norman raids) • Badly needed reforms had begun in the Church • Nations were being organized under competent Christian kings • Standard of living on the rise • Church architecture reflected these changes One chronicler wrote: “One might have said that the whole world was shaking off the robes of age and pulling on a white mantle of churches.” Abbaye aux Dames, Caen, 1050 AD
From the Ground Level Theologians denying the deposit of faith Heretical sects spreading Priests discarding celibacy Bishops buying their offices Popes either morally deficient or were met with indifference Lay interference
The Move Toward Reform A Cistercian (11th Century) Wealth & political importance caused ecclesiastical positions to be regarded as desirable sources or prestige & power Spiritual character of offices obscured; kings filled offices with unqualified laymen to gain favor or payment Vows of chastity & poverty forgotten Growth of general sentiment – among monks, rulers & laity – of what was wrong and a desire to root out evil This groundswell of indignation came to a head just as the papacy was ready to act Some outstanding, fearless figures rose up to demand reform and condemn the sins of both clergy and laity
Reform: the Beginnings • Monasteries too had fallen under the influence of the age -- 1st Step was a renewal of monastic fervor • Reorganization of Benedictine life – Cluny established (910) by William, Duke of Acquitane • Camaldolese hermits by St. Romuald (1012) • Vallumbrosan hermits by St. John Gualbery (1038) • Alpine hospices by St. Bernard of Menthon (1008) • Exerted a profound influence on Church life • Rules reserved an ideal of law & order during a period of civil wars & social unrest • By their austerities they made reparation for widespread sin • They brought about a return to deeper spiritual life among both clergy and laity • Prepared the way for the faithful to receive the grace needed to enact real reform based on prayer & self-denial
Councils & Preachers Pope St. Leo IX Councils and preachers attached the evils of simony, breaches of vows of celibacy, and clerical worldliness The push, however, was to ensure only worthy candidates would be accepted into the priesthood and hierarchy 1st top-level reforms begun by Pope Leo IX (d. 1054) and his immediate successor, Pope Nicholas II (d. 1061)
Growth of Papal PowerPope St. Gregory VII To free the Church from political control, Pope St. Gregory VII (1073-85) attacked 3 evils: • Simony [buying and selling of ecclesiastical offices/spiritual goods] • Alienation of property [the passing of Church property into the private hands of a bishop’s or priest’s offspring] • Lay investiture Pope St. Gregory VII
Growth of Papal PowerPope St. Gregory VII • To restore the authority of the pope over the Church he: • Decreed that the pope held supreme power over all Christian souls – the supreme judge under God alone (1075) • Made all bishops and abbots subject to him; declared his powers of absolution and excommunication were absolute. [DictatusPapae]. • Asserted papal authority over Emperor Henry IV. • Established Roman Curia as the central organ of church government Pope St. Gregory VII
Catholic Thought & Culture St. Anselm of Canterbury (d. 1109) • Archbishop of Canterbury, defended Church’s rights & liberties against encroachments of English kings • Philosopher & theologian, developed a method of reasoning; prepared the way for the great thinkers • Devotion to Our Lady; first to establish the feast of the Immaculate Conception in the West St. Peter Damien (d. 1072) Italian Benedictine monk; unbending foe of corruption & laxity Authored important works on liturgy & moral theology Supported future Pope St. Gregory VII in his struggle for the rights of the Church
Catholic Thought & Culture St. Wulstan of Worcester St. Wulstan (d. 1095) English monk & bishop Relentless reformer; enforcer of celbacy Ended the salve trade in England & Ireland French Scholars Sylvester II (Gerbert of Aurillac), elected Pope in 999, was perhaps the greatest scholar of his time; strong promoter of education, particularly among the clergy The Cluniac reformers also had a strong impact on monastic education – relationship between morally good living & good thinking Fulbert, student of Gerbert, bishop of Chartres, inspired teacher and reformer
Culture in Germany Bl. Herman Contractus of Reichenau (d. 1054) • Crippled scholar; scarcely able to sit up or speak; yet his knowledge was encyclopedic • Authored numerous works of prose, poetry, mathematics, history • Authored many hymns including the Salve Regina, still sung today Hroswitha of Gandersheim (d. 1002) Nun & poet; 1st Christian dramatist; 1st female historian Writings emphasized virtue and role of Our Lady as an ideal; wrote in Latin
East-West Schism [1054 A.D.] Remote causes: Disagreements on Doctrine & Authority Beginning Nicaea (325) Church formally defined important doctrines Disagreements often came from the East (Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople) Although Eastern Church (through Bishop of Constantinople) recognized Pope as successor of Peter and head of the whole Church, resentment arose – sense that West dictated to East – and there were often temporary estrangements
East-West Schism [1054 A.D.] Remote causes: National Churches • Effects of various Eastern heresies and the consequent rise of national churches • From the 5th Century: Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism initiated the separation and subdivision into more Eastern churches • These became the national churches quite early on, preceding the Great Schism to come: • Coptic Churches of Egypt and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) • Jacobite Churches if Syria and Armenia • Nestorian Churches of Mesopotamia and Persia (Iraq & Iran)
East-West Schism [1054 A.D.] Remote Causes: Iconoclast Crisis • Icons: stylized paintings of Christ, Mary & the saints – generally on wood (except for hands and face) and covered with a relief of pearls, silver & gold • Opposition to the veneration of icons initiated by Eastern emperors had two phases: • Begun by Emperor Leo the Isaurian in 728; ended in 787 when 2nd Council of Nicaea condemned the heresy & allowed veneration of sacred images • Began under Leo V in 814; ended in 842 when the Feast of Orthodoxy was established by Empress Theodora
East-West Schism [1054 A.D.] Remote Causes: Opposing Ecclesiologies Deeper level – opposing views on the nature and structure of the Church East’s view incorporated into its view of the Church's union with the Empire; saw, for example, relationships between bishops merely as administrative problems Over time Eastern Church focused on its autonomy within borders of Eastern Empire Western Church further defined its concept of the Primacy making it even more catholic (universal) and absolute
East-West Schism [1054 A.D.] Photius Prelude to the Schism Mid 9th Century St. Ignatius, Bishop of Constainople, denounced immorality of emperor. Ignatius was deposed and Photius replaced him 867 Photius summoned a synod; attacked “errors” of Western Church; excommunicated pope One of the “errors” was inclusion of words, “and from the Son” (Filioque) in Nicene Creed Council of Constantinople (381) had left question open – Eastern Church preferred “and through the Son.” 10-year estrangement – when Ignatius died in 877, Pope John VIII appointed Photius to vacant see (878) if Photius agreed to submit to Holy See in all matters and make reparations for his past errors. Photius remained faithful to the pope until his death.
East-West Schism [1054 A.D.] Michael Cerularius The Schism In 1043 the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, rivived Photius’ old charges and added some new ones He began a major anti-Roman campaign, closing Latin-rite churches and attacking the papacy Pope Leo IX sent delegates to Constantinople without success. On July 16, 1054 Michael Celularius was solemnly excommunicated Celularius responded by calling an Eastern synod and excommunicated the Pope and the entire Latin Church This began the schism that still divides the East from Rome
East-West Schism [1054 A.D.] Pope Urban II The Aftermath After the schism, relations between the two Churches continued to disintegrate Despite the split Pope Urban II sought to help free Byzantine territory from the Muslim Turks and then regain the Holy Land from the Saracen Muslims by launching the first Crusade in 1096 By the Fourth Crusade [1202-1204] the sack of Constantinople by Christian knights dealt the death blow to East-West unity Reconciliation attempts were made in 1274 at the Council of Lyons and again in 1438-49 at the Council of Florence -- both were unsuccessful
East-West Schism [1054 A.D.] The Aftermath Church of Constantinople & other Eastern Churches banded together in a group known as the “Orthodox Eastern Church” in which the Patriarch of Constantinople held a kind of precedence The term “Orthodox” had originally been applied to Churches that accepted the Council of Chalcedon against the Nestorian and Monophysite heretics; now it applied to Eastern Churches in schism with Rome After the fall of Constantinople (1453) Eastern Churches broke up into autonomous national Churches Grave consequences: Church unity in the East suffered and gave rise to splintered Churches; missionary work in Asia and Africa stopped; the Church was confined to Europe until the 16th century In 1964 Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras met in Jerusalem and lifted the mutual excommunication orders of 1054. Dialogue continues.