The Dark Ages To The Renaissance

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Transcript The Dark Ages To The Renaissance

The Dark Ages To
The Renaissance
500 to 1500 AD
Iconoclastic Conflict
Related to Church-State conflict 726 -843 AD
Latourette pages 292-297
Emperors (Leo etc.) against icons in worship
Clergy, particularly Greek clergy, were for icons in worship, also
women in favor of…
Icons a popular way of instructing the illiterate but became
objects of veneration
2nd commandment was against images…
Pro-icons – sense of historical faith
Against icons (iconoclasts) neo-Platonist, Origenist, Christianity
stood outside history…
7th Ecumenical council in 787 AD approved icons but regulated
how they should be honored… finally resolved in 843AD
Eastern Church – no sculpted or 3D images, just 2D paintings
Allegorical Interpretation
Origen – three levels of Scripture interpretation:
 Common / Historical – surface meaning for even the
 Soul of Scripture – which edifies those that perceive it
 Hidden Meaning – lying beneath the surface of difficult
or morally / intellectually repugnant passages and which
can be exposed by allegory ‘for the perfect’.
 Allegory helps perfect a person in Christ….
 Related to typology – OT is a ‘type’ and NT the antitype
 Commonly used in the Middle Ages
Collapse Of The Roman Empire
Latourette pages 269-274
 Enemies of Roman Empire In the North & West –
Germanic tribes, Huns, Goths,Visigoths etc
 476 AD end of the Western Empire
 Enemies In the South and East – Islam
 Corruption in the State and in the Church
 Over-identification of Christianity with Greco-Roman
thought and culture
 Yet also saw the conversion of Clovis, King of the
Franks and of many Germanic tribes.
 The Great Recession – many formerly Christian lands
became Muslim or pagan.
The Rise Of The Papacy
Latourette pages 336-341
 Rome rises to first place among the five main bishops –
Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople, Rome and
 As Rome and the Western Empire is abandoned by the
Emperor and invaded by the Germanic tribes the Pope
is the only societal leader
 Gregory the Great stabilizes Rome and sets the model
for the papacy
 Roman practical and administrative skill gave it and edge
over the more ‘spiritually-minded’ patriarchates
 Bold theological claims to power and legitimacy and to
authority over the life of the believer
Monasticism -1
Latourette p. 331-336
Monks and nuns and friars were an important part of
medieval life
Desert Fathers – Anthony the Great, Pachomius etc –
known as Eremitic monasteries, unstructured, often solitary
Cassiodorus – learning, manuscripts, structure introduced –
Cenobitic monasteries with an abbot in charge
Ireland – monasticism was the dominant expression of
Christianity, scholarly copied many manuscripts
Irish monks travelled all over Europe, and even to Iceland and
were powerful evangelists
The Irish annoyed the established Church in Europe as they
were wanderers and did not ‘fit in’
Monasticism - 2
Benedict of Nursia – Rule of Benedict, cenobitic
(structured, communal) monasticism is defined
Head was an Abbot (from Abba as in father) and various
Community was to be self-supporting
Prayer, work and study
Orderly lifestyle amidst chaos, widely admired
24 hrs a day was planned in some way (though not
overly difficult or harsh).
Idleness was an enemy of the soul
Monks were ‘kept from contact with the world’
The East-West Split - 1
Tensions built between the Eastern & Western sections
of the Roman Empire for centuries over questions of
theology, church structure and administration and the
role of the Bishop of Rome.
1014 AD the Roman Catholic Church (known then as
the Western or Roman Church) added the words ‘and
the Son’ to the Nicene Creed (in the section about the
Holy Spirit) without consulting the Eastern Church
(Bishop of Constantinople).
In 1054 AD the two main Bishops (Rome and
Constantinople) excommunicated each other
The East-West Split - 2
After the split the Catholic church became split into the
Roman catholic Church (based out of Rome) and the
Orthodox Church (based out of Constantinople)
The Orthodox Church continues today as the Greek
Orthodox, Russian orthodox etc.
The Orthodox churches are regional and are all in
communion with one another – that is a Greek
Orthodox is welcome in a Russian Orthodox Church
There were various attempts at reconciliation but none
was truly successful.
The Nicene Creed issue and the Roman Catholic claims
about the papacy stand in the way.
The East-West Split - 3
The Eastern Church (Constantinople) has some unique
doctrines such as chrismation (like confirmation but
involves anointing)
Veneration (but not worship) of icons
Emphasizes the divinity of Jesus
Emphasizes our participation in the nature of God,
especially via contemplation
Likeness to God is the aim ( not just salvation)
Theosis – becoming like God
Three Stages: Purification, Illumination, Theosis
The Crusades - 1
Latourette – p. 407-414
 Islam – 622 AD Mohammed moves to Mecca
 By 650-670 most of North Africa and the Middle East
subdued under Islam including the Nestorian and Arian
 Conquered Spain in the 600s and 700s and threatened
 In 1096 there was a call from Constantinople for help
against the Seljuk Turks.
 Forgiveness of sins and eternal life promised to those
who took part
The Crusades - 2
1096 – First Crusade eventually a success, captures Jerusalem
1144 – Second Crusade organized after the fall of Edessa, a
poorly organized failure
1187 – well organized Muslim armies under Saladin destroy
the Crusaders
1189 – Third crusade, very costly, recaptures Acre
1202 - Fourth Crusade , plundered Constantinople for gain
(sponsored by merchants from the city of Venice)
Made matters worse between Roman catholic & Orthodox
Various other Crusades – also generally failed
Need BOTH piety and logistics for success!
Started off as applying ‘the merit of the saints’ to sins in
this life with genuine repentance required
Remission of the good works required of penitent
sinners in satisfaction for their offenses.
Then became able to be ‘earned’ by participating in
Crusades – and eventually by paying money
Eventually indulgences applied to souls in purgatory (but
not Hell) in order to shorten their stay there.
Plenary indulgences – remission of all the temporal
penalties for sins
Eventually became abused as a ‘license to sin’ and led to
the Reformation
The Mongols
Genghis Khan (Universal Emperor) 12th and 13th
centuries (Latourette p. 383-384)
Mongols – largest land empire ever! Sweep down from
Mongolia, conquer Russia, China, Central Asia, Arabia
and even reach as far as Vienna, Austria in Europe. Even
threaten Japan
Stopped just outside Nazareth
Influence in India lasted until the 19th century
Ruined large tracts of central Asia to this day!
Was not hostile to Christianity, Christian faith
flourished in China at this time
1368 break up of Mongol Empire, Ming Dynasty, takes
over, anti-foreign, Christianity completely eradicated
from China
The Plague
Around 1350 Bubonic Plague reduced the population of
Europe by a third and that of England by a half
Continued on and off for hundreds of years
Unable to resist the rise of Turkish and Muslim armies
Decimated the missionary orders – the Franciscans and
the Dominicans
Monasteries forced to accept inferior candidates
Labor is short supply – spelled the end of serfdom and
of feudalism
Plague lead to widespread questioning of the faith for
many lay people
The Rise of Literacy
Rediscovery of Greek bible manuscripts
 Translation of the Scriptures into the
 Increased art, education, especially with
the Renaissance
 The invention of the printing press
 Relative prosperity meant many more
people could be educated
The Long Decline
From 500 to 950 the Church went into serious decline
 From 950 to 1350 it saw some growth and resurgence
through monasticism and by pushing Islam back
 From 1350 to 1500 it went into even deeper decline
and by 1350 was far, far, worse off than it had been in
500 AD.
 The mixture of Christian Church + Roman State +
Greek Culture was toxic to the Church!
 The Church needs to be independent of the State and
the Culture
 Church was now doctrinally astray and materially
corrupt – and God was going to change it!