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The Dark Ages To The Renaissance


The Dark Ages To The Renaissance. 500 to ... Tensions built between the Eastern & Western sections of the Roman Empire for centuries over questions of theology, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 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
  • Common / Historical surface meaning for even
    the simple-minded
  • 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
  • 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 Alexandria
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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 officers
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Christians
  • Conquered Spain in the 600s and 700s and
    threatened Constantinople
  • 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
  • 1202 - Fourth Crusade , plundered Constantinople
    for gain (sponsored by merchants from the city of
  • Made matters worse between Roman catholic
    Orthodox Christians
  • 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
  • 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
  • Continued on and off for hundreds of years
  • Unable to resist the rise of Turkish and Muslim
  • 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 vernacular
  • Increased art, education, especially with the
  • 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
  • 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!
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