• Forerunners of the Reformation by

    As the church continued to consolidate its power and define its beliefs, it did not always act and speak with one voice. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, certain churchmen began to speak out against the corrupt practices and unbiblical …

  • Great Scholastics by

    The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries represented an era of significant change in the Medieval world. In the East, these centuries witnessed the final decline and collapse of the Byzantine Empire. Meanwhile, institutions in the West continued to develop and flourish …

  • Mysticism & the Renaissance by

    As the Middle Ages continued to wind down in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a diverse array of movements continued to exercise influence inside and outside the church. Amidst the backdrop of great Scholastic thinkers, other leaders appeared, advocating a …

  • Popes & Councils by

    As the Middle Ages progressed, certain issues remained unresolved. Second to none in terms of its importance to the medieval church was the question of the pope’s authority. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the papal office faced unique …

  • Theologians by

    Medieval Scholasticism is often seen today as being speculative and of little practical value. In some cases, this critique may be warranted. However, this movement nevertheless helped to create an environment of thoughtful reflection and study that nurtured some of …

  • Church Power and Dissent by

    As the Middle Ages progressed, the Roman Catholic Church became one of the most powerful institutions in Western Europe. People responded to the church’s growing influence in a number of ways. Many supported the church, considering it to be …

  • Innocent III by

    So far we have studied several notable events and movements that took place in the high Middle Ages. In addition to being an era of significant social, political, and cultural developments, this era also marked an important chapter in the …

  • Monasticism & Scholasticism by

    For nearly two millennia, many Christians have chosen to express their piety through ascetic living. Though the roots of monasticism existed long before, the sixth-century monk Benedict of Nursia is considered to be the founding father of the medieval monastic …

  • The Crusades by

    Few incidents in the history of the church are as controversial as the Crusades. The tragic loss of life that resulted from this movement has, sadly, discredited the Christian faith in the eyes of many. Today, Christians are sometimes uncertain …

  • Gregory, Missions & Islam by

    Around 600, as Gregory I labored in Rome for the growth and development of Christianity in Western Europe, an Arabian trader named Muhammad began to wrestle with religious questions and arrive at answers that were very different from the teachings …

  • Introduction to the Middle Ages by

    Our word “medieval” comes from the Latin terms medium and aevum, which mean “middle age.” Neglected by some and romanticized by others, the period of the Middle Ages is important for understanding the triumphs and struggles of Christians in Europe …

  • Justinian & Gregory by

    Emperor Justinian I and Pope Gregory I stand out as two of the most significant figures in the centuries of transition that marked the early Middle Ages. As the vestiges of Roman culture and institutions continued to fade or be …

  • Paths to God: Theologies by

    The early centuries of church history stand out as a time of striking unity. It is unrealistic to look upon this time as a golden age of Christianity due to the many challenges it faced from both within and without …

  • Worship & Sacraments by

    As this study has shown, the ancient church was not perfect. It committed errors, did not always provide theological specificity where it might be desired, and laid the foundation for serious ecclesiastical misunderstandings. Nonetheless, it accomplished an amazing amount for …

  • Augustine by

    As Augustine wrestled with Christianity and whether or not to embrace it, he struggled with sexual immorality. Possessing a long time concubine, through whom he fathered a son, Augustine refused to end this affair. Even after his amazing conversion, which …