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Popular Piety and Heresy

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HIST 2200
Susannah Ferreira

Popular Piety and Heresy Heresy a. Popular thing in the 12thcentury, direct threat to the papacy b. Main source was the church itself and its laws  Doctrine of Apostolic Poverty a. Main issue, idea of absolute poverty by all Christians with communal living and ownership b. Poverty was considered necessary for Christian life, was fundamental to monasticism c. Problem was that it becomes a kind of fiction, monks have no money but their community/monastery was wealthy, very reason for reforms of Cluny and Cistercians d. High clergy (brothers of kings and nobles,) were extremely wealthy and no vow of poverty, tried to collect money in any way possible • Buy and sell offices became common e. 12thcentury it became a main concern, some said it was necessary for salvation, wealth of the clergy became an embarrassment f. Dilemma of the Church, couldn’t deny poverty because it is in Scriptures, higher clergy were threatened by those who lived in poverty b/c they were a better example of the Christian mission g. 2 critical groups – those who believed you must embrace poverty for salvation, another group who had a fundamental set of beliefs different from the Catholic faith along with poverty  Cathars (Cathari; Manicheans; Gnostics) a. 1stgroup of heretics, had roots back into antiquity, strong in North Africa and Eastern parts of the Empire, after the 6 thCentury invasions they disappear b. St Augustine was one before he converted c. Manicheans were dualists, believe there was light and darkness, perpetual struggle, not sure which one would win, different from the Christian view that God would always win no matter what • God in the spiritual world, Satan in the material world • Live a perfect live you must be an extreme ascetic, were celibate, vegetarians and owned nothing at all d. 11thCentury Manichean beliefs returned to European, possibly through Balkan missionaries to convert people, were called CATHARs of CATHARI – means the pure people • Actively trying to convert, chiefly in Lombardy, Tuscany and Southern France • Never spread to England b/c some came to England(Henry II), were flogged, branded and thrown out into the snow to die, end of spread to England e. These people were PAGANS, never were Christian, independent religion from the past begins to absorb things from Christianity due to constant competition with each other f. Many Christian heretics adopted things from the Gnostics g. Cathari were Manicheans but looked like Christians so were called heretics by the Church h. 2 classes of Cathars • Parfait(perfects), led live of rigid acesticism, priestly caste, initiated ceremonies, became a perfecti through consolamentum(blessed by others) • Others were the Credentes, basically lived like a normal person and owned property, married, etc 1. Had to receive consolamentum, wiped away all sins, could not be repeated ever and if they fell back into sin then they would go to Hell 2. Some thought it was better to commit suicide after receive the consolamentum to ensure salvation • Thought the soul was obliged to live again, reincarnation until perfection was reached -We only have knowledge about them from their enemies -Thought that transubstantiation was wrong, Baptism as an adult, Sex was mortal sin, wrong to kill anything, no oaths allowed j. Cathars spread to small areas in northern Germany, Italy. Greece, • Clergy of the Christian faith in areas not doing their job well cast doubts among the laity • Led to people thinking the Cathars were a good option(Credentes were the best possible way to live) k. 12thcentury bands travelled around Europe preaching and practicing apostolic poverty  Waldensians a. Worked within the Church for a long time, rejected eventually and become heretical b. Peter Waldo, prosperous merchant at Leon, added to his wealth through practicing interest on loans, heard ministerial sing about Alexis giving up all his wealth for a life of begging, did the exact same thing with his life, wanted to learn more about Apostolic Poverty through the Bible, couldn’t read Latin so he persuaded a priest to translate parts of the Bible in vulgate language, began to preach h
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