Last class: Major Schism in Medieval Christianity: the split for Eastern and Western
The traditions of Monastic orders were well entrenched, the major of them: Benedictine
order (4th cent)
Another monastic order – Franciscan order(12 th
cent), founded by Francise from Italy, a son
of a merchant. During a period of illness at his 20s he experiences a call from God,that tell
him to repair the Church. He first does renovations to churches, later he realizes that he
needs to repair the Church spiritually and becomes a monk.
There became a concern that the Church becomes too much involved in world affairs, too
much associated with the elite of society, too wealthy, too powerful, rather than
representing the poor of the society. Therefore movements, like the monastic orders, seek
to restore the Church to its earliest tradition, to its earliest form of being simple, ordinary,
like the ideals of Jesus.
Major element in monastic orders - the vow of poverty . Therefore, monks who joined the
monastic orders undertook the vow of poverty and promised to live simply, to invest on
social and community work and to be self-sufficient in cultivating their own food supplies,
that how they represented the poor.
The more they tried to live according Jesus ideals – the more they attracted ordinary
people. Consequently, monastic orders gain followers, over the course of time they receive
vast donations, land and other resources. They become to control tremendous resources of
Paradox: on one hand monasteries tried to live according some ideals and attracted
followers, on the other hand because of the tremendous wealth – they started to lose those
ideals of simplicity, humble service to community.
As result of their wealth - monasteries have big libraries, develop tradition of studies,
scholars –origins of “university”.