SMC 175 L10.16 - Monks and Popes

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St. Michael's College Courses
Jennifer Harris

SMC 175 – Medieval Civ J. Harris 10/16/12 EARLY M IDDLEA GESI – M ONKS ANDPOPES Last week’s recap: - If Rome fell - Edward Gibbon – thesis and alternative causalities o Said it was Christianity, Effemnacy and Immodest greatness o Alternative: politics, demographics and economics - TIMELINE - West vs. East o Foreign dependency vs. self-sufficiency o East survived (trading hub, defendable) o West suffered economic collapse, ruralized and harder to defend and feed **Forced to focus on the big historical figures b/c of the lack of source materials regarding the lower stratas of society (sort of appropriate to call the Early Middle Ages the “Dark Ages” - for historians) Discussion of Early Middle Ages / Readings / Quiz - Economic collapse, shortened lifespan of people in the Early Middle Ages, aristocracy fled to the countryside, indentured peasants - Practice o f Frankish kings marrying slave women, polygyny – but they’re Chrisitians (!) – difference b/w profession and action, a little “wiggle room” in the practice of Christianity (not solidified yet into what we know now) - Immanent justice – direct intervention of God in human life - There are 2 hierarchical structures in shaping Christianitas – together both formulate the medieval Church o They are separate and most of the time in conflict / critique of one another o Ecclesiastical hierarchy vs. Monastic hierarchy - Imperial reality waned after 476, replaced by localized, privatized power shaped by new political organizations – Church slipped into most of the gaps left by Imperial reality - Ecclesiastical hierarchy – role is ambivalent o Aristocratic religious leaders stepped into new roles quite easily (one of the aspects attacked by the monastic order) – called them “too-worldly Church” o More concerned with material world rather than spiritual world - Monks, on the other hand, flee the “world” to remain more engaged with the spiritual life rather than the worldly life Terms - Hierarchy: holy ordering of society o Hieros, Grk., ‘sacred, holy,’ and archos, Grk., ‘order’ o Asserted as divinely ordained - Hagiography: holy writing (of ecclesiastical and monastic life) o About the lives of saints - Ecclesiastical: ecclesias, Grk., ‘to gather’ – (Wiki) of or relating to the Christian Church or its clergy; spiritual, sacred - Eremitical: desert dwellers - Ascesis/ascetics: hermits - Cenobitical: monks living on communities - Monastic (monos): becoming monks - St. Anthony of Egypt (252-354) - Pachomius (ca. 292-346) - Ecclesiastical order (High Middle Ages form) o Priests in churches  bishops in dioceses  Archbishops  Popes o In the East, the pope work alongside patriarchs - Pope is the bishop of Rome- increasingly became significant within the western Christian hierarchy o Slow assertion of power – peaked in the 12 , 13 c. th - Monastic order o Localized in its beginnings – monks live in monastic houses headed by abbotts o By central Middle Ages, there would be a monastic house heading several smaller ones (e.g., Cluny) – resemble dioceses - Women joined the monastic life pretty early - Term “religious” is used to denote the men and women who opted for monastic life - Monasticism o Began in the desert o Sinai location became monastic retreat 4 c., Justinian built monastic th house that later on grew in the 6 c.  Place where Moses receieved the tablets  From monastic caves to cenobitic communities o Cenobitical way of life flourished in Middle Ages - Monastic life follows a discipline, a rule o Rule of St. Benedict later dominated the order - Monasticism is a critique of ec
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