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The Medieval Church
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

The Medieval Church

Religious practice in medieval Europe (c. 476-1500 CE) was dominated and informed by the Catholic Church. The majority of the population was Christian, and “Christian” at this time meant “Catholic” as there was initially...
Unam Sanctam: Spiritual Authority & the Medieval Church
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Unam Sanctam: Spiritual Authority & the Medieval Church

The medieval Church developed and retained its power by encouraging the innate human fear of death and the Church’s vision of itself as the only path to salvation from hell. The pagan systems of the past all had some version of judgment...
Donation of Constantine
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Donation of Constantine

The Donation of Constantine (Donatio Constantini or the Donatio) is a medieval forgery dated to the 8th century CE purporting to be an original 4th-century CE document in which the Roman emperor Constantine the Great (r. 306-337 CE...
Cathars
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Cathars

The Cathars (also known as Cathari from the Greek Katharoi for “pure ones”) were a dualist medieval religious sect of Southern France which flourished in the 12th century CE and challenged the authority of the Catholic Church...
Thomas Becket
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket (aka Thomas á Becket and St. Thomas of Canterbury) served as chancellor to Henry II of England (r. 1154-1189 CE) and then was appointed the archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170 CE. Thomas repeatedly clashed...
Hildegard of Bingen
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen (also known as Hildegarde von Bingen, l. 1098-1179 CE) was a Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, and polymath proficient in philosophy, musical composition, herbology, medieval literature, cosmology, medicine, biology...
Dissolution of the Monasteries
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Dissolution of the Monasteries

The Dissolution of the Monasteries was a policy introduced in 1536 CE by Henry VIII of England (r. 1509-1547 CE) to close down and confiscate the lands and wealth of all monasteries in England and Wales as a lucrative element of his Reformation...
Medieval Monastery
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Medieval Monastery

A medieval monastery was an enclosed and sometimes remote community of monks led by an abbot who shunned worldly goods to live a simple life of prayer and devotion. Christian monasteries had first developed in the 4th century CE in Egypt...
Margery Kempe
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Margery Kempe

Margery Kempe (l. c. 1373 - c. 1438 CE) was a medieval mystic and author of the first autobiography in English, The Book of Margery Kempe, which relates her spiritual journey from wife and mother in Bishop’s Lynn, England to a chaste...
Council of Clermont
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Council of Clermont

The Council of Clermont in central France was held in November 1095 CE and witnessed Pope Urban II's (r. 1088-1099 CE) historic call for the First Crusade (1095-1102 CE) to capture Jerusalem for Christendom from its Muslim occupiers...