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Christianity: the 1100's

An Overview: What happened in this century?


late 1000s/ early 1100s Origination of Scholasticism. This movement to understand Christian doctrine through intellectual pursuits lasted until around 1500. This idea flows from Augustine's maxim to "understand in order to believe, believe in order to understand." The Scholastics did not try to convince people to have faith through reason, but believed that once you have faith you can use reason to develop a deeper understanding of God (as opposed to using experiences or mystical methods).
1109 Anselm of Caterbury died. He was an early proponent of Scholasticism. His most famous "proof" is the ontological argument for God. To read more about it, go here.
1112 Bernard of Clairvaux joined the Cistercian Order. Three years later he opened a monastery in Clairvaux. Eventually he became the greatest proponent of this Order. To read part of Bernard's spiritual classic, On Loving God, go here. [Author's note: this contains one of my most favorite quotes in Church History.]
1144 Sultan of Aleppo captured Edessa; this prompted the Second Crusade. Edessa was located in the northern part of the land the Crusaders had captured and was the capital of the crusader state known as the County of Edessa.
1145 Eugenius III became pope. He was a former student of Bernard of Clairvaux.
1146-47 Second Crusade begins. This Crusade was called to recaptured land that had been lost to the Muslims, namely Edessa (see 1144 above). For the most part, it was unsuccessful. Louis VII of France and many others took up the cross (joined the Crusade) in 1146. Pope Eugenius III enlisted Bernard of Clairvaux to preach this Crusade. This is the one stain on Bernard's character.
1153 Bernard of Clairvaux died.
1170 Dominic was born.
1179 The Third Lateran Council decided that the college of cardinals would decide who replaced a deceased pope.
1181/2 Francis of Assisi is born.
1187 The Muslim leader Saladin entered the kingdom of Jerusalem (not Jerusalem itself, yet) and annihilated a Christian army near Lake Tiberias. The king of Jerusalem was made prisoner. Saladin then marched on Jerusalem, which surrendered on September 17.
1189-1192 The Third Crusade. Led by Philip II of France, Richard I (the Lionhearted) of England, and Frederick I (Barbarossa), the Holy Roman Emperor of Germany.
  • Barbarossa died in 1190 while attempting to cross a river on horseback. The overall goal of this Crusade was to recapture Jerusalem.
  • Richard and Philip recaptured much territory in the Holy Land.
  • Philip left due to quarreling with Richard, conditions in France, and his poor health.
  • Nevertheless, Richard was not able to conquer Jerusalem. He had a large enough army to do so, but he knew that he would not be able to hold Jerusalem against the certain counter-attack. Therefore he and Saladin (the Muslim leader) agreed to a truce. Richard's men and Christian pilgrims were allowed to visit the holy places in Jerusalem instead.

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