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Class Notes - Block #3

Class Notes - Block #3 - LECTURE TWENTY Bernard of...

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LECTURE TWENTY (11/16/09) Bernard of Clairvaux defeats the Devil, French manuscript ca. 1400s (79.362 Kb) Francis receives the stigmata, French manuscript (1400s) (98.654 Kb) DISCORDANT HARMONIES (II): RELIGIOUS “REFORMATION” AND LAY PIETY Last week: dynamic growth and tensions in intellectual life and politics This class: transformations in religious life and the growth of lay piety A. THE “REFORMATION” OF THE TWELFTH CENTURY - The Cistercians: White Monks and “lay” brethren Criticisms and critiques of the Cluny model o Too wealthy Leads to distractions from religious life o Elaborate cycle of prayer involving gold fringed items etc o Has lost the original form of the Benedictine Rule Cistercian Order o Began in the year 1098 o Former Cluniac monks leave and form their own order o Attempt to strip down the Cluniac order to return to a pure form of the Benedictine Rule As monasteries grow, followers begin to grow o People will work the fields with the monks, though not monks themselves o Indicates that the monastic system is growing to include the larger society - Bernard of Clairvaux: Cistercian monk and mystic (1090-1153) Most notable Cistercian o Leads in reform Begin to work in the fields for their own crops Wear white robes Emphasize how simply they live and reject the wealth of Cluny Cluniac monks had worn black robes Prayer is central o Employs erotic language for love with God - The Cult of Mary: intercessor and Mother of God Becomes increasingly prominent in 12 th century religious life Mary not just as a holy figure, but as an intercessor o Idea of saints as intercessors between the worldly and God has existed for a while o Mary is sort of regarded as the top saint
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B. POVERTY AND PIETY: THE FRANCISCAN ORDER - Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and the search for the apostolic life Francis of Assisi is from a wealthy family o At one point in his life he gets really sick o Realizes that the way to reach God is to give up his wealth and worldly possessions o Begins to wear rags etc His father attempts to stop him Takes him to see the Bishop Father threatens to cut him out of the inheritance Francis takes off clothes and gives everything he has back to his father Bishop is so impressed that he takes his own robe off and drapes it around Francis o Eventually founds a new order Poverty is essential Mendicants Order of Beggars Preach the word of God o Problem arises in that Francis is not a member of the clergy Gains permission from Pope Innocent III eventually in 1209 - Poverty and Preaching: a new spirituality for an “urban age” Poverty and Preaching are the two most important ideas of Francis’ order Francis eventually claims to have received the stigmata o Wounds of Christ - Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) and her Testament (late 1250s) Eventually founded her own order of women based on the Franciscan model o Order known as the Poorclares o Church allows her order to take vows of poverty etc, but not to preach
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