Unformatted text preview: EUH 2001 Discussion: Church Reform and Crusades "Monastic Decadence"--"Waldensian Heretics" The reform movements of the High Middle Ages were all about establishing boundaries and streamlining authority. Two monastic movements that highlight the period could not have been more different in their resulting successes. The first two selections deal with Cluny--the seat of the Benedictine Cluniac reform movement--and with Francis of Assisi's Rule for this mendicant friars. Interestingly, the person commenting upon Cluny's excesses is Bernard of Clairvaux, a monk from yet another order created to combat Cluny's wealth and ease. Accounting for Bernard's biting exaggerations, what seem to be the main problems at Cluny from the viewpoint of an outsider? Has it strayed from Benedict's Rule, or is Bernard criticizing it only as a Cistercian who thinks his house is better? Now, look at Francis' Rule for the Franciscans. Does it seem to correct Cluny's reported excesses, or is it instead a fresh approach to monasticism? On the surface, Franciscans appear to live without any boundary but poverty--but what evidence is there of boundaries and order in the Rule? The next four selections all deal with an "other" in some form--religious, ethnic, etc. We tend to think of "the Crusades" as simply a religious battle between Islam and Christianity, but these sources give us a more complex picture of religious boundaries informed by other forms of prejudice and suspicion. In each source, who is the "other" and what boundary do they seem to have violated to incite the ire of the writer? ...
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- Summer '10