Events 26-50

Charlemagne crowned emperor by the pope on Christmas. He advances the church, education, and culture.

Cyril and Methodius, Greek brothers, evangelize the Serbs. Cyril develops the Cyrillic alphabet which remains the basis for the Slavonic used in the liturgy of the Russian church.

A monastery is established at Cluny and becomes a center for reform. By the mid-12th century, there were over 1,000 Clunaic houses.

Conversion of Vladimir, Prince of Kiev, who, after examining several religions, chooses Orthodoxy to unify and guide the Russian people.

The East-West Schism. Brewing for centuries, rupture finally comes to a head with the fissure that has lasted to this day.

Anselm becomes Archbishop of Canterbury. A devoted monk and outstanding theologian, his Cur Deus Homo? (Why Did God Become Man?), explored the atonement.

Pope Urban II launches the First Crusade. The crowd wildly shouts "God wills it!" There would be several crusades over the next centuries with many tragic results.

Bernard founds the monastery at Clairvaux. He and the monastery become a major center of spiritual and political influence.

about 1150
Universities of Paris and Oxford are founded and become incubators for renaissance and reformation and precursors for modern educational patterns.

Peter Waldo founds the Waldensians, a reform movement emphasizing poverty, preaching and the Bible. He and his followers are eventually condemned as heretics and the Waldensians suffer great persecution for centuries.

Francis of Assisi renounces wealth and goes on to lead a band of poor friars preaching the simple life.

The Fourth Lateran Council deals with heresy, reaffirms Roman Catholic doctrines and strengthens the authority of the popes.

Thomas Aquinas completes work on Summa Theoligica, the theological masterpiece of the Middle Ages.

Dante completes The Divine Comedy, the greatest work of Christian literature to emerge from the Middle Ages.

Catherine of Siena goes to Rome to help heal the "Great Papal Schism" which had resulted in multiple popes. Partly through her influence, the papacy moves back to Rome from Avignon.

about 1380
Wycliffe is exiled from Oxford but oversees a translation of the Bible into English. He is later hailed as the "Morning star of the Reformation."

John Hus, who teaches Wycliffe's ideas in Bohemia, is condemned and burned at the stake by the Council of Constance.

Johann Gutenberg produces the first printed Bible, and his press becomes a means for dissemination new ideas, catalyzing changes in politics and theology.

The Spanish Inquisition is established under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to oppose "heresy."

Savonarola, the fiery Dominican reformer of Florence, in Italy, is executed.

Michelangelo completes his notable artwork on the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome.

Martin Luther posts his ninety-five theses, a simple invitation for scholarly debate that inadvertently becomes a "hinge of history."

Zwingli leads the Swiss reformation from his base as head pastor in Zurich.

The Anabaptist movement begins. This "radical reformation" insists on baptism of adult believers and the almost unheard of notion of separation of church and state.

Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy makes the king, not the pope, head of the Church of England.

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