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Christianity / Church / Church History / Church History By Century

12th Century

Updated Oct 06, 2023
12th Century

These events represent some of the major developments in 12th-century Christian history, including the Crusades, conflicts within the Church, and the emergence of influential religious figures and movements.

12 Century Christian History 

  1. 1096-1099: The First Crusade

    • The First Crusade was launched in response to Pope Urban II's call at the Council of Clermont in 1095.
    • In 1099, Crusaders captured Jerusalem, establishing Christian control over the city.
  2. 1122: Concordat of Worms

    • The Concordat of Worms resolved the Investiture Controversy, a long-standing conflict between the papacy and the Holy Roman Emperor over the appointment of bishops and church officials.
  3. 1139: Second Lateran Council

    • Pope Innocent II convened the Second Lateran Council to address issues within the Church, including the regulation of clerical celibacy and the prohibition of simony.
  4. 1147-1149: The Second Crusade

    • The Second Crusade was called by Pope Eugenius III and led by European monarchs, including Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany. However, it ended in failure.
  5. 1170: Thomas Becket's Murder

    • Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, sparking outrage in Europe. He later became a martyr and saint.
  6. 1173-1174: The Revolt of Henry the Young King

    • Henry II of England faced a rebellion led by his sons, including the young Henry, Richard the Lionheart, and Geoffrey. The conflict had political and religious dimensions.
  7. 1187: Battle of Hattin

    • Saladin, the Muslim commander, defeated Christian forces at the Battle of Hattin, leading to the recapture of Jerusalem from the Crusaders.
  8. 1189-1192: The Third Crusade

    • The Third Crusade, led by European monarchs like Richard the Lionheart and Philip II of France, aimed to recapture Jerusalem but only managed to secure some coastal cities.
  9. 1198-1216: Pope Innocent III's Papacy

    • Pope Innocent III was a powerful and influential pope who asserted papal authority over secular rulers and called for the Fourth Crusade.
  10. 1204: Sack of Constantinople

    • During the Fourth Crusade, Crusaders sacked Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, causing a permanent rift between the Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic Churches.
  11. 1215: Fourth Lateran Council

    • The Fourth Lateran Council, convened by Pope Innocent III, addressed various doctrinal and disciplinary issues within the Church and established transubstantiation as the doctrine for the Eucharist.
  12. 1227: Death of Saint Francis of Assisi

    • Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order, died in 1226 and was later canonized as a saint.

Gothic architecture, with its pointed arches and high, vaulted ceilings, prevails in church buildings.

• 1182--Notre Dame Cathedral consecrated

• 1194--Chartres Cathedral begun

• The medieval papacy, at the height of its power and influence, continues to encourage crusades to liberate the Holy Land from the Moslems.

• 1104--Acre taken by the Crusaders, fell to Moslems again in 1191

• 1147--Second Crusade (supported by Bernard of Clairvaux) fails, with most Crusaders dying in Asia Minor.

• 1187--Loss of Jerusalem by the Crusaders

• 1190--German Hospitalers founded (later becoming the Teutonic Order)

• Belief in immaculate conception of Mary spreads.

• 1170--Pope Alexander III established rules for the canonization of saints, the same year Thomas Becket is murdered in England. Becket is canonized in 1173.

• 1173--Waldensian movement begins in Lyons, seeking truth in Bible rather than medieval tradition. The church persecutes these devout believers sometimes seen as predecessors of Protestant reform.

• Monasticism continues to be main source of reforming church.

• 1115--St. Bernard establishes monastery at Clairvaux. He will become the "greatest churchman of the 12th century."

• 1155--Carmelite Order founded

Photo: © Unsplash/Xuan Nguyen


About Church History By Century

Read about {3} Church History and know the important Christian events of that century.