Era 4: Medieval Church (2): Growth & Decline of the Papacy
(AD 1000-1500)


30/    The Offensive against Islam

The First Crusade—Later History of the Crusades—The Spanish Reconquista—Consequences of the Offensive against Islam

·         How do we evaluate the Crusaders with respect to their influence on the church, on western civilization and society?

31/    The Golden Age of Medieval Christianity

The Mendicant Orders—One Flock under One Shepherd—Theological Activity: Scholasticism—Stones That Bear a Witness: Architecture

·         What influences did the new monastic orders produce in the church?

·         What were the methods used by scholasticism? How much contributions did they make on today’s theology?

·         How does Gothic architecture reflect the glories of Christianity?

32/    The Collapse

New Conditions—The Papacy under the Shadow of France—The Great Western Schism

·         What were the causes of the Babylonian Captivity and the Great Schism? What lessons can we learn from these unfortunate events?

33/    In Quest of Reformation

The Conciliar Movement—John Wycliffe—John Huss—Girolamo Savonarola—The Mystical Alternative—Popular Movements

·         What were the main teachings of Wycliffe, Huss, and Savonarola? Were they judged (as heretics) correctly by the church?

·         Can the ideas of Christian mysticism help to improve our own personal devotion?

·         What lessons can we learn from popular movements before the Reformation, including the Lollards, monasticism among women, fragellants, and the Bohm rebellion?

34/    Renaissance and Humanism

The Later Course of Scholasticism—The Revival of Classical Learning—A New Vision of Reality—The Popes of the Renaissance

·         What is your reaction to the subtle arguments of late scholasticism?

·         What are the differences between the humanism of the Renaissance and those of today?

·         What were the sins of the popes during the Renaissance? How can true Christians become so corrupted?



35/    Spain and the New World

The Nature of the Spanish EnterpriseThe Protest—The Caribbean—Mexico—Golden CastileFloridaColombia and Venezuela—The Four Corners of the Earth: The Inca Empire—La Plata

·         How did the Spanish treat the native Indians? How did the monks sent to the New World react? How do we evaluate and judge the Spanish conquest of the New World? (From the perspective of Christians, were they good or bad?)

36/    The Portuguese Enterprise

Africa—Towards the Rising Sun—Brazil

·         Was Matteo Ricci’s method of evangelism in China a good way?

·         What should our attitude be toward Confucianism (is it a religion?) and ancestral worship (is it idolatry?)?

·         How should missionaries balance the need of evangelization and upholding social justice in the mission field? How much accommodation to the local culture can be accepted?

Appendix: The Ecumenical Councils

·         Were the decisions of the councils correct decisions? Were they following the will of God? If not, how can the united universal church make wrong decision(s)?