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Church Reform and Religious Enthusiasm in late 11th-early 12th century - Essay Example

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The reforms that were introduced by Pope Gregory VII in the later eleventh century had a lasting effect on the power of the Church because they ensured the establishment of the supremacy of the Church over the state. Pope Gregory was an individual who wished to ensure that the…
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Church Reform and Religious Enthusiasm in late 11th-early 12th century
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Church Reform and Religious Enthusiasm in late 11th-early 12th century

Download file to see previous pages... instituted was to ensure that the Church became the sole focus of all individuals in Western Europe, so that it could not only enforce its authority over the whole of Christendom, but it could also be the main arbiter between the diverse secular rulers who ruled the principalities and kingdoms of Europe. One of the most controversial issues to come about because of these reforms was lay investiture, which developed because of the determination of the Church to ensure that there was a complete removal of secular influence on clerical appointments. It was believed that lay investiture had a corrupting influence on the Church and that it was the reason why the Church had moved away from its original spiritual nature to one which was almost completely immersed in secular interests. Thus, while in the short-term the ban in lay investiture promoted the Church’s power, in the long-term, it led to the erosion of this power as powerful monarchs came to disregard the authority of the pope.
The lay investiture controversy that came about as a result of the Gregorian reforms has come to be considered as a major turning point not only in the history of the Church, but also that of Europe as well. This is because it led to a situation where the Church chose to take up the authority, which had essentially been usurped by monarchs for centuries. Lay investiture involved the practice of secular rulers conferring clerical titles to individuals without necessarily having to seek the approval of the papacy.2 It is essential to note that during the medieval period, monarchs often had almost absolute authority over the church in their domains and they used this authority to ensure that the Church did their bidding, especially through the appointment of either their relatives or strong supporters into powerful positions within it.3 Thus, archbishops, bishops, and even abbots and abbesses were often the relatives of the lay rulers to whom they owed their first loyalty before their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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