Chapter 16, Section 2
A Changing Medieval World (1000-1450)
Standard: 7.6.8
  • Understand to get the meaning of the importance of the Catholic Church as a political, intellectual and aesthetic institution (example, founding of universities, political and spiritual roles of the clergy, creation of monastic and mendicant religious orders, preservation of the Latin language and religious texts, St. Thomas Aquinas's synthesis of classical philosophy with Christian theology and the concept of "natural law").
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An Age of Faith

Key Terms and People

mendicant: orders whose members lived on donations and worked in the community, not in monasteries

St. Francis of Assisi: As a young man, Francis was wealthy and spoiled. Then, he had a powerful religious experience. He felt called to live as Jesus had lived.

St. Clare of Assisi: Claire and her followers took a vow of poverty and aimed to live the life of devotion to God. Their order became known as the Poor Clares.

cathedral: a major church, headed by a bishop who oversees a religion's churches

University: schools, or groups of schools, that train scholars at the highest levels

Thomas Aquinas: Aquinas wanted to show that there is no conflict between faith and human reason

natural law: laws in nature that are basic to both the natural world and human affairs

Section Notes

  1. Forms of Devotion

      Mendicant Religious Orders

    • 1209, Franciscan order was established
    • St. Francis of Assisi, from wealthy and spoiled to polar and humble
    • Francis's pure and simple life of devotion attracted many followers
    • 1212, Poor Clares order was established
    • St. Clare of Assisi, noblewoman, vow of poverty, life of devotion to God

      Great Cathedrals

    • Gothic cathedrals
    • rose high above the town, outside carvings of saints, inside statues and paintings of angels and saints, stained-glass windows of Bible stories and scenes from the lives of saints
    • peasants could learn about the religion from the works of art

  2. The Growth of Learning

      Medieval Universities

    • cathedral schools in some large towns grew into universities
    • studied writings from ancient Greece
    • students who spoke Latin could understand courses taught at any university

      Thomas Aquinas

    • Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest medieval scholars inspired by the Greek philosopher Aristotle
    • Aquinas wanted to show that there is no conflict between human reason and faith
    • believed in the idea of natural law (a guide to right and wrong)
    • offered an explanation for the existence of God

Summary: Christian Europeans expressed their religious devotion by founding new religious orders and building beautiful churches. Some church schools grew into important centers of learning.

Study Guide Questions

  • CP 451. How were Gothic cathedrals different from earlier types of cathedrals?

  • CP 453. How did universities develop?

  • CYP 453, 1a. What was new about the religious orders that arose after 1000?

  • CYP 453, 1b. Why were St. Francis and his followers so beloved?

  • CYP 453, 2a. What newly rediscovered writings excited medieval students?

  • CYP 453, 2b. How did these writings influence Thomas Aquinas?

    Practice Test

  • Homework: Choose one
    1. Workbook Chapter 16, section 2 (Page 199)
    2. Answer three of the study guide questions using complete sentences.
    3. Draw a picture of something important from this section and summarize this section of the text (three sentences minimum).