Sketches of Church History from 600 to 1300 AD by G.S.M. Walker

G.S.M. Walker, The Growing Storm. Sketches of Church History from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1350That the so-called “Dark Ages” contained a surprising amount of light soon becomes clear from the pages of this second volume in the Paternoster Church History. Even the Medieval Papacy, whose rise and fall is, broadley speaking, covered by the period of this book, and which became a laughing-stock and was treated as a scandal, had at the outset sought to embody a great principle – the principle that the spiritual is superior to the temporal, that morality is superior to politics, that Christ is superior to the kingdoms of mankind. It was for the same principle that in later times Scottish Covenanters were to contend and suffer, so demonstrating a historical unity of problems in widely differing periods and circumstances.

Indeed, this book cealr underlines this historical unity by showing that even in the Middle Ages men grappled with problems not unlike our own; but the roles were so surprisingly reversed that it is often hard for the modern mind to see clearly which was the angels’ side. The instance, monks were busy preaching puritan sermons, scholars were almost all fundamentalists, early “Protestants” were devoted to the Virgin, and there was actually a sort of evangelical revival which won warmer sympathy from the reigning Pontiff than would have been shewn by an English Bishop of John Wesley’s day.

This complex period Dr. Walker graphically illustrates by telling the story of some characteristic lives, with sufficient background to make the narrative cohetrent, in spite of the seven-and-a half centuries that are covered. Gregory, Boniface, and Hildebrand, Anselm, Abelard and Bernard, Francis, Aquinas, Raymond Lull, Dante and others, all make their contribution to a composite picture in which the various convictions, catholic and evangelical and liberal, are well and widely represented, sometimes even fermenting together in the same brain. Then we see the tension mounting and the storm-clouds gathering, as distinct parties draw apart in a struggle that would intensify with the coming of Wycliffe, and would come to its climax in the Reformation.

From the dustjacket

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G.S.M. Walker, The Growing Storm. Sketches of Church History from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1350. London: The Paternoster Press, 1961. Hbk. pp.252. [Click to visit the download page]

Contents

  • Preface
  1. Gregory the Great
  2. Boniface an the Conversion of Northern Europe
  3. Alcuin and the Carolingian Renaissance
  4. The East from Leo the Isaurian to Michael Cerularius
  5. The Hildebrandine Reform
  6. The First Crusade
  7. Anselm and the Rise of Scholasticism
  8. Abelard and Bernard of Clairvaux
  9. The Waldensians
  10. The Pontificate of Innocent III
  11. Francis and his Followers
  12. The Dominicans; Aquinas; and the German Mystics
  13. The Last Crusader
  14. The Missionary Zeal of Raymond Lull
  15. Dante and the Dawn of a New Age
  • Bibliography
  • Index

English Monastic Finances in the Later Middle Ages by R.H. Snape

st-thomas-aquinas By Carlo Crivelli - http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/carlo-crivelli-saint-thomas-aquinas, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=528367
St Thomas Aquinas By Carlo Crivelli – Public Domain,

This book on monastic finances won the Prince Consort Prize in 1912 and was published in the hope that it would inspire other students to research in this field. However, the content is such that it would prove of interest to anyone wanting to know more about medieval monasticism. This title entered the public domain on the 1st January this year.

Robert Hugh Snape [1886-1947], English Monastic Finances in the Later Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1926. Hbk. pp.190. [Click to download complete book in PDF]

Contents

  • General Preface
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  1. The Monastic Population
  2. The Monastic Organisation
  3. The Monastic Revenues
  4. Aspects of Monastic Expenditure
  5. Monastic Debt
  6. The Material Comfort of Monastic Life
  • Appendix A. The Cluniac Houses, 162-1279
  • Appendix B. The Province of Rouen, 1548-1269
  • Appendix C. The Bursary
  • Index

Introduction

To most Englishmen the one great event which the mention of monasticism brings to mind is the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The centuries during which the religious houses stood to the world around as havens wherein it was possible, for some at least, to attain that life which to the mediaeval mind was beyond question the highest, are overshadowed by the moment in which they fell. With that’ fall questions are connected round which historians have joined in what may seem a battle incapable of ending. Whether the suppression of the monasteries was just or necessary, whether they had degenerated, whether their downfall represents only the achievement of one despotic will, defending itself by purchased lies and winning acquiescence by wholesale corruption, are questions which still bulk large. No student of monastic life and history can ignore them; each is in some measure bound to regard his work as a contribution towards their solution. [Continue reading]