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

Anselm of Canterbury and His Work

Adam Cleghorn Welch [1864-1943], Anselm and His WorkAnselm, bishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109, is probably best remembered for his work Cur Deus Homo?Why Did God Become Man? In it he attempted to explain the atonement in terms of the medieval feudal system. Adam Welch makes clear his significance in church history, noting that he is even credited as the father of Scholaticism by some scholars. This title is in the public domain.

Adam Cleghorn Welch [1864-1943], Anselm and His Work. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1901. Hbk. pp.251. [Click to visit the download page]

Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  1. The Val D’Aosta: 1033 or 1034-1057
  2. Sainte Marie de Bec: 1034
  3. Monk, Prior, and Abbot: 1059-1092
  4. The Monologium and Proslogium
  5. The Church in England: 1062-1087
  6. Election as Archbishop: 1092-1093
  7. Rockingham: 1093-1095
  8. The Rupture at Winchester: 1095-1097
  9. The First Exile and “Cur Deus Homo”: 1097-1098
  10. Councils of Bari and Rome: 1098-1100
  11. The Investiture Question – Anselm and Beauclerk: 1100-1103
  12. The Concordat: 1103-1107
  13. Conclusion: 1107-1109
  • Index

Introduction

Europe in the early half of that eleventh century into which Anselm was born was renewing itself under the influence of a quickened religious spirit. Christianity in the Western world had two great outward struggles with paganism, the first with a paganism which was already in possession and was rich in the accumulated treasures of an older civilisation, the second with a paganism which sought to repossess itself of Europe and to overwhelm in barbarism the new order almost before it had struck root. The early incursions which broke down the Roman Empire had hardly been survived, and their influence had not been assimilated, before an equally heavy storm burst upon the West. The Avars from Asia, ever fertile of men, thrust themselves into the centre of Europe, and wasting everything on their way penetrated through Austria….