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1100 - 1200 AD


from a perspective of women in the Church


 

Timeline

before Christ
0-100 AD
100-200
200-300
300-400
400-500
500-600
600-700
700-800
800-900
900-1000
1000-1100
1100-1200
1200-1300
1300-1400
1400-1500
1500-1600
1600-1700
1700-1800
1800-1900
1900-1950
1950-2000
2000-2050

This century saw the emergence of the new Christian order in Europe. Cathedrals were built at the centre of cities. The intellectual infrastructure of the Church through medieval art, theology and church law found a new distinctive .

One of the most gifted thinkers of the time was Peter Abelard (1079-1142). He is known for his philosophical treatises but also for falling in love with beautiful Héloise. Her family opposed their marriage. The crude morality of the time is well demonstrated in what happened when Héloise became pregnant.

"Violently incensed, they laid a plot against me, and one night while I all unsuspecting was asleep in a secret room in my lodgings, they broke in with the help of one of my servants whom they had bribed. There they had vengeance on me with a most cruel and most shameful punishment, such as astounded the whole world; for they cut off those parts of my body with which I had done that which was the cause of their sorrow." Peter Abelard, Historia Calamitatum.

Héloise was forced to live the rest of her life as a nun.

The Bodleian  Codex  (1132 AD), containing the rite for the ordination of a woman deacon, was made for the monastery of the Holy Redeemer in Messina, Sicily, and remained in continuous use there until at least the 16th century.






 

 

The emergence of Church Law

Starting from Gratian, theologians and Church lawyers begin to compose a body (Corpus) of laws pertaining to the whole Church. These laws were often culled from local Synods of previous centuries and decrees by popes and bishops. Unfortunately, they contained many marked cultural prejudice against women.

1140
Earliest Church law book. Gratian compiled Church laws (‘canons’) from all available sources. The collection became known as the Decretum Gratiani.
1114-1148
Wrote a ‘Summa’on Church law
1148
He wrote his Stromata (=Commentaries on Laws) in Bologna in 1148 AD. It is basically a commentary on Gratian's Law Book.
1157-1159
His Summa Decretorum became a normative source for later Church lawyers.
1179-1181
Wrote his Summa Decretorum
1188
Wrote a commentary on Church law, his Summa

 

The theme of Mary’s priestly dignity
1100 - 1200

The sermons of St Bernard of Clairvaux stimulated devotion for the Mother of the Saviour. His 'Praises of the Virgin Mother' were very polular. Bernard reintroduced the notion of Mary's priesthood from the early Fathers. One of his principles was: “God has wanted that we obtain nothing if not through the hands of Mary.”.

1090-1153
His writing helped to spark off the devotion to Mary Priest in the West.

Women's Emancipation 1100 - 1200

From this century on, European women began to claim their rightful place in society.

It can be seen in the emergence of women who were scholars and writers, in women who were involved in leadership functions and in women who refused to accept the reduced role forced on them by culture and the Church.

It was going to be a long process . . .

1100
Contains for provisions for widows

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1098-1179
Abbess. Author of major works of theology and visionary writings.

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1130-1195
Abbess. Author of the pictorial Hortus Deliciarum (Garden of Delights), a massive illustrated encyclopedia.

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The star rating indicates the importance
for the advance of women