There is something very appropriate, even Biblical, about stringing up lights to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world and leads us out of both spiritual and moral darkness.
This class covers events including monastic reform at Cluny, the Investiture Controversy and the standoff between Hildebrand and Henry IV at Canossa. We also discuss the deepening division of Eastern and Western branches of the church that led to the Schism of 1054.
To be a Christian is to be with Jesus, and Jesus promised not to leave us as orphans even though he was going to the right hand of the Father in heaven. The coming of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of that promise, so that we can have Jesus with us even now.
Three factors played a part in shaping the contours of the medieval church: the decline and fall of the Roman Empire; the migration of barbarian (Germanic) tribes on Rome's northern border; and the civilization-preserving role of monasticism.