History of the Church in the Middle Ages

This unit provides an accurate understanding of the key aspects of medieval Church history within its broader social, cultural and political settings, enabling appreciation of a wider historical context surrounding other theological studies. It studies Charlemagne and the emergence of the Holy Roman Empire in the West; political and social change and their effects on the Church; the struggle to develop the papal monarchy in the West; changing and New Religious Orders and movements; the Twelfth-Century Renaissance; the Church Militant: crusades, heresy and dissent, the Inquisition; the disintegration of medieval Christendom: renewed Church-State clashes, the Avignon papacy, the Great Schism, and the Conciliarists; and popular religion, practices and devotion.

Study Level



Humanities in the Christian Tradition

Sub Discipline

Church History

Credit Points



9 credit points in Church History at 7100 level.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to

  1. analyse definitive aspects of the Medieval Church within a broader social, cultural and political setting
  2. demonstrate solid knowledge of political and social events and changes which took place in the Middle Ages
  3. exercise critical skills in interpretation of primary sources, especially as they apply to the Church
  4. investigate the significance of Church developments within the context of Medieval Christendom
  5. relate the importance of the Church in the development of European history
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