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St. James’ Sunday Study Group Lectures
June 21, 2020 @ 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Corruption and the Beginnings of Reform
Lecture # 35
June 14, 2020 11:45 am. To 1:00 pm.
Throughout its history, Christianity has had the ability to generate reform movements based on the conviction that its high ideals were being compromised by actual practice. Early monasticism, for example, can be seen as a form of organized resistance to what the monks perceived to be the compromised position of the church after Christianity became the imperial religion. Later, such popes as Gregory VII and Innocent III worked for the reform of the clergy and fought the practice of simony. In this lecture, however, we consider the sort of corruption those reforms could not touch: the deep and systemic dysfunction in late-medieval Christianity and the first efforts at structural—as distinct from moral—reform.