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R3 CHURCH HISTORY 4fb16c8b-58ec-47d1-adbf-fb589378a4e7.rtf CHAPTER 6 Growth in a Crumbling Empire: Spreading the Faith, Bringing Order to Chaos Major Concepts A. A Picture of Christian Life: In the early Dark Ages, uncertain fate and conditions gave people a strong sense of God as ruler. Eucharistic worship was central to Christian life, the Mass was fairly standardized, and the veneration of saints became increasingly important in worship and the liturgy. Requirements for the priesthood became stricter, but celibacy remained optional, and priests were often chosen by local people or rulers. B. The Political Scene, West and East: Late in the fifth century, the Western empire fell to barbarian invasion and split into two major kingdoms-the Franks in the north and the Goths in the south. When Clovis, leader of the Franks, converted to Christianity, his soldiers and subjects converted as well, hastening the rise of Christendom in the West. In the Eastern empire, Justinian strongly ruled both church and state. He was responsible for the persecution of Jews and other non-Christians but also left behind the Justinian Code and the magnificent Hagia Sophia Church. C. The Monasteries: While political and economic chaos prevailed in the wider world, monasteries rose as centers of learning, faith, and social organization. Throughout Ireland, Patrick established monasteries where monks introduced people to reading, writing, and Christianity; this missionary method later spread to Europe. Also in Ireland, Brigid founded many women's monastic communities and the double monastery, for men and women, at Kildare. At Monte Cassino in Italy, Benedict wrote a rule that became the guide for life and discipline in religious communities throughout the Western world. D. Gregory the Great: When disease and natural disaster hit Rome in 590, the people there elected Gregory, a monk and former prefect, as pope. A versatile and able leader, Gregory fed the poor, helped rebuild Rome, encouraged education for the clergy, had church music recorded into a written system, and dealt with barbarian tribes. Gregory's most distinctive missionary work involved sending monks to Britain to convert the Angles and Saxons. E. A New Threat: In the late 500s and early 600s, Muhammad founded the religion Islam and taught that Muslims honor the one God, Allah, by spreading Islam everywhere. By the mid-700s, Muslim conquerors ruled most of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. The Frankish leader Charles Martel stopped Islam from spreading over Europe, but the Mediterranean remained under Muslim control, and trade between the West and Constantinople was destroyed.
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