Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jonathan Riley-Smith on the 11th c. reformation

The prominent Crusade historian in a 1993 interview at the Christianity Today Library:

In Europe today, if you drive five miles along any road, you will probably find two churches. Nearly all of those churches are built on eleventh- and twelfth-century foundations. Previously, there might have been one church every twenty miles, from which priests would go out to serve the sacraments. Eleventh-century reformers believed religion should be taken into the villages, and this evangelizing drive resulted in a great building program. This burst of construction ranks with anything the Roman Empire did. Someone in 1032 said, “France is becoming white with churches.”

2 comments:

  1. "Someone" was Raoul Glaber, famous French chronicle-writing nutter, but I guess JRS thought that would mean nothing to his audience. Suddenly the reform is all over the Internet. Why do these things always crop up in bundles?

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  2. I once read -- or rather perused -- all of Glaber for a paleography class.

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