New Religious Order

of the Middle Ages time period

Religious Orders that impacted the Middle Ages

Cistercian Order

They ate a single diet, were strict, and owned a single robe. Was founded in 1098 by a group of monks, unhappy with the lack of discipline at their monastery. The Cistercian developed a new activistic spiritual model for 12th century Europe.
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The Franciscan Order

The Franciscans were founded by Saint Francis. Francis having been captured, and enduring religious "experiences", decided to abandon all materials and to seek out a minimalistic life through preaching and a life of poverty. All Franciscans vowed to take a life of poverty and agreeing to reject all property. They preached repentance and aided the poor.

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The Dominican Order

Was founded by Dominic de Guzman, a Spanish priest. Dominic's goal was to defend church teachings from heresy. He believed that men who lived lives of poverty and were capable of preaching effectively would best be able to attack heresy.
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The Inquisition

The church's desire to discover and deal with heretics led to the creation of a court called the Inquisition. The job of this court was to find and try heretics. The Dominicans became well known for their roles as examiners of people suspected of heresy.
If an accused heretic confessed they would be forced to perform public penance and were subjected to punishment.
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Suspected heretics being burned at the stake.
Medieval Europe: Religion In Medieval Europe

Importance of Women in Religion

Most nuns were from the ranks of the landed aristocracy. Most educated women in the middle ages were nuns and were all within convents or a group of nuns under control by one superior. A nun by the name Hildegard of Bingen who became the leader of a religious house in Germany and was also one of the first female composers and she greatly contributed her skill to the fabrication of the Gregorian Chant.



If you would like to learn more about Hildegard of Bingen and the importance women played in religion in the middle ages click the link.

Religion in the Middle Ages

Popular Religion

To ordinary people the sacraments of the Catholic church were central. Rites such as marriage, baptism, and the Eucharist (communion) made the church a crucial part of peoples lives. These sacraments were necessary for salvation and were seen as means for receiving God's grace. Church practices were also important to ordinary people. Such practices included the Veneration of Saints. Saints were men and women who were considered especially important and had achieved a special position in heaven.
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Essential Questions

(1) What is the "Inquisition", why is it so important, what role did it play and how?


(2) Why were most educated women in the middle ages nuns? What role did they play in society and for what purpose?


Bibliography