Christianity in the Early Medieval Period





Document Type

Book Chapter


DOI: 10.4324/9781315537627-18


This chapter explores several features of early medieval Christianity: the fall of the Roman Empire in the West and its restoration by the popes as the “Holy Roman Empire”; the further development of monasticism; and the evolution of the papacy. It examines some of the cultural contributions of this period and some of its major theological figures. The end of the ancient Roman Empire in the West was marked by great movements of peoples. On Christmas Day 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne, who had already styled himself “king of the Franks and of the Lombards,” as “emperor of the Romans,” thereby restoring the Roman imperial title in the West, despite the strong disapproval of the Byzantines. Christian monasticism originated in the early Christian period after persecution ended and the Roman Empire became Christian. In the East, the emperor had authority over the patriarchs even to the point of calling councils and prescribing solutions to doctrinal.

Published in

The Christian Theological Tradition, 4th ed.

Citation/Other Information

Joncas, Fr. (Jan) Michael. “Christianity in the Early Medieval Period.” In The Christian Theological Tradition, 259–275. 4th ed. Routledge, 2020.

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