Ecclesiology and Evangelism
This chapter chronicles the struggle of early twelfth-century churchmen in making sense of the definition and place of secular activities; the tension between a universal community and an unblemished one; the sense of living through significant events of salvation history rather than after them, and the corresponding need to fashion the present according to the demands of scriptural past and future. Canonial movements sought a more active component to the regular life and thus worked to dismantle incompatibilities between the cloister and ministry. New groups emerged around a variety of approaches to “living well,” defined broadly as living in imitation of the apostles. It had become necessary for the clergy to demonstrate that while secular engagement would not disrupt the peace of the church, conveyance of the true peace to the world must be a disruptive process that exploited secular instruments such as carnal seduction, emotional assault, and physical force.
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