Damian’s Social Theology

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Such was the historical context in which Damian and the early reformers lived. The monastic world was promoting an ideology that encouraged action in the present for the future, the papacy was responding to a call for reform, and the intellectual world was bursting through the chains of lethargy with invigorating creativity. Damian contributed to all these spheres of activity. There was a unity among these spheres that is often difficult for modern society with all its diversity to grasp. In times of intense change, however, medieval society repeatedly reinforced the basic unity it believed was necessary for its eschatological end. The eleventh century was one of those times, and Damian was one of the first to realize the need for adjustment. Pandora was indeed out of the box in the intellectual sphere, and society must try to encourage her, not silence her. Once she is accepted the threat of disunity disappears, and Pandora becomes one with the rest of society.


Intellectual Activity Twelfth Century Eleventh Century Secular World Hammer Blow 
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    See Colin Phipps, “Romuald—Model Hermit: Eremitical Theory in Saint Peter Damian’s Vita Beati Romualdi, chapters 16–27,” in Monks, Hermits and the Ascetic Tradition, ed. W. J. Sheils (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985), pp. 65–77.Google Scholar
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© Patricia Ranft 2006

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