This session deals with perceptions of the gulf separating East and West as well as cross cultural exchanges and dialogues that either define or break down their respective constructions of identity.
This paper explores how the architectural expression of orthodoxy in the Eastern churches was transferred to Europe before the Crusades and then reinforced through the Crusaders’ adoption of the triple-apsed east end ‘in the Syrian Taste’ in the Holy Land. Previously, I have shown how it can be deduced from the archaeological remains of churches from the 4th-6th century that early church architecture was influenced by the theological ideas of the period. It is proposed that the Eastern Orthodox approach to church architecture as adopted by the Crusaders paralleled the evolution of medieval theology in Europe and can be seen as its legitimate expression.
The reasons and dating of the divisions between Christian Greek East and Latin West, which involve differences about the nature of the Church and the doctrine of God, have proved elusive.
My paper will locate the origins of the East-West division in the 7th century and in the so-called Monenergist controversy. In dealing with the question of how the 7th-century orthodoxy-heresy struggles dealt a blow to the unity between the Latin West and Greek East, I shall concentrate upon the theologian that both East and West have come to acknowledge as the most significant for that age, Maximus the Confessor, and show how these issues may be appreciated through an analysis of his work.
Recent scholarship into 11th-century texts such as the Letter of Héribert and the sermons of Adémar of Chabannes has done much to revive the notion that the ‘heretics’ of 11th-century France were proselytized by Bogomil missionaries from the Byzantine Empire. This scholarship has pointed toward superficial similarities between the western ‘heretics’ described and the Bogomils, and toward the language used in polemics against the new religious movements as evidence of their connection. I intend to propose that these similarities cannot be taken as prima facie evidence of a connection. They may, rather, constitute evidence of a different kind of influence – that of visiting Orthodox monks on the reporting of reformist movements by their Catholic brethren.