Chapter

Avarice and the Apocalypse

Richard Newhauser

in The Apocalyptic Year 1000

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161625
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849666 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161625.003.0006
Avarice and the Apocalypse

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Reflecting on the history of the church and the stage of its turmoil in the 12th century, Gerhoh of Reichersberg found it necessary to draw on the language of the Apocalypse in describing the conflict between imperial rule and the power of the ecclesia. In his major analysis of the stages of development of the church's history, Gerhoh characterized the final, apocalyptic stage in which he himself lived as dominated by greedy behavior. The previous watch was presided over by the popes, from Gregory the Great to Gregory VII. It is clear that before the year 1000, the time of the Antichrist was understood to be a period during which there would be widespread sinfulness in general. It was to be, as Adso, abbot of Montier-en-Der, wrote in his letter on the Antichrist, a period in which the wicked would be exalted and the apocalyptic perverter of divinity would teach the “vices opposed to the virtues”.

Keywords: history; church; Gerhoh of Reichersberg; Apocalypse; ecclesia; Gregory the Great; Gregory VII; Adso; Antichrist

Chapter.  5916 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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