This is the assignment page for the topic "Church Reform and the Struggle for European Cultural Leadership" for J. B. Owens's sections of the lower-division undergraduate course, History 101, Foundation of Western Civilization. The sole purpose of this page and all of the pages linked to it is to provide an orientation for those students enrolled in History 101.

You may return to the course main page or to the course syllabus.

Church Reform and the Struggle for European Cultural Leadership

ID: Peace Movement, Cluny (910), Duke William of Aquitaine, Cluniac, Santiago, St. James the Greater (d. ca. 44 C.E.), Zaragoza, St. James the Lesser (d. ca. 62 C.E.), Marian devotions, College of Cardinals (1059), Investiture Conflict, Pope Gregory VII/Hildebrand (r. 1073-1085), Emperor Henry IV (r. 1056-1106), Concordat of Worms (1122)

  1. How was the Church reformed in the 10th and 11th centuries?
  2. Why did the pilgrimage to Santiago become such an important part of Latin Christian devotional practice?
  3. In what ways did its leaders seek to increase the influence of the Latin-Rite Church during the Central Middle Ages (1000-1300)?
  4. Why did the papacy come into conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor in the latter part of the 11th century?
  5. Why did Hildebrand initiate the Investiture Conflict when he became Pope?
  6. Why did the Emperor Henry IV stress to the Pope that both monarchs and bishops were called to their positions by God?
  7. Why did Pope Gregory VII argue that the origin of the existing monarchies was "pride, plunder, treachery, murder--in short, ...every kind of crime--at the instigation of the Devil..."?
  8. Why was the Cluniac reform movement so successful?
  9. Why were the cloistered monks of the Cluniac reform able to gain such tremendous influence in the 10th and 11th centuries?


Kishlansky, 168-169, 186-189 ("The Universal States: Empire and Papacy"); Owens, ch. 6 ("Church Reform and the Struggle for European Cultural Leadership" until the section "The Christian Empire"); Emperor Henry IV [r. 1056-1106], "Letter to Gregory VII" (24 January 1076) at the URL: []; Pope Gregory VII [r. 1073-1085], Bans of 1078 and 1080 on lay investitures at the URL: []; Pope Gregory VII, "Second Banning and Dethronement of Henry IV (7 March 1080) at the URL: []. Be sure to make a photocopy of each of these online resources so that you will have it available in class.

By all means take a look at El Camino de Santiago. Ranked as one of the top 5% of WWW sites, it contains a mine of images and information about the Pilgrimage to Santiago and about the period in general.

Mail question and comments to (owenjack- at, or send a message now.

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J. B. Owens
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Revised: 11 May 2006