chapter  12
The age of the papacy
Pages 16

The earliest Christians were themselves constructing the idea of the church, in an effort to win acceptance, or at least tolerance from non-Christians. The so-called 'apologists' constructed arguments to justify and defend the faith against the arguments of its critics. One might expect negative constructions of the medieval church during movements such as the Renaissance or the Reformation. Petrarch's image of the church's 'Babylonian captivity' during the Avignon papacy was picked up by Martin Luther and other reformers. The feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s have led to more interest in the role of women in church history. Even before scientists took to offering evidential proofs concerning the origins of the universe, the Dominican friar Thomas Aquinas and his Franciscan contemporary Bonaventure attempted, through the force of reason alone, to prove that God's creation of the eternal universe was at least logically possible.