Saint Fulbert of Chartres (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Fulbert was founder of the cathedral school at Chartres, whose curriculum was based on the seven liberal arts, thus producing the twelfth century renaissance and Christian humanism.
The eleventh century must be characterized as a time of religious zeal and reform. The much-needed reform arose from the era of the “pornographic papacy,” as historians have sometimes referred to the tenth century Church. The reform spirit created, in the minds of many, a strong commitment to support traditional theology, monastic conservatism, and the founding of such reforming movements as the Cluniac and later the Cistercian. At the same time, new knowledge from the Arabic world, particularly Spain, and the secular demands of both political and urban revival recommended the use of reason to treat the realities of the world. This viewpoint created a dynamic tension in the eleventh century and introduced several problems that would occupy intellectual life for the next two centuries. No school was more deeply involved in this debate than the one at Chartres, founded by Fulbert.
The eleventh century thus marks the awakening of the medieval mind. The first person in the history of this awakening was Gerbert of Aurillac, who taught at the cathedral school at Reims around 972; he reigned as Pope Sylvester II until his death in 1003. In his acceptance of the dialectical method, his interest in...
(The entire section is 1855 words.)
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