Wall Hanging Renaissance Cross
Intricate Wall Hanging Christian Cross
This Renaissance Cross is a symbolic representation of the emergence
of Christianity as a world religion. With a traditional
renaissance charm, this classic 15th century motif portrays Christ in
his risen form, inspiring hope of redemption for all mankind. His hands
rest on a heart that throbs compassion for the sufferings of humanity as
his arms lift in offering of redemptive wisdom. Constructed from
cultured marble, this stunning wall hanging Renaissance Cross measures 15" high and
weighs approximately 4 lbs.
History Of Christianity During The Renaissance
Dissent and concern over the condition of the church are evidence of
the strength, not the weakness, of religion. Christianity during the
Renaissance presents a contradiction: Although the institution of the
Roman Catholic Church was in decay, there was extraordinary religious
fervor in every part of Europe. Preachers, such as the highly popular
Girolamo Savonarola of Florence, called on sinners to repent and enjoyed
great success in Italy. A mystical religious movement that drew, in
part, from the teachings of German mystic Meister Eckhart flourished in
the portion of western Germany known as the Rhineland. Its members
sought direct revelations from God without the church as an
intermediary. In the Low Countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the
Netherlands a movement known as the devotio moderna emphasized
individual and practical faith, a contrast with the more communal and
metaphysical faith of the Catholic Church.
These teachings spread through schools and gained public attention through The Imitation of Christ (approximately 1424), a highly influential work usually attributed to Thomas à Kempis, a German monk and writer. Eager laymen built churches and chapels, and new devotional exercises—such as the stations of the cross and prayers using the rosary—became popular. With the introduction of the printing press in Europe during the 15th century, religious books were produced by the millions, and they found a ready market.
The increase in popular devotion posed a threat to traditional religion, especially when the prestige of church officials was low and they seemed incapable of, or uninterested in, close supervision of the faithful. Popular heretical movements emerged and challenged papal authority. These movements proposed, in varying degrees, to do away with the church as an institution. In the 14th century, British philosopher and reformer John Wycliffe and his counterpart in Bohemia, Jan Hus, formalized these attacks on church authority in their teachings and writings.
Heretics remained a small minority, however, and a variety of reformers who hoped to change the existing church were far more characteristic of the Renaissance. Theologians such as Jean de Gerson, who was particularly influential at the University of Paris in the early 15th century, supported conciliar theory, which aimed at reforming the Roman Catholic Church by placing supreme authority in a general council rather than in the papacy. Mystics preferred to deepen the religious life of individuals, while many humanists hoped to reform Christian society by relying on education rather than on religious faith.
The Renaissance also encouraged practical reformers. As papal legate (official representative of the pope) to Germany in the mid-15th century, Nicholas of Cusa pursued a vigorous reform campaign directed particularly at monks who had violated their monastic vows. The monasteries in Paris also underwent significant reform in the early decades of the 16th century. Most successful of all was the work of Cardinal Ximenes, the leading church figure of Spain in the early 16th century. He set standards for qualifications, training, and discipline for the Spanish clergy. Such reforms were by no means universal, and the visible condition of the church continued to bring widespread demands for reform. The religious history of the Renaissance reveals both weakness and vigor. People of this era expressed discontent with the actual state of the church, but they also expressed hope for improvement.