Volume III - Church History

Ninth Century

The West

Generally speaking, the 9th century was one of the most significant centuries in Church history. It was a period of renaissance in the East after 843, while in the West it was one of increasing centralization around the Roman Papacy, especially through the efforts of Pope Nicholas I. The most important theologian in the West in this century was John Scot Erigena (d. 877), who brought the strong influence of the Eastern theology of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite and Saint Maximus the Confessor into the Western Church. However, he interpreted the mystical writings attributed to Saint Dionysius along Neo-Platonic lines.