Principal Professor Gareth Jones introduces the two main Christian movements that will be studied in the College’s next study trip to Europe.

The Cathars

The Cathars, whose name means the ‘Pure Ones’, were one of the most fascinating, unusual, and in the end tragic of all Christian movements in the medieval Church.

Catharism emerged out of eastern Europe in the mid-12th century, moving from Bulgaria across the Balkans and eventually into the mountains and foothills of northern Italy and southern France. It was very popular with ordinary village and town people because it emphasised good conduct, simple spirituality which was easily practised, and pious services and observations that could be followed straightforwardly, unlike the Latin rites of the Catholic Church.