Year 7

The Great Schism

I can explain why the Christian Church split in two in 1054.

Year 7

The Great Schism

I can explain why the Christian Church split in two in 1054.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Some of the disputes resulted in the location and relative isolation of the two centres of Christianity.
  2. There were liturgical disputes between different members of the Church.
  3. One dispute concerned the nature of the Holy Spirit.
  4. These disputes resulted in the Church splitting into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
  5. The 1054 Schism could be regarded as a transformational change.

Common misconception

Christianity is a single religion.

There are more than 45 000 different Christian denominations around the world today: although most of them believe the same fundamental things, there are stark differences between many of them.


  • Church - the Church is the organisation of the Christian religion

  • Holy Spirit - in Christianity, the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of God in the world

  • Liturgy - liturgy means the form in which worship is conducted

  • Schism - a schism is a split between strongly opposed parties

At the beginning of the lesson, shows students images of videos of Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church services and ask them to record similarities and differences in order to gain an appreciation of the two denominations.
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6 Questions

During which Roman Emperor's reign was the persecution of Christians ended?
Correct answer: Constantine
Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire eastwards to the city of , which he renamed Constantinople.
Correct Answer: Byzantium, byzantium
The name for the organisation that oversaw the Christian religion is the ...
Correct Answer: Church
The Bishop of Rome is also called the ...
Correct Answer: pope, Pope
Which statement best describes Christianity in Western and Eastern Europe during the Early Middle Ages?
Correct answer: Christianity was broadly the same in the East and West, with some differences.
Christianity was exactly the same in the East and West, with no differences.
Christianity was totally different in the East and West, with many differences.
The Byzantine Empire considered themselves to be ...
Correct answer: Greek

6 Questions

In Western Europe the most important bishop was the Bishop of ...
Correct Answer: Rome, rome
In the east, important bishops were known as ...
Correct Answer: patriarchs, Patriarchs
Which of these best describes the way the Church was led?
Correct answer: The pope controlled the Western Church himself.
In the west, the pope shared his power with other bishops.
Correct answer: In the east, the patriarchs worked together.
In the east, there was one dominant patriarch.
In the 7th century only the Patriarch of __________ was left.
Correct answer: Constantinople
Which of these statements is correct?
Correct answer: The Eastern Church used Greek in its services.
The Eastern Church used Latin in its services.
The Western Church used Greek in its services.
Correct answer: The Western Church used Latin in its services.
The formal splitting of the two Churches was known as the 'Great '.
Correct Answer: Schism, schism

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