Laity, laicisation and Philip the Fair of France
in Law, laity and solidarities
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This chapter explores the appropriateness of distinguishing sharply between lay (or secular and temporal) and clerical (or ecclesiastical) as it attempts to comprehend the ideas and activities of the people of medieval and early modern Europe. With historians of sixteenth-century France and Victorian England emphasising the dangers of drawing neat distinctions between lay and ecclesiastical and between the sacred and the secular, it considers the possibility that historians of the Middle Ages should also eschew such divisions. In examining this issue the chapter first considers Susan Reynolds's own approach to lay activity and ideas, and turns to Joseph R. Strayer's hypotheses concerning the laicisation of society and government in the Middle Ages. It also offers the author's own appraisal of the relationship between lay and ecclesiastical, church and state, and secular and sacred, focusing on the reign of Philip the Fair.

Law, laity and solidarities

Essays in honour of Susan Reynolds

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