Kathleen G. Cushing
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‘Reforming’ the papacy
in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century
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Many elements and individuals contributed to the emergence of the papacy as the indisputable leader of the Church, and in many ways leader also of the Latin West, during the course of the eleventh century. Throughout the course of the eleventh century, the papacy underwent nothing short of a phenomenal transformation. Various developments contributed both to the elucidation and amplification of papal authority in the early middle ages. The elevation of Bishop Bruno of Toul as Pope Leo IX on 12 February 1049 has long been seen as the decisive moment in the fortunes of both the papacy and the movement for ecclesiastical reform. Just as important as the theoretical and practical articulations of papal authority during the eleventh century were the changes in administrative practices, even if it is anachronistic to speak of a 'papal government' before the twelfth century.

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Reform and papacy in the eleventh century

Spirituality and social change


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