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Spirituality and social change

The attempt to both define and understand reform in the later tenth and eleventh centuries is the chief ambition of this book. The book explores ecclesiastical reform as a religious idea and a movement against the backdrop of social and religious change in later tenth- and eleventh-century Europe. In so doing, it seeks, on the one hand, to place the relationship between reform and the papacy in the context of the debate about 'transformation' in its many and varied forms. At the same time, although recognizing that the reform movement had its origins as much in individuals and events far away from Rome and royal courts, it has looked to act as something of a corrective to the recent tendency among historians of emphasizing reform developments in other localities at the expense of those being undertaken in Rome. The book addresses 'the religious revolution of the eleventh century' by exploring how reform and the papacy developed in the eleventh century, and how these changes affected the rules by which medieval society functioned. Particular attention is paid to the question of whether the 'peace of God' movement was a social revolution that progressively blurred into and merged with the papal-sponsored movement for reform, which was gathering pace from the middle of the century, or whether these forces were deliberately compacted by the reformers in their efforts to promote their vision for Christian society.

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The Papal Inquisition in Modena, 1598–1638

This book explores two areas of interest: the Papal Inquisition in Modena and the status of Jews in an early modern Italian duchy. Its purpose is to deepen existing insights into the role of the former and thus lead to a better understanding of how an Inquisitorial court assumed jurisdiction over a practising Jewish community in the seventeenth century. The book highlights one specific aspect of the history of the Jews in Italy: the trials of professing Jews before the Papal Inquisition at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Inquisitorial processi against professing Jews provide the earliest known evidence of a branch of the Papal Inquisition taking judicial actions against Jews on an unprecedented scale and attempting systematically to discipline a Jewish community, pursuing this aim for several centuries. The book focuses on Inquisitorial activity during the first 40 years of the history of the tribunal in Modena, from 1598 to 1638, the year of the Jews' enclosure in the ghetto, the period which historians have argued was the most active in the Inquisition's history. It argues that trials of the two groups are different because the ecclesiastical tribunals viewed conversos as heretics but Jews as infidels. The book emphasizes the fundamental disparity in Inquisitorial procedure regarding Jews, as well as the evidence examined, especially in Modena. This was where the Duke uses the detailed testimony to be found in Inquisitorial trial transcripts to analyse Jewish interaction with Christian society in an early modern community.

Egalitarianism and elitism
John Carter Wood

The Oldham group had as a goal a society of free and responsible persons in service to God and their fellows. Its participants saw Britain as an amoral ‘plutocracy’ that betrayed the nation’s Christian traditions, and they urged changes in the economy and in society to encourage ‘social justice’. Breaking the power of ‘privilege’ was thus a prerequisite for a more Christian society. From such priorities came a strong egalitarian commitment to reducing disparities in wealth and opportunity. On the other hand, the group saw in the

in This is your hour
Hincmar in the crisis of 875
Clémentine Bernard-Valette

fides and pax is very clear. Fidelity is the means which leads to the end, that is to say, peace. 50 In reality, in this treatise we see taking shape between the lines the idea of a Christian society which has everything to lose in these internal conflicts. Hincmar says: ‘Let us, bishops and magnates of the king, according to our ordines , observe in the doctrine or examples of the forefathers what we should follow and what we should avoid.’ 51 In this sentence, the bishops and the magnates unite to find the right means of action. The

in Hincmar of Rheims
Abstract only
Hincmar’s world
Rachel Stone

The many works written by Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims are inextricably intertwined with his own life history. Hincmar did not write in a vacuum but in response to events, attempting through these to re-order the world to suit his vision of a Christian society. This introductory chapter therefore focuses on his biography, from his days as a promising student at St-Denis through to his death while escaping from Viking raiders. It outlines the different networks within which Hincmar worked, discussing his interactions with the clerics of his own diocese, with kings and other laymen, and with popes, especially Nicholas I. It also demonstrates how long-standing and intractable many of his disputes were. The chapter also highlights recurring themes in the book, such as Hincmar’s working practices and the intensely personal nature of political culture. Hincmar appears within a wider context of scholarly men in the ninth century “fighting with words” and trying to establish social norms by appeals to varied authorities. Finally, Hincmar’s legacy is briefly considered, especially how he has shaped historians’ view of the early Middle Ages.

in Hincmar of Rheims
Abstract only
Kathleen G. Cushing

largely on polemic and indeed rhetoric that was aspirational in nature. The necessity of continually reiterating the prohibitions against simony, clerical marriage and lay investiture throughout the eleventh century and beyond, and even the increasingly strident rhetoric itself, may imply a less-than- decisive victory. It thus may provide evidence of the strong desire to promote change, rather than real change itself. It therefore needs to be acknowledged that, on one very important level, the reform of the Church and Christian society in the eleventh century tells us

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century
Freedom, democracy and liberalism
John Carter Wood

must protect democratic institutions that had subjected political power to principles of justice. 45 Democracy and the freedoms of expression and association were at the heart of Murry’s vision of ‘the free society’. 46 However, liberal freedoms alone were neither a bulwark against totalitarianism nor a route to a Christian society. Political freedoms were seen as insufficient without social justice and a consensus on the purpose of freedom. Civil liberties were, Oldham stressed, only ‘half the picture’, and weakened by poverty and inequality. 47 Baillie agreed

in This is your hour
Abstract only
John Carter Wood

: despite a few key dissenters, the group adopted a vision of ‘planning’ combined with large regions of free and ‘spontaneous’ social interaction. No detailed blueprint of a Christian society emerged, but a group consensus was defined by various ‘middle ways’ that steered a course amid the age’s extremes. • Group members rejected a secularised ‘liberal’ theology that reduced faith to ethics and sought the Kingdom on earth as well as a ‘continental’ Protestantism that drew a

in This is your hour
Kathleen G. Cushing

invariably included a depreciation of the coniugati as the lowest state in the sexual–moral hierarchy, well behind the continent and the virgins. The reformers’ rhetoric, as has been discussed, was accompanied by increasing accusations of sexual misconduct, more frequent allegations of both spiritual and genealogical incest, and at the same time an increasing exaltation of chastity, continence, asceticism and even spiritual marriage. The reformers undoubtedly believed that these new values were in the best interests of Christian society. Yet, as Moore notes, what they

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century
Kathleen G. Cushing

the need to view reform over the longue durée and in the appropriate context. However much reform initiatives may have been promulgated as proscriptive or normative measures, that is, as establishing uniformly binding and enforceable laws, in reality they were prescriptive measures, advocating certain standards of practice. Like much canon law, reform initiatives were thus an idealized vision of what the reformers aspired to achieve for the Church and by extension for Christian society, rather than being immediately binding laws. But how are we to account for

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century