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The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 (MART: The Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching) [Paperback]

By Brian Tierney (Author)
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Item description for The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 (MART: The Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching) by Brian Tierney...

A clear narrative that presents and interprets the major documents of the centuries-long struggle between kings and popes of medieval Europe over the separation of church and state.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: University of Toronto Press
Pages   210
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.18" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.63"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 1988
Publisher   University of Toronto Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0802067018  
ISBN13  9780802067012  

Availability  8 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 04:01.
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More About Brian Tierney

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Brian Tierney is Professor of Medieval History at Cornell University.


Brian Tierney has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Emory University Studies in Law and Religion (Eerdmans)
  2. Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > World > Medieval
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 (MART: The Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching)?

A Careful Examination of the Medieval Catholic Church vs. The Authority of the Secular Rulers  Aug 10, 2006
Brian Tierney's THE CRISIS OF CHURCH AND STATE: 1050-1300 is an interesting study of the struggle between European secular rulers and the Catholic authroities for control of the "Universal Church" (the Catholic Church). This struggle was basically a poltical affair in which men on both sides added religious arguemtns to bolster their case. This is not to say that some of these men were not motivated by religion.

Readers should realize that contemporary definitions of separation of church and state did not exist in the Middle Ages. There were divisions, but these were narrowly defined. However, due to these struggles the Catholic authorities were gradually able to free themselves from secular control which was the beginning of separation of church and state.

Tierney begins this study with early Catholic sources definning the relationship between political authority and the status of Catholics. He cites St. Augustine's (346-420 AD) THE CITY OF GOD in which St. Augustine considers state authority as a necessary evil due to Man's sinful nature. Tierney's explanation and comments are clear and accurate.

Tierney next examines the internal control of the Catholic Church. One should note that until the 11th. century (the years between 1001 to 1100) that men who controlled monestaries held considerable prestige and power. The fact is that land represented both wealth and power, and the monestaries had control of large land areas. One of the internal Catholic Church questions was that of reform and the relationship between the secular clergy and regular clergy. Abbots and monks were known as regular clergy because they followed a monasttic rule such as the Benedictine Rule for example.

Another internal dispute that Tierney effectively explains is that of reform of both the secular and regular clergy. Catholic authorities have never concealed problems and scandals. The question was who should be in charge of such reform. The monks claimed this was their responsibility. Secular rulers claimed reform was their responsibility. The Popes and the Curia claimed this was their responsibility. Tierney adds that members of Church councils should take control which irritated the Popes and Curia who saw such councils as intruding on the authority of the Pope.

However, the most significant conflict was the Investature Controversy between the German ruler Henry IV (1056-1106) and Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085). Tierney explains that in 1057, the Papal Curia initiated the Papal Election Decree to remove the German rulers and other secular rulers from imposing their own candidates to the Papacy. The Investature Controversy involed the authority of appointing bishops to their dioceses. Many of the German bishops had been appointed by the German rulers,and these bishops loyalty between secular rulers and the Church was at best questionable. Gregory VII tried to put an end to this problem by challenging Henry IV's authority on this issue. The results were turbulent and at times violent. There were exommunications, military campaings, the looting of Rome by the Normans, etc. One result was known at the Papal Revolution.

These conflicts between Catholic authroities and the Germans ended with the reign of Frederick II (1211-1250). Readers should note and Tierney explains the Frederick II succeeded Frederick Barbaroosa (1152-1190). This conflict ruined the German Empire temporarity enganced the Papacy and status of the Catholic Church. Readers should examine Tierney's comments and the sources he cites to have a good grasp of these conflicts.

Tierney also does a good job in explaining the bitter conflict between the French King Phillip (1285-1314) and Pople Boniface VIII (1294-1305) which inflicted an almost fatal blow to the Catholic Church. This section of the book is perhaps the best section. Tierney's use of sources and introductory remarks are very well done.

Tierney also examines the Canon Law jurists and Scholastic philosophers. Of particular note is the thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). St. Thomas showed a marked difference with St. Augustine. Aquinas' view of the political authority was to protect men and women rather than a necessary evil due to their sinful nature. In regards to the Canon Law, Aquinas argued that the Canon Law was to give each man his due. One can note the change here.

This reviewer recommends this book. Tienrey's introductory essays are informative and well written. His choice of sources is good. One should note Tienery's work on the Middle Ages is among the best this reviewer has read. A good companion volume is Berman's LAW AND REVOLUTION.
Understanding the Medieval Crisis Better  Jan 29, 2006
Tierney's book is a very thought provoking book. However, I do not think that the reader can fully enjoy the entirity of the book without being apart of a discussion group or a class. This book is remarkable for its reference and outline. Tierney, being an anti-infallibist, helps guide the reader through his work by using the dialectic method. Arguments are presented and then the counter arguments are presented. This may seem repetitive but it is all apart of the process. This allows the reader to see one side of the argument get rebuked by the other side and then that side get rebuked again. In addition, each introduction to the chapter/section, provides all the background you need to know in order to enjoy the battle of wits, so to speak, between papal loyalists and emperor loyalists.

As one other reviewer noted there is continuing recurrence of key passages from the Bible in this book. This is central to the main argument that is taking place. Of course the main argument is who controls what and who has the power over whom. Knowing a little of Tierney's background will help you understand his position, as an anti-infallibist, meaning he doesn't like the papacy, to put it bluntly. But don't take that to heart. Tierney along with many other especially the emperors of the medieval ages did not agree with the papacy. Back to the main argument. When reading this book make note of the key passages aforementioned. It seems that sometimes this is the only ammunition that the papacy has, basing their power on what Jesus said to Peter. Of course, any serious student of religious studies knows that the NT is made up of thousands of texts, most written about two generations after the death of Jesus and later, so it may be impossible to really imply that Jesus was really granting Peter supreme authority on the earth. For more information see various works on N.T. Wright, E.P Sanders, or Powell's book, Jesus as a Figure in History.

Overall, this is a great book, which may seem dry at some times, but it is well worth the read.
Where freedom came from.  Feb 7, 2003
This book contains many of the critical documents that trace the origin of Western freedoms. Tierney prefaces the main body of his material with a few short but fascinating passages from and on people like Ambrose and Augustine. In the following chapters, he traces the debate about the relationship between Church and State as it developed in three or four dozen key documents from 1050 to 1300. Tierney helpfully sets context for each passage. In some, popes and kings jockey for power; in others, thinkers offer balanced or didactically one-sided solutions.

Again and again one notes key NT passages coming up, like "My kingdom is not of this world," and "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." As Tierney notes, the influence of Christianity on the proceedings are clear in two ways: first, "The very existence of two power structures competing for men's allegiance greatly enhanced the possibilities for human freedom." And second, "The possibility of a continuing tension between church and state was inherent in th every beginnings of the Christian religion." The documents eloquently demonstrate these points for themselves. The interest is not always in big themes, however, but often in human and even humorous details. Tierney's selection is varied.

Anyone who thinks modern freedom was an escape from Medieval despotism or ex nihilo invention of the Enlightenment, or that all religions are the same, and theological differences between religions have little practical effect, should carefully read this book. Clearly, the Grand Inquisitor is not the whole story, nor the big story, of the Middle Ages. Donald Treadgold's Freedom: A History, also makes some good comparative points in relation to other cultures. But there is nothing like going to the original sources for getting a feel for what people really thought, and why they thought it. An excellent resource.

A good reference and resource  Jul 31, 2000
A solid compendium of medieval documents relating to the clash between church and state. Translated from Latin into fairly readable English, Tierney includes introductory material and notes which allow him to maintain some of the nuance of Latin connotations that would usually not carry over into English translation. This book has lots of documents that we all hear about in European History texts but usually don't read in their entirety, such as the supposed "Donation of Constantine" which the Renaissance linguist Lorenzo Valla proved to be a forgery through textual analysis. Tierney's book shows that far from the relatively aloof, spiritual province the Church consigns itself to today, things weren't always that way. In the medieval era, the Church Militant was every bit a secular authority as well as a spirtual one, and the boundaries between church and state blurred. It was only through the centuries of conflict reflected in Tierney's book that the modern split between church and state first emerged, and the possibility of Western Europe and the United States being ruled by theocratic governments faded. A great supplementary text or source of documents for a medieval history or western civilization course, this book would be an interesting read for anyone concerned about the ancient roots of the tension between Church and State whose reverberations still echo today on Capitol Hill.

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