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The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250 (Oxford History of the Christian Church) [Paperback]

By Colin Morris (Author)
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Item description for The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250 (Oxford History of the Christian Church) by Colin Morris...

The two centuries covered in this volume (1050-1250 AD) were among the most creative in the history of the Catholic Church, as its influence on the growth of Western society was more profound than perhaps at any other time. This period saw the emergence of much that is considered characteristic of European culture and religion, including universities and commercial cities, the Crusades, the Inquisition, papal government, the College of Cardinals, canon law, the friars, the confessional, chivalry, hospitals and marriage in its Western form, as well as great cathedrals, fine village churches, and a new Christian folklore.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   696
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.04" Height: 1.65"
Weight:   2.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 22, 1991
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0198269250  
ISBN13  9780198269250  

Availability  78 units.
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More About Colin Morris

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Morris is Professor of Medieval History at Southampton University.

Colin Morris was born in 1928.

Colin Morris has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Oxford History of the Christian Church

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Ireland > Medieval
2Books > Subjects > History > Russia
3Books > Subjects > History > World > General
4Books > Subjects > History > World > Medieval
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250 (Oxford History of the Christian Church)?

As universal as its subject  Dec 21, 2008
The Papal Monarchy treats of the Catholic Church in its era of waxing power and dynamism, the early high Middle Ages. In this exhaustive and detailed treatise, Colin Morris traces the papacy's rise from little more than the bishopric of Rome to the centre of the mightiest institution of its time.

Rebuilding from a damaged position after the collapse of the Carolingian order at the end of the first millennium, the Roman curia rose, in two centuries, to become the ruler of a reformed and both institutionally and geographically expanded church. Gregorian initiatives gave the first impulse, aiming at curtailing the lay corruption of simony and raising standards by combating clerical marriage. The popes' new-found confidence soon gave birth to the crusades, themselves influenced by the need to muster support in a schism caused by conflict with the Holy Roman Empire. The twelfth century saw perhaps the greatest changes, as lay influence was further pushed back by the twin thrusts of the abolition of lay investiture and the codification and advance of canon law. The college of cardinals took over the right to elect the pope. At the same time, new orders, beginning with the austere Cistercians, brought a fresh impulse to a monastic expansion that was to be followed in the next century by a genuine program of preaching and education among the masses, by the friars. The period 1200-1250 built on Rome's increased prestige and authority to establish control over the national churches of Western Christendom, through a system of appeals and through mobilisation by increasingly well-attended synods. This enabled it to endow the bishoprics with fresh responsibilities, leading to the first efforts at improving pastoral care within the parishes while, finally, at a more rarefied level, a new theology and culture emerged from the rediscovery of ancient Greek classics, and the first universities were founded.

The papacy's rise to the status of a `monarchy' was accompanied by a host of darker developments. It was almost constantly involved in violent conflict with the empire. Christianity's expansion in the Iberian peninsula, eastern Europe, and the Levant was the product of brutal enterprise. At the end of the period, the Roman landed estates were already becoming the basis for abuses of power, and Roman justice wasn't always disinterested. Influence over national churches was used to raise taxes in cooperation with lay monarchs. And the moralisation of church personnel was paralleled by a new hunt for heretics and the first edicts, in the 1230s, on the inquisition.

Colin Morris thus draws a contrasted and erudite picture. The book is extremely detailed and contains a great mass of concrete examples. If, at almost 600 pages, it is probably not to be read line-by-line except by dedicated students, its clear and structured plan allows for cherry-picking. Finally, it does help if one knows about the Holy Roman Empire and its historical relationship with the papacy - which I didn't - but this isn't an essential condition for following Morris's argument. Completed in 1989, The Papal Monarchy remains the reference book on its subject.

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