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25 - Gabriel Le Bras


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2019

Olivier Descamps
Pantheon-Assas University, Paris
Rafael Domingo
Emory University, Atlanta
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Gabriel Le Bras was one of the twentieth century’s most important French scholars of medieval law and religious sociology and one whose research continues to be fundamental for the study of the medieval church, ecclesiastical institutions, and religious sociology. Born at Paimpol in Brittany on July 23, 1891, Le Bras studied at the Universities of Rennes and Paris and taught at the University of Strasbourg before moving to Paris to occupy the chair of canon law in 1931. A prolific author of more than four hundred works over his long career, Le Bras combined his interests in the history of canon and Roman law with religious sociology in both historical and contemporary contexts as informed by statistical analysis. Influenced by the Annales school, whose proponents sought to break down the barriers between history and other disciplines, Le Bras’s research was characterized by an attempt to understand canon and Roman law in the contexts of the societies that produced and used them both on their own and also as a means to understand the church over the longue durée through its institutions and religion vécue (lived religion).
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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Recommended Reading

Arnold, John H.Histories and Historiographies of Medieval Christianity.” In The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity, edited by Arnold, John H., 2341. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.Google Scholar
Desroche, Henri, and Le Bras, Gabriel. “Religion légale et religion vécue. Entretien avec Gabriel Le Bras.” Archives de sociologie des religions 29 (1970): 1520.Google Scholar
Gaudemet, Jean. “Gabriel Le Bras (1891–1970).” École pratique des hautes études, Section des sciences religieuses. Annuaire 1970–1971, 78 (1971): 6781.Google Scholar
Études d’histoire du droit canonique dédiées à Gabriel Le Bras. Edited by Vedel, Georges. 2 vols. Paris: Sirey, 1965.Google Scholar
Hervieu-Léger, Danièle. “Gabriel Le Bras, 1891–1970.” Dictionnaire des faits religieux. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 2010; repr. Archives de sciences sociales des religions, 2014. Electronic version: Scholar
Le Bras, Gabriel. Introduction à l’histoire de la pratique religieuse en France. 2 vols. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1942; 1945.Google Scholar
Le Bras, Gabriel. Études de sociologie religieuse. 2 vols. Bibliothèque de Sociologie contemporaine. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1955; 1956.Google Scholar
Le Bras, Gabriel. Institutions ecclésiastiques de la Chrétienté médiévale. 2 vols. Paris: Bloud and Gay, 1959; 1964.Google Scholar
Le Bras, Gabriel, in collaboration with Paul Fournier. Histoire des collections canoniques en Occident depuis les Fausses Décrétales jusqu’au Décret de Gratien, vol. 1, De la Réforme carolingienne à la Réforme grégorienne. Paris: Sirey, 1931; vol. II, De la Réforme grégorienne au Décret de Gratien. Paris: Sirey, 1932.Google Scholar
Le Bras, Gabriel, with Jean Gaudemet, edn. Prolégomènes. Histoire du droit et des institutions de l’Église en Occident. Paris: Sirey, 1955.Google Scholar
Le Bras, Gabriel, with Charles Lefebvre and Jacqueline Rambaud. L’Âge classique (1140–1378). Sources et théorie du droit. Paris: Sirey, 1965.Google Scholar
Van Caenegem, Raoul C.Legal Historians I Have Known: A Personal Memoir.Rechtsgeschichte, Zeitschrift des Max-Planck Instituts für europäische Rechtsgeschichte 17 (2010): 253–99, at 272–75.Google Scholar

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