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18 - Paul Fournier


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2019

Olivier Descamps
Pantheon-Assas University, Paris
Rafael Domingo
Emory University, Atlanta
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Paul Fournier (1853–1935) is considered one of the greatest historians of medieval canon law of the last two centuries. Indefatigable, prolific, and meticulous, he opened new paths in research to new generations in a time in which French jurists did not pay much attention to canon law. Fournier’s academic mission was precisely to cover that important intellectual gap, giving new life and light to canon-law science in French public universities. Many of his writings, especially those dealing with medieval ecclesiastical courts and those referring to canonical collections, are of lasting value. His academic footprint has continued through the work of great pupils and pupils of pupils such as Gabriel Le Bras and Jean Gaudemet. As a secondary actor in the religious events related to the French Third Republic, Fournier was able to accommodate his traditional Catholicism to the new social trends and to sow peace at a convulsive time in the relations between the Catholic Church and the French state. The influence Fournier exercised over the general ideas of his time, both in the legal field and in philosophical and moral terms, cannot be minimized.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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Recommended Reading

Basdevant-Gaudemet, Brigitte. “Fournier, Paul-Eugène-Louis.” In Dictionnaire historique des juristes français, XIIe–XXe siècle. Edited by Arabeyre, Patrick, Halpérin, Jean-Louis, and Krynen, Jacques, 343. Paris: PUF, 2007.Google Scholar
Brundage, James A. Medieval Canon Law. London, New York: Longman, 1995.Google Scholar
Coville, Alfred. “Éloge funèbre de M. Paul Fournier, membre de l’Académie.” Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 79 (1935): 189–94.Google Scholar
Fournier, Paul. Les officialités au Moyen Âge: étude sur l’organisation, la compétence et la procédure des tribunaux ecclésiastiques ordinaires en France, de 1180 à 1328. Paris: E. Plon 1880; reprint Aalen: Scientia Verlag 1984.Google Scholar
Fournier, Paul. Mélanges de droit canonique. 2 vols. Edited by Kölzer, Theo. Aalen: Scientia Verlag, 1983.Google Scholar
Fournier, Paul. in collaboration with Gabriel Le Bras. Histoire des collections canoniques en Occident depuis les Fausses Décrétales jusqu’au Décret de Gratien, Vol. I, 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
Gaudemet, Jean. “Avant-Propos.” In Paul Fournier, Mélanges de droit canonique, Vol. I. Edited by Kölzer, Theo, 511. Aalen: Scientia Verlag, 1983.Google Scholar
Grand, Roger. “Paul Fournier.” Bibliothèque de l’École des chartes 97 (1936): 228–32.Google Scholar
Guyon, Gérard. “Paul Fournier.” In Juristas universales III: Juristas del siglo XIX. Edited by Domingo, Rafael, 642–44. Madrid, Barcelona: Marcial Pons: 2004.Google Scholar
Hartmann, Wilfried, and Pennington, Kenneth, eds. The History of Courts and Procedure in Medieval Canon Law. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2016.Google Scholar
Le Bras, Gabriel. “Paul Fournier et l’histoire de l’Église de France.” Revue d’histoire de l’Église de France 21, no. 93 (1935): 532–49.Google Scholar
Le Bras, Gabriel. “Paul Fournier, sa carrière, son œuvre, son esprit.” Revue historique de droit français et étranger 15 (1936): 154.Google Scholar
Maassen, Friedrich. Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des canonischen Rechts im Abendland I. Die Rechtssammlungen bis zur Mitte des 9. Jahrhunderts. Graz: Leuschner & Lubensky, 1870; reprinted Graz Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1956.Google Scholar
Poulat, Émile. Liberté, laïcité. La guerre des deux France et le principe de la modernité. Paris: Editions du Cerf and Editions Cujas, 1987.Google Scholar
Rolker, Christof. Canon Law and the Letters of Ivo of Chartres. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.Google Scholar
Société d’Histoire du Droit. Mélanges Paul Fournier. Paris: Sirey, 1929.Google Scholar

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