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2 - Stephen of Tournai (Étienne de Tournai)


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2019

Olivier Descamps
Pantheon-Assas University, Paris
Rafael Domingo
Emory University, Atlanta
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Stephen of Tournai was the first significant French canonist and has been credited with establishing canon law in Northwestern Europe on a firm footing. He was learned in theology, having studied in Orléans, but after he arrived in Bologna to study law he heard lectures on Roman law by Bulgarus, a captivating and compelling teacher. Stephen mentioned his mentors in canon law only sparingly. After he left Bologna, he returned to northern France and became an abbot in monasteries in Orléans and Paris. In 1192, Stephen was elevated to the episcopal see of Tournai. His prolific outpouring of letters gives evidence of his importance in secular and ecclesiastical circles. He also wrote a large number of sermons in which he demonstrated his rhetorical skills and his theological training. In the prologue to his commentary on Gratian’s Decretum, Stephen vigorously examined how theology and law should be combined in Christian jurisprudence. Here Stephen revealed his debt to Bulgarus and justified his conviction that jurisprudence and theology were essential for understanding a Christian legal system. Theologians and jurists should share a meal together and discuss their mutual interests.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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Primary Sources

A listing of Stephen’s works, editions, and manuscripts may be seen at: Scholar
Stephen of Tournai. Die Summa über das Decretum Gratiani. Edited by Friedrich von Schulte, Johann. Giessen: 1891; reprinted Aalen: Scientia, 1965.Google Scholar
Stephen, Lettres d’Étienne de Tournai: Nouvelle edition. Edited by Desilve, Jules. Valenciennes, Paris: Lemaitre-Picard, 1893.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

Carlyle, Alexander James. A History of Mediaeval Political Theory in the West. 6 vols., especially Volume 2, 180–97. Edinburgh, London: William Blackwood, 1903–36.Google Scholar
Conklin, George. “The Ecclesiology of Stephen of Tournai, 1128–1203 (Canonist).” PhD dissertation, University of North Carolina, 1987.Google Scholar
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Gouron, André. “Sur les sources civilistes et la datation des Sommes de Rufin e d’Étienne de Tournai.Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law 16 (1986): 5570. Reprinted in Droit et coutume en France aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles. Variorum Collected Studies Series 422, no. V. Aldershot: Variorum, 1993.Google Scholar
Kalb, Herbert. Studien zur Summa Stephans von Tournai: Ein Beitrag zur kanonistischen Wissenschaftsgeschichte des späten 12. Jahrhunderts. Forschungen zur Rechts-und Kulturgeschichte 12. Innsbruck: Universitätsverlag Wagner, 1983.Google Scholar
Kalb, Herbert. “Bemerkungen zum Verhältnis von Theologie und Kanonistik am Beispiel Rufins und Stephans von Tournai.” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, kanonistische Abteilung 72 (1986): 338–48.Google Scholar
Knox, Ronald G. G.The Problem of Academic Language in Rufinus and Stephan.Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Medieval Canon Law, Berkeley 1980, pp. 109–23. Monumenta iuris canonici, Series C 7. Vatican City: 1985.Google Scholar
Kuttner, Stephan. “The Third Part of Stephen of Tournai’s Summa.” Traditio 14 (1958): 502–05.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pennington, Kenneth, with Wolfgang P. Müller. “The Decretists: The Italian School.The History of Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140–1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX. Edited by Hartmann, Wilfried and Pennington, Kenneth, pp. 121–73. History of Medieval Canon Law. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2008.Google Scholar
Somerville, Robert, and Brasington, Bruce C.. Prefaces to Canon Law Books in Latin Christianity: Selected Translations, 500–1245. New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Viejo-Ximénez, José Miguel. “Esteban de Tournai (Étienne de Tournai, Stephanus Tournacensis).” Juristas universals. Edited by Domingo, Rafael. 4 vols., 1.359–63. Madrid, Barcelona: Marcial Pons, 2004.Google Scholar
Warichez, Joseph. “Étienne de Tournai et son temps 1128–1203.” Tournai, Paris: Casterman, 1937.Google Scholar
Weigand, Rudolf. “Studien zum kanonistischen Werk Stephans von Tournai.Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, kanonistische Abteilung 72 (1986): 349–61.Google Scholar

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