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Historians have offered a variety of explanations for Pope Innocent III's release of King John from the promise that he made to observe the clauses of Magna Carta. None has won general acceptance. This article proposes an alternative by examining the tenets of the canon law as it was understood in 1215. That examination shows that the law of oaths (De iureiurando) played a central role in canonistic thought of the time. It contained the juristic resources that made it possible for Innocent to release John from the oath that he had taken at Runnymeade.
What was the source of authority in the Church in Tudor England? This article traces the use of an ancient symbol of the power of metropolitan archbishops, the woollen pallium, between 1533 and 1603. The later Henrician Church saw this garment as a sign of royal supremacy. Under Mary, however, Archbishop Pole made extravagant claims which led the Elizabethan Church to reject earlier Tudor notions of this symbol. Set against the backdrop of the source of episcopal jurisdiction, this article traces the use of the pallium in England in a Church moving from Roman obedience to a Protestant settlement.
Using the example of the Bohemian Franciscan Province, and its Olomouc convent in particular, this paper analyses mendicancy after the Reformation. In the early modern period mendicancy remained an important practice in the Franciscan Order. Apart from its economic function, begging was also an important means of interaction between the friars and the people. It was a complicated exchange of goods and services, which helped the friars to secure their position in society and export elements of their spirituality outside the walls of their convents.
From 1759 to 1773 rulers throughout Europe deemed the Society of Jesus highly dangerous and began moving against it. This article, however, rather than focussing on Jesuit failings, uncovers an alternative story of the popularity enjoyed by the Lazarists, appointed to be the Jesuits’ successors in many important locations. The Lazarists’ ethos and behaviour provided attractive contrasts to the Jesuits, first winning the patronage of European elites in the pre-suppression era. Yet replacing the Jesuits was tricky, imposing novel demands on the Lazarists’ resources. More ominously, the forces which brought down the Jesuits had not gone into full slumber, seriously endangering the Lazarist succession.
Joseph Milner's ‘History of the Church of Christ’ (1794–1809) was the most popular English-language church history for half a century, yet it remains misunderstood by many historians. This paper argues that Milner's Evangelical interpretation of church history subverted Protestant historiographical norms. By prioritising conversion over doctrinal precision, and celebrating the piety of select medieval Catholics, Milner undermined the historical narratives that undergirded Protestant exceptionalism. As national religious identities became increasingly contested in the 1820s and 1830s, this subversive edge was blunted by publishers who edited the ‘History’ to be less favourable toward pre-Reformation Christianity.
Although the reign of Mary i (1553–8) was a tumultuous and eventful one, for over four hundred years there was little debate about it or about the queen's efforts to restore Catholicism to England. The reign was almost universally perceived as poor, nasty, brutish and short-lived and the restoration of Catholicism was believed to have been doomed to failure, both because the burning of heretics offended English sensibilities and because Protestantism was already so deeply embedded in England that it could not be uprooted. Yet towards the end of the twentieth century, the tectonic plates of historical research began to shift and the resulting tremors altered the historiographical landscape of Mary's reign, and indeed of the English Reformation.