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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 November 2019

Danica Summerlin
Affiliation:
University of Sheffield
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Summary

Ecclesiastical councils present a peculiar problem for historians of the medieval church, and especially for those trying to understand the nature of medieval papal authority. Despite an ancient pedigree, the pre-eminence of ecclesiastical councils began to fade over the course of the central Middle Ages. The centuries after 1050 are more often presented as a period in which a newly self-confident papacy rose, determined to maintain its hard-won independence from lords both secular and ecclesiastical. One result of that determination, especially when seen alongside the emergence of the papal states as a territorial conglomeration in central Italy, has been the so-called papal monarchy. For Walter Ullmann, whose interpretation still carries a certain weight, the papal monarchy reached its ‘zenith’ with Innocent III, although since the time of Barraclough scholars have debated the validity of the concept. As a result, the synod and papal council, traditional decision-making bodies of the Church, have all too often been perceived as procedural rubber stamps, especially those held under forthright pontiffs such as Innocent III.

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The Canons of the Third Lateran Council of 1179
Their Origins and Reception
, pp. 1 - 10
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • Introduction
  • Danica Summerlin, University of Sheffield
  • Book: The Canons of the Third Lateran Council of 1179
  • Online publication: 08 November 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316536209.001
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  • Introduction
  • Danica Summerlin, University of Sheffield
  • Book: The Canons of the Third Lateran Council of 1179
  • Online publication: 08 November 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316536209.001
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Danica Summerlin, University of Sheffield
  • Book: The Canons of the Third Lateran Council of 1179
  • Online publication: 08 November 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316536209.001
Available formats
×