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The German city of Mainz under Archbishop Willigis (975–1011) witnessed a major flourishing of the arts, particularly in the field of architecture. During this period, a benedictional, now in St Gall, was also commissioned. Its only figurative content is an image of Christ in Majesty on its first folio. Taken as a case study, analysis of this permits an approach to the barely-explored concept of performativity in early medieval illuminated manuscripts. This Maiestas Domini, the list of blessings contained in the book and contemporary depictions of religious ceremonies invites consideration of the joint role that image and manuscript played in the dynamic liturgical rites during which the benedictional was handled.
This article explores a series of doctrinal disputations held in early Islamic Egypt, and known through the Hodegos of Anastasius of Sinai (fl. c. 670–c. 700). Using the text's prosopographical and contextual cues, it argues that these disputations occurred in the 680s, in the aftermath of Constantinople's Sixth Ecumenical Council (680/1), the decisions of which had thrown the Chalcedonian Christians of the caliphate into conflict and schism. In 686, it is argued, Anastasius had confronted the famed Edessene and Severan Athanasius bar Gūmōyē before the Marwānid prince ‘Abd al-'Azīz at Fusṭāṭ, and there been defeated. That defeat is indicative of the new-found position of the Egyptian Severan Church, which now flourished under Marwānid patronage.
Cyprian's baptism is usually placed in 245–6, two to four years before he became bishop. The early treatise Ad Donatum is thus taken as a witness to the neophyte's spiritual ‘transition’. This article challenges this common biographical narrative. A date just before Cyprian's ordination in 248/9 fits the evidence better than 246. As comparison with Ad Quirinum suggests, the winsome portrait of Cyprian the true convert that Ad Donatum paints might have done more than exhort neophytes to zealous spirituality: it may also have been meant to silence the presbyters whom Pontius’ Vita and Cyprian himself portray as critics of his ordination.
This study addresses the lack of critical analysis on Gregory of Nazianzus’ title of ‘the Theologian’. In doing so it addresses two areas: the origin of the title in the Address to Marcian, and the significance of its attribution to Gregory by Theodoret of Cyrrhus. Alongside Theodoret, this study takes account of a range of usages in Christian and non-Christian authors in order to argue that the title was attributed to Gregory as part of a pre-existing Christian response encompassing Moses, John and the prophets and pagan theologians such as Orpheus and Homer.
It is well known that the crusades were represented as wars sanctioned by God, who helped the crusaders. At the same time, according to crusade propaganda, the liberation of the Holy Land was most probably not the only purpose of the crusades. Some sources allow us to affirm that the papacy and preachers had the idea that God would allow the crusaders to settle in Outremer only when they would merit it by the absence of sin. Furthermore, in the second half of the twelfth and, to a greater extent, in the thirteenth century, there was a spread of the idea that God could destroy the Saracens on his own, but was testing his faithful. In fact, all these ideas together suggested that, according to the propaganda, the liberation of the Holy Land was not considered to be God's only goal, for he also wished to bring to this land faithful people without sin who would settle there, elected by God.
This article examines the ceremonial reception of papal legates in the early Middle Ages. It offers a precise, distinctive and normative portrait of their ritualised practice well before the existence of written canonical rules and procedures. The customs, principles, gestures and symbols conditioning legatine activities in this historical era became necessary pre-conditions to political communication, interaction and exchange. Their expression and representation, it is argued, help to explain the manifestation of Roman authority in distant Christian provinces, its varied meaning to contemporaries and the formative rules of political governance and diplomacy.
In the late twelfth century, Bartholomew, bishop of Exeter (1161–84), identified astrology as the most serious heresy facing the English Church. The evidence of Bartholomew's writing suggests that astrology became more widely accepted among the English clergy during his episcopal tenure. It also supports the view that popular heretical movements enjoyed little success in England during this period, in contrast to some regions in mainland Europe. Instead, it was scholars deemed guilty of intellectual error, and above all the astrologers, who became the focus of Bartholomew's anxieties about heresy and the intellectual culture of his day.
The article presents and discusses the text of a little-known pallium grant of Pope Nicholas II for Archbishop Ealdred of York. Through comparison with other contemporaneous products of the papal chancery and the contents of other sources narrating the events reported in Nicholas's text, the study concludes that the papal privilege is substantially authentic. An edition, superseding a previous, late nineteenth-century one, which was based on just one of the two York manuscripts that preserve the papal privilege, is provided in the Appendix, together with a modern English translation.
The reaction of the Orthodox Church to the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) arguably set a pattern that would persist until the end of Byzantium. While members of the hierarchy were mostly opposed to accepting invitations to attend the council, the Emperor Theodore i Laskaris saw it as an opportunity to open up a dialogue with the papacy in the hope of deriving some political advantage. This episode reveals that negotiations over the Union of Churches divided Byzantine society in a way that had not happened before 1204.
This paper re-examines three of the major arguments on the validity of Henry VIII's first marriage, suggesting that, though the king misplayed his cards, he held a much better hand than his contemporary or modern critics have allowed. With a better presentation of his cause, an unbiased court might well have concluded that, on canonical principles and precedents, the union with Katherine should not have been permitted.Unfortunately for Henry, however, even such a favourable verdict could have failed to free him from his Spanish consort.
This article assesses how Lutheran and other Reformation doctrines spread and were countered in the Portuguese seaborne empire. Portugal's inquisitorial and episcopal repression of ‘Lutherans’ was extended to Brazil and Asia, where it was supported by the Society of Jesus. The Portuguese empire's transcontinental connections favoured the emergence of interconnected histories, facilitating the circulation of books, engravings and beliefs and thus provided non-Portuguese people with links to the reformed world that spread amongst and disturbed the Portuguese living in India and Portuguese America. By opening up routes the Portuguese, paradoxically, functioned as vectors for other ways of interpreting Christianity.
This article examines the representation of women and femininity in Archbishop William of Tyre's Chronicon. It considers how his text was shaped by contemporary Western ideas of gender, and how this impacted upon his presentation of women, especially Queen Melisende of Jerusalem and three Antiochene princesses, Alice, Constance and Sybil. It argues that, in doing so, we can raise important questions regarding his use for empirical reconstruction by revealing the nuanced ways in which, in pursuit of broader narrative goals, he utilised gender as a tool to both praise and discredit.
After his appointment as chief justice of King's Bench in 1495, John Fyneux pressured the ecclesiastical hierarchy through indictments for escapes which explored which officials had responsibility for the prisons and how they were managed, and thereby successfully asserted the royal right of oversight. By the end of Henry VII's reign his bishops, faced with ruinous fines like other lords, had largely accepted their role as gaolers under royal authority, and thus contributed to the bureaucratisation of the hierarchy which Henry VIII would exploit to such good effect.
This essay focuses upon particular elements of testimonies within the East African Revival in late colonial Uganda, giving analytical priority to the voice-hearing experiences of converts that often precipitated their conversion. While conversion within this movement aligns broadly with recent interest in discontinuity in Christian conversion, this essay highlights the roles of non-Christian spirits in fomenting radical religious change, including conversion to the East African Revival movement. It argues that the very experiences which occasioned these revivalists’ radical breaks with their past ways of life also established metaphysical continuity with them.
Viewed with hindsight, the link between Jansenism and Gallican resistance to papal pronouncements can seem inevitable. Before 1653, however, Rome's reluctance to commit itself unambiguously to condemning Jansen's ideas of grace made the idea of gaining papal support conceivable to some of his supporters. This article examines one hitherto ignored moment: the panegyric delivered in Rome by Charles Hersent, whose career in controversy combined ultramontane views with Jansenist theology. The episode reveals the broader volatility of these years, often missing from accounts that present the condemnation of Jansenism as inevitable, and the fact that Jansenism was not yet fused with Gallicanism.
This article examines how lay people brought preaching of the Word to their locality in early seventeenth-century Yorkshire and Lancashire by acting collectively to build chapels, raise funds for ministers’ wages and provide fees and hospitality. A wide cross-section of society was willingly involved in this support, suggesting that enthusiasm for sermon-centred worship was not just the preserve of a godly few. It is proposed that this collective behaviour and its rhetorical representation could foster an inclusive sense of local identity. The importance of the personal style and skills of individual preachers in engendering support is also considered.
Wesleyan Methodists in Victorian Britain are supposed to have been hampered by traditional methods of mission. From the 1850s onwards, however, they launched a strategy of appointing home missionary ministers. Although Wesleyans adopted no new theology, left structures unchanged and still relied on wealthy laymen, they developed fresh work in cities, employed paid lay agents, used women more and recruited children as fundraisers. Organised missions, temperance activity and military chaplaincies bolstered their impact. District Missionaries and Connexional Evangelists were appointed and, in opposition to ritualist clergy, Wesleyans increasingly saw themselves as Nonconformists. They experienced a quiet revolution in home mission.
Alexander Crummell's application to enter the General Theological Seminary in 1839 was problematic for the Episcopal Church. Admitting the African American abolitionist would have exacerbated divisions over slavery within a denomination still recovering from the American Revolution and the Second Great Awakening. The Church's increasing financial dependence on its upper-class members was a further complication. In Northern states the social elite supported anti-abolitionist violence, whilst in the South support for the Church came predominantly from slaveholders, who opposed any form of abolitionism. In order to safeguard the Episcopal Church's future, the denomination had to reject Crummell's application.
This article discusses John Glas, a minister deposed by the Church of Scotland in 1728, in order to examine the growth of religious pluralism in Scotland. The article begins by considering why Glas abandoned Presbyterian principles of Church government, adopting Congregationalist views instead. Glas's case helped to change the Scottish church courts’ conception of deposed ministers, reflecting a reappraisal of Nonconformity. Moreover, Glas's experiences allow us to distinguish between church parties formed to conduct business, and those representing theological attitudes. Finally, Glas's case calls into question the broadest definitions of the ‘Scottish Enlightenment’, drawing attention to the emergence of pluralism.