Module co-ordinator: Information currently unavailable
Credit value: 20 credits
Credit level: M
Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
Module will run
Spring Term 2022-23
In the later twelfth century the mission of the church was transformed: instead of counselling flight from the world and its vices, it aimed, with renewed vigour, to engage the world and offer a fully Christian life to those within. To a church that had most confidently fostered salvation through monastic life this presented a pressing challenge: what did it mean to be a Christian in the world?
Bishops, theologians, lawyers and laity all played a part in asking and answering this question. This module will explore how they identified workable ideals for lay life and new regulations, rituals, and systems of care for their support. It will place the great Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 in the context of the movement of reform (c.1160-1260) and its challenge of implementing grand ideals on a local level. We will use examples from England and Northern France to illustrate how the pastoral church engaged the laity and, in particular, gain a familiarity the major sources available for the later medieval church. This century of reform created the structures of the later medieval church; its problems (and solutions) illuminate the rationales that underpinned them.
Students who take this module should:
develop skills of source analysis and interpretation
assess a range of primary source material and the relevant secondary historiography
develop their powers of historical argument
gain awareness of the shape of the pastoral church, how it engaged the needs of the laity in the century 1160-1260, and re-thought issues such as marriage, preaching and confession
engage with a range of the major sources available for the study later medieval church, including legal and administrative sources as well as texts to educate and persuade.
Module learning outcomes
Students who complete this module successfully should:
Have an understanding of the ideals, problems and innovations behind pastoral reform.
Be familiar with the structures of the medieval church, especially its systems of decision-making, communication, and administration.
Recognise the major primary sources for the study of the later medieval church, including sermons, legislation, bishops registers, court records, and confessors manuals.
Have an appreciation of the major areas of study, debate and the key methodological problems in approaches to the laity and pastoral care.
Special assessment rules
Written and/or verbal feedback on draft essay; written report on final assessment within 6 weeks of submission, and within 2 weeks of resubmission.
Sarah Hamilton, Church and People in the Medieval West 900-1200 (Pearson Education, Harlow, 2013), provides an excellent introduction to the background and emerging issues.
Colin Morris, The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250, Oxford History of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press, 1991)
C. R. Cheney, From Becket to Langton: English Church Government 1170-1213 (Manchester University Press, 1956)
John Baldwin, Masters Princes and Merchants: The Social Views of Peter the Chanter, 2 vols (Princeton University Press, 1970)
R. N. Swanson, Religion and Devotion in Europe, c.1215-c.1515 (Cambridge University Press, 1995)