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The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West$
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Susan Wood

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206972.001.0001

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Towards a bureaucratic Church

Towards a bureaucratic Church

(p.883) 25 Towards a bureaucratic Church
The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West

Susan Wood

Oxford University Press

In the 11th century, conscientious churchmen might quietly accept, or want to modify, or hotly repudiate the proprietary dealings with churches current in their time; and if to repudiate, not be agreed or perhaps even clear as to what exactly they rejected: the impious or presumptuous use of certain symbols in the conferring of churches, or the practical power to confer them at all; the occupation of property and enjoyment of revenues that should have been the clergy's, or the barest claim to lordship. The decrees of popes and councils were often ambiguous and by the middle of the 12th century, canonists were beginning to look at the law about the practices and claims of lords in an analytical way, with the same dialectical approach as was being applied to theology. By the late 12th century, popes and their judges-delegate were applying the emerging law of patronage to actual cases, and developing the law in the process.

Keywords:   bureaucracy, proprietary church, canon law, patronage, lords, bishops

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