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LanfrancScholar, Monk, Archbishop$
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H. E. J. Cowdrey

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259601.001.0001

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The Ordering of the English Church

The Ordering of the English Church

(p.120) 9 The Ordering of the English Church


Oxford University Press

The effects of Lanfranc's reordering of the English church as Archbishop of Canterbury were profound and lasting. With the support of King William, Lanfranc sought to revive the spiritual authority and jurisdiction of the church at every level. The holding of councils and synods, primatial and episcopal, was a means to this end, and the quickening of church life in the localities and parishes was to consolidate it. The rapid appearance of archdeacons who played a prominent role testifies to a purpose of intensifying pastoral and judicial oversight. The introduction and dissemination by Lanfranc of a version of the Pseudo-Isidorian decrees effectively introduced canon law to the country as a normative and educative medium for reform and guidance. He also helped the king maintain the separation, at least in part, of ecclesiastical jurisdiction from the secular.

Keywords:   Lanfranc, English church, primatial councils, synods, ecclesiastical jurisdiction, archdeacons, canon law, King William

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