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C. van Rhijn
Shepherds of the Lord
Priests and Episcopal Statutes in the Carolingian Period

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VIII+246 p., 6 b/w tables, 160 x 240 mm, 2007
ISBN: 978-2-503-52319-4
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 55,00 excl. tax
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This book illuminates for the first time rural priesthood by tracing the rise and emergence of both local priests and episcopal statutes that aimed at driving their behaviour, during the Carolingian period.

This book is the first study of the rural priesthood, its significance, and the statutes written for them in the time of the Carolingians. It seeks to trace and explain the rise and emergence in the Carolingian period of both local priests and episcopal statutes that aimed at steering their behaviour. It was in the context of Carolingian ideals of reform, formulated in court-centred circles from the late eighth century onwards, that local priests increasingly came to be seen as those that held the key to turning the local Frankish population into ideal Christians by their word and living example. First of all, however, these educators needed to be educated themselves, hence the emergence of the Episcopal statutes, a new tool to direct the local diocesan clergy into becoming the ideal 'Shepherds of the Lord' that they needed to be. Smooth as this process of empire-wide reform theoretically was, however, obstacles lurked, both from a top-down (episcopal) and a grass-roots (local) perspective on the status, role, and function of priests. Nevertheless, the ninth century saw the emergence of the priesthood and the development of their role as an important group that connected bishops with the lay inhabitants of their dioceses and, from a higher-up perspective, those who opened up the vast Carolingian country-side to the implementation of the ideal society in the minds of contemporary reformers.

"On voit combien est riche la problématique envisagée dans ce lvire dont on recommandera la lecture à tous les historiens de l'époque carolingienne et dont on espère de prochains prolongements." (G. Bührer-Thierry, dans: The Medieval Review, 08.01.20)
Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Christian Church : Institutional History
Western Church : history of dioceses & clergy
Western Church : history of parishes
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Religious history
Medieval European history (400-1500) : auxiliary sciences
Medieval History (400-1500) : subperiods
Merovingian & Carolingian period

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