Book Series Medieval and Early Modern Political Theology, vol. 4

Political Liturgies in the High Middle Ages

Beyond the Legacy of Ernst H. Kantorowicz

Pawel Figurski, Johanna Dale, Pieter Byttebier (eds)

  • Pages: 305 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:2 b/w, 5 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59567-2
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59568-9
  • E-book
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Innovative collection about the interaction of liturgy and politics in high medieval Europe


Although as long ago as the 1940s Ernst H. Kantorowicz exhorted medievalists to make greater use of liturgical sources, historians largely continued to ignore the "magic thicket of prayers, benedictions, and ecclesiastical rites" that comprise the liturgy. Instead they left liturgical sources to specialists interested in the development of individual rites through time. This volume, inspired by Kantorowicz’s insights, builds on the work of a new generation of scholars, who see liturgical sources as integral to understanding medieval politics and society. The individual essays focus on different polities and regions of medieval Christian Europe, but all concentrate on the high Middle Ages, a period in which the importance of liturgy to political cultures has traditionally been seen as being in decline. Together the essays demonstrate how a careful reading of liturgical sources can shed new light on political cultures and practices, how liturgical rituals shaped politics, and how political realities influenced liturgical ceremonial. They demonstrate the interrelationship between liturgical scholarship and political theory, and challenge the paradigm of the desacralization of kingship and politics in this period.


Introduction (Figurski, Byttebier)
1. Paweł Figurski: Sacramental Kingship. Modern Historiography versus Medieval Sources
2. György Geréby: The Lord of the Liturgy. Political Theology in the Byzantine Liturgies
3. John F. Romano: Mass Riot in the Reign of Sylvester II
4. Grzegorz Pac: Gertruda and Her Saints. The Liturgical Calendar Between West and East, and Its Political Meanings
5. Pieter Byttebier: How Many Bodies for the Bishop? Episcopal Methods of Politurgy in Early Eleventh-Century Lotharingia
6. Andrew J. M. Irving: ‘Lector, si adesses!’ Liturgy and Strategies of History Writing in Medieval Southern Italy
7. Bartlomiej Dźwigała: Palm Sunday and Easter 1118 in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Sacred Topography, Liturgical Celebrations, and Dynastic Crisis
8. Vedran Sulovsky: The Barbarossaleuchter. Imperial Monument and Pious Donation
9. Erik Niblaeus: ‘One Harmonious Form’. Liturgy and Group Formation in Central-Medieval Denmark
10. Johanna Dale: Saint Oswald on Bishop Richard’s Vestments. Liturgy and Politics at Old St. Paul’s
11. M. Cecilia Gaposchkin: Liturgy and Kingship at the Sainte Chapelle