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The Canons of the Third Lateran Council of 1179
Their Origins and Reception


Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: November 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107145825

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About the Authors
  • Alexander III's 1179 Lateran Council, was, for medieval contemporaries, the first of the great papal councils of the central Middle Ages. Gathered to demonstrate the renewed unity of the Latin Church, it brought together hundreds of bishops and other ecclesiastical dignitaries to discuss and debate the laws and problems that faced that church. In this evaluation of the 1179 conciliar decrees, Danica Summerlin demonstrates how these decrees, often characterised as widespread and effective ecclesiastical legislation, emerged from local disputes which were then subjected to a period of sifting and gradual integration into the local and scholarly consciousness, in exactly the same way as other contemporary legal texts. Rather than papal mandates that were automatically observed as a result of their inherent papal authority, therefore, Summerlin reveals how conciliar decrees should be viewed as representative of contemporary discussions between the papacy, their representatives and local bishops, clerics, and scholars.

    • Offers the first comprehensive evaluation of manuscripts from the 1179 conciliar decrees
    • Uses medieval canon law to examine twelfth-century papal government in an accessible way
    • Combines legal and church history to offer a deeper insight into the medieval papacy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Undergraduate and graduate students interested in the impact of canon law should profit greatly from this work, as should those interested in dialogues between sacred and secular, theology and canon law, and the papacy and regional churches.' Jessalynn Lea Bird, Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107145825
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Historical survey
    2. Disputes, decretals, and the 1179 conciliar canons
    3. The 1179 canons and the schools
    4. The dissemination of the 1179 canons
    5. Use of the canons, ca. 1179–ca. 1191
    Appendix 1. Manuscript listing of the 1179 canons.

  • Author

    Danica Summerlin, University of Sheffield
    Danica Summerlin is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Sheffield where her research focuses on the role of canon law in government and society in the central Middle Ages. She is one of three leaders of an international project revamping the Clavis Canonum, a key database for the study of medieval canonical collections available online via the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. She is the co-editor of The Use of Canon Law in Ecclesiastical Administration, 1000–1234 (2018) with Melodie H. Eichbauer.

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