Religion, Politics and Society in Britain 1066-1272

Religion, Politics and Society in Britain 1066-1272

by Henry Mayr-Harting

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Religion, Politics and Society in Britain 1066-1272 by Henry Mayr-Harting

The period from 1066 to 1272, from the Norman Conquest to the death of Henry III, was one of enormous political change in England and of innovation in the Church as a whole. Religion, Politics and Society 1066-1272 charts the many ways in which a constantly changing religious culture impacted on a social and political system which was itself dominated by clerics, from the parish to the kingdom.

Examining the various ways in which churchmen saw their relation to secular power, Henry Mayr-Harting introduces many of the great personalities of the time, such as Thomas Becket and Robert Grosseteste. At the same time he shows how religion itself changed over the course of two centuries, in response to changing social conditions – how rising population fuelled the economic activities of the monasteries, and how parish reform demanded a more educated clergy and by this increased the social prestige of the Church.

Written by an acknowledged master in the field, this magisterial account will be an unmissable read for all students of Norman and Plantagenet England and of the history of the medieval Church as a political, social and spiritual force.

Henry Mayr-Hartingis a Fellow Emeritus in Medieval History at St Peter's College, Oxford, and was Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History from 1997 until his retirement in 2003. He is the author of a number of works on Medieval history, including most recently Church and Cosmos in Early Ottonian Germany (2007).

This is a wonderful book, the product of half a century spent pondering the role and impact of religion within society and a reminder of quite how much we can still learn about even the most familiar of incidents. Nicholas Vincent, Professor of Medieval History, University of East Anglia

A remarkably rich and rewarding reflection on how the ways in which power was understood, used and contested at all levels of society interacted with religious life and thought in the 'long twelfth century'...wholly original, lucid and absorbing. Robert Moore, Emeritus Professor of History, Newcastle University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780582414136
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/08/2011
Series: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Henry Mayr-Harting is ex Regius Professor of Medieval History at the University of Oxford. He has written extensively on the early medieval period.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 Church and Economy in the Long Twelfth Century

Chapter 2 The Church and the Norman Conquest.

1. The Gregorian Reform

2. Lanfranc

3. Gervase

Chapter 3 Henry I and His Religion.

1. Religion and Friendship

2. The Investiture Contest in England

3. The Primacy Dispute between Canterbury and York

4. Henry I, Melbourne Church and Athelwold of Carlisle

(A Microcosm)

5. Conclusion

Chapter 4 The Conflict Between Henry II and Thomas Becket.

1. Introduction

2. The First Year of Becket as Archbishop

3. What the Breach might been about, but was not

4. The Breach: Canterbury Rights

5. Clash of Personalities

6. Dramatic Gesturing

7. Becket's 'Conversion'

8. Why did Becket's Death create a Sensation?

9. Becket and Theology

Chapter 5 Parishes and Parish Priests

1. Parish Religion and the 'Higher Culture'

2. The Legal Reforms of Henry II and Parish Priests

3. Parish Churches

4. The Rise of Clericalism

5. Cathedrals and Parish Religion

Chapter 6 The Monastic Century 1066–1216

1. Introduction

2. The Black Monks

3. The Cistercians

4. The Augustinian Canons

5. Women's Religious Houses

Chapter 7 Archbishop Hubert Walter and St Hugh of Lincoln: Church and King in the late Twelfth Century

1. Hubert Walter

2. St Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln (1186–1200)

3. Conclusion

Chapter 8 Intellectual Life and Culture and How Related to Politics in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries

1. Science and the Exchequer under Henry I

2. The Writing of History and Stephen's Reign

3. The Beginnings of Legal Study at Oxford in the Reign of Henry II

4. The Theologization of Society

Chapter 9 The Early English Franciscans

1. Poverty

2. Poverty and Learning

3. Poverty and Learning in England

4. Confession

5. Learning and Politics

Chapter 10 Changes and Continuities under Henry III

1. Pope, King and Church

2. Parish Clergy Revisited

3. Monasteries

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