From Becket to Langton: English Church Government, 1170- 1213

From Becket to Langton: English Church Government, 1170- 1213

From Becket to Langton: English Church Government, 1170- 1213

From Becket to Langton: English Church Government, 1170- 1213

Excerpt

The invitation to deliver the Ford Lectures provided an incentive to consider more carefully a question which had long interested me: how did the growth of papal power in the twelfth century affect the Church in England under the first three Angevin kings? In the past, it has been treated as a question of politics or law, and answered accordingly. But there seems to be room for a broader view of the matter, to embrace the whole administration of the Church and the relations of clergy and people. This I have attempted. No simple formula will suffice for an answer and I can only hope that I have succeeded in giving due weight to Roman and to local influences, to the elements which proclaimed ecclesia anglicana to be a part of the Universal Church and to those which declared its unbroken and distinctive history. These lectures, as first prepared, were too long to be delivered in six hours and had to be curtailed. They are printed in their original, longer, form with a few additions and corrections. But they remain in substance lectures and make no pretence of being an exhaustive treatise.

My debts to modern scholars are, I fear, inadequately expressed in the footnotes, and all the less adequately because I have tended to note points of disagreement. But I am no pioneer in this field, and many experts have helped me by their writings and with personal advice. I would like to offer them all my thanks. In a general way I owe most to my three Oxford teachers, R. V. Lennard, F. M. Powicke, and V. H. Galbraith; but I also recall my pupils of the past ten years at Manchester, the undergraduates in my third-year class and my research-students: they have contributed facts, ideas, and stimulus. Members of my audience at Oxford were good enough to make suggestions and criticisms which I have tried to take into account; to them also I am grateful. My colleague, Eric John . . .

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