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The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West$
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Susan Wood

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206972.001.0001

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Lesser churches’ resources in tithes and offerings

Lesser churches’ resources in tithes and offerings

(p.459) 15 Lesser churches’ resources in tithes and offerings
The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West

Susan Wood

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that lords in some regions had a decisive influence on the allocation or direction of so-called pastoral revenues; not, however, fitting any universal pattern of directing their own dependants' contributions to their own local churches, and not monopolizing control to the exclusion of episcopal authority or of some communal or individual choices. Christians were morally obliged to give part of their wealth to the church (for clergy, fabric, costs of worship, the poor, the ransoming of captives), an obligation defined in biblical terms as firstfruits and the tenth part of one's product or gains, mainly the year's grain and animals born that year. The tithe was owed rather than offered, and corresponded to no specific ritual need, common or individual. It was this above all that had to be enjoined by preachers and councils, and that came to have the ruler's backing in eighth-century Francia.

Keywords:   lesser churches, proprietary church, tithes, offerings, Francia, lords, bishops, pastoral revenues

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