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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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Legislation and reforming opinion

Legislation and reforming opinion

(p.789) 22 Legislation and reforming opinion
The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West

Susan Wood

Oxford University Press

The chief external constraint on property-right in churches, from the first, was the tenuous but never defunct authority of bishops over their founding, manning, and functioning (with the spasmodic support of rulers). The bishops' conception of this authority and its proper exercise, along with the responsiveness to it of clergy, monks, and laity, depended on the changing background of ideas and the development of law and opinion. This chapter examines the articulate opinions of leading churchmen or canonists, usually formed or expressed at councils, regarding the practical workings of proprietary churches under customary law. In Francia, the mid-eighth-century reforms as a whole may have been seen as a threat, not only by those enjoying the fruits of secularization, but also by founders and lords of lesser churches and monasteries.

Keywords:   proprietary church, property-right, property, legislation, customary law, lay lordship, canon law, legal opinions

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