Clerics in the Early Middle Ages: Hierarchy and Image

1st Edition

Roger E. Reynolds

Published December 23, 1999
Reference - 346 Pages
ISBN 9780860788089 - CAT# Y284584
Series: Variorum Collected Studies


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This volume covers two closely related themes. Essays in the first section deal with the varieties of clerics and their hierarchical arrangements in the churches of western Europe in the early Middle Ages, the formative period in which the ordering of clerics in the Western Church evolved. The number and numbering of clerics was debated and then established, as was their status as minor and sacred orders. In one of several hitherto unpublished pieces in this collection the significance of the elevation of the subdeacon to a sacred order in the later 11th century is examined, together with its effect on the status of the highest grades of priest and bishop, often seen to be one in order but distinct in office. In the second section, visual depictions of clerics in early medieval manuscripts are shown to have reflected their hierarchical ordering, especially in their ordinations, in the vestments and symbols assigned them, and in their functioning at conciliar gatherings.

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