Canon Law, Religion, and Politics

Canon Law, Religion, and Politics

Liber Amicorum Robert Somerville

Edited by Uta-Renate Blumenthal, Anders Winroth and Peter Landau

6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Hardcover
  • 9780813219752
  • Published: August 2012


  • eBook
  • 9780813219769
  • Published: August 2012



Canon Law, Religion, and Politics extends and honors the work of the distinguished historian Robert Somerville, a preeminent expert on medieval church councils, law, and papal history. Reflecting the focus but also the range of Somerville's studies in medieval canon law in the era before Gratian and later, the essays explore the transmission of canonical and theological texts—in particular regarding the Eucharist—as well as the significance of the texts and their complex manuscript traditions.

Several essays examine texts in their practical context, highlighting the effects of canon law on religious institutions such as monasteries and the practices at law courts of medieval western Europe. Four studies dealing with the ius commune—the conjunction of canon and Roman law in daily practice, a topic of general and perennial interest—show once again how our understanding of canonistic and civilian legal developments in medieval and late medieval religious and intellectual history is evolving with greater precision when assumptions and generalities are analyzed in the light of manuscript sources. The pioneering influence of Somerville and his colleagues is evident in all of the essays. They broaden current understanding of the place of law and theology in a crucial period of history, the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries.

This work is written in honor of Robert Somerville, professor of history and Ada Byron Bampton Tremaine Professor of Religion at Columbia University. His scholarly honors are legion, including a fellowship in the Medieval Academy of America and the Commission Internationale de Diplomatique. He is a corresponding member of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica in Munich as well as the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous awards including two John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowships. He is the author of numerous books and articles.

The contributors are Greta Austin, Alison Beach, Uta-Renate Blumenthal, Bruce C. Brasington, Martin Brett, James A. Brundage, Giles Constable, Kathleen C. Cushing, Charles Donahue Jr., Detlev Jasper, Anna Trumbore Jones, Peter Landau, Elizabeth Makowski, Kenneth Pennington, Edward Peters, Roger E. Reynolds, Frank Roumy, Herbert Schneider, and Charles R. Shrader.


Uta-Renate Blumenthal is professor emerita of history at the Catholic University of America. She is the recipient of major fellowships and grants and has published seven books and numerous articles. Anders Winroth, author or editor of several works, is professor of history at Yale University and a MacArthur Fellow. Peter Landau is professor emeritus of law at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, recipient of multiple honorary doctorates, author of more than a hundred publications, and president of the Stephan Kuttner Institute of Medieval Canon Law.