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New Medieval Books: The Medieval Clergy, 800-1250

The Medieval Clergy, 800-1250: A Sourcebook

By John S. Ott and Anna Trumbore Jones

Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
ISBN: 9780888443137

More than 70 sources are translated here to offer readers a look into the lives of priests, bishops and other clergy in the Middle Ages. It is a wide-ranging book, covering topics from how to do baptisms to bishops getting involved in wars.


We have selected documents from across the period from the ninth through the early thirteenth centuries, which highlight the ways in which the clerical order and its offices evolved; how the liturgy of the church functioned; how the pastoral clergy negotiated a professional identity distinct from that of laymen; and how various waves of clerical reform – both directed by secular and religious authorities from the top down, and urged by ordinary folk from the grass roots up – challenged clerical norms. These texts show the Roman Church slowly extending its heirarchical authority over regional clergy, although that process was hardly smooth, and regional and institutional distinctiveness remained. Indeed, we have tried to emphasize this regional particularity, even while nothing important universal trends.


Who is this book for?

While this book is designed to be used as a student reader in university courses, it deserves a much wider readership among medievalists. Almost every source here is newly translated and within its over 500 pages you can find many different topics touched upon.

The authors/translators

John S. Ott is Professor of History at Portland State University. Anna Trumbore Jones is Professor of History at Lake Forest College. Both focus their research on ecclesiastical history.


You can learn more about this book from the publisher’s website

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