A Companion to Priesthood and Holy Orders in the Middle Ages, a select group of scholars explain the rise and function of priests and deacons in the Middle Ages. Though priests were sometimes viewed through the lens of function, the medieval priesthood was also defined ontologically–those marked by God who performed the sacraments and confected the Eucharist.
While their role grew in importance, medieval priests continued to fulfil the role of preacher, confessor and provider of pastoral care. As the concept of ordination changed theologically the practices and status of bishops, priests and deacons continued to be refined, with many of these medieval discussions continuing to the present day.
Greg Peters, Ph.D. (2003), University of St. Michael’s College, is Associate Professor of Medieval and Spiritual Theology at Biola University. He has authored Peter of Damascus: Byzantine Monk and Spiritual Theologian (PIMS, 2011) and The Story of Monasticism (Baker, 2015).
C. Colt Anderson, Ph.D. (1998), Marquette University, is Dean of Graduate School of Religion of Religious Education at Fordham University. He is the author of Christian Eloquence: Contemporary Doctrinal Preaching (Hillenbrand, 2005) and The Great Catholic Reformers (Paulist, 2007).
List of Abbreviations
2 Apostolic Successors: Priests and Priesthood, Bishops and Episcopacy in Medieval Western Europe
3 Ordinatio and the Priesthood in the Early Middle Ages and its Visual Depiction
Roger E. Reynolds
4 Priesthood in the Byzantine Empire
5 Married Clergy in Eastern and Western Christianity
6 The Imago Christi in the Bishop, Priest and Clergy
Roger E. Reynolds
7 Priests and the Eucharist in the Middle Ages
John F. Romano
8 The Priesthood and the Sacrament of Marriage
Charles J. Reid, Jr.
9 Teaching Confession in Thirteenth-Century England: Priests and Laity
10 Reforming Priests and the Diverse Rhetorics of Ordination and Office from 1123-1418
C. Colt Anderson
11 The Radical Renewal of Pastoral Care in the Italian Communes, 1150-1250: Prelates, Secular Clergy, and the Mendicant Orders
Michael F. Cusato, O.F.M.
12 Priesthood and Holy Orders in the Middle Ages From Function to Ontology: The Shifting Diaconate of the Middle Ages
William T. Ditewig
All interested in the nature of the priesthood and holy orders in the Middle Ages, and anyone interested in medieval history, sacramental theology, liturgical studies, art historians, and canon law.