Episcopacy, Authority, and Gender

Aspects of Religious Leadership in Europe, 1100–2000


What is the base of religious leadership and how has it changed over the centuries? This volume presents a range of actors, both men and women, who, in a variety of historical contexts, claimed to be the living voices or intermediaries of God. The essays analyse the foundation of their authoritative claims and ask how and how far they succeeded in securing obedience from the Christians to whom they addressed their message. Religious authority is not understood as a monolithic entity but as something derived from many sources and claims. Whatever the national background, whether ordained or supposedly appointed through divine intervention, the histories of the people portrayed underline the long-term manifestations and multifaceted nature of Christian identity.

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Jan Wim Buisman (1954), Leiden University, is Lecturer of the History of Christianity at Leiden University. Moreover, he is Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Church History and Religious Culture. He has published widely on the relations between Enlightenment and Christianity.

Marjet Derks (1958), Radboud University Nijmegen, is Assistant Professor of Cultural History. She has published on religious women, conversion movements, and gender in the religious sixties, including ‘Changing Lanes: Dutch Women Witnessing the Second Vatican Council’, Trajecta 22 (2013), 81-102.

Peter Raedts (1948), Radboud University Nijmegen, is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History. His last publications are The Discovery of the Middle Ages. History of a Delusion (2011) and The Invention of the Roman Catholic Church (2013), both in Dutch.
"Even so, this is a consistently stimulating collection. Some scholars will appreciate specific chapters offering cogent new studies in their specialist fields. Other historians (...) will find something thought-provoking in every chapter." Philip Lockley, Durham University, in: Journal of Ecclesiastical History Vol. 68.4 (2017).
Contributors are: Angela Berlis, Clyde Binfield, Marjet Derks, Peter Elliott, W.M. Jacob, Jan Kuys, Marit Monteiro, Daniela Müller, Peter Raedts, Jens Röhrkasten, R.N. Swanson, Katherine Sykes, David L. Wykes, Nigel Yates †, and Paula Yates.
All interested in religious history, gender and Christianity, and transnational religious developments and authorities.
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