Robert Grosseteste and the 13th-Century Diocese of Lincoln

An English Bishop’s Pastoral Vision


In this book Philippa Hoskin offers an account of the pastoral theory and practice of Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln 1235-1253, within his diocese. Grosseteste has been considered as an eminent medieval philosopher and theologian, and as a bishop focused on pastoral care, but there has been no attempt to consider how his scholarship influenced his pastoral practice.
Making use of Grosseteste’s own writings – philosophical and theological as well as pastoral and administrative – Hoskin demonstrates how Grosseteste’s famous interventions in his diocese grew from his own theory of personal obligation in pastoral care as well as how his personal involvement in his diocese could threaten well-developed clerical and lay networks.

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Philippa Hoskin, D.Phil. (1996), Oxford University, is Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Lincoln. She has published extensively on the medieval English Church, including an edition of the administrative rolls of Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln 1235-1253.
1 Robert Grosseteste
2 The Book 16
1The Background to Reform
1 The Fourth Lateran Council 24
2 Developments in English Church Government 30
3 English Diocesan Statutes 1215–1250 35
4Conclusion 46
2Grosseteste’s theory of Pastoral Care
1 Penance and the Restoration 52
2 Right Use of Authority 56
3 Hierarchy and Order 58
4 Justice and Mercy 67
5 Natural Law and Divine Law 71
6 Conclusion 76
3The Principal Shepherds of the Sheep: Grosseteste’s Administration within the Diocese
1 Grosseteste and His Administration: the Tension of Separation 82
2 The Archdeacons 87
3 Grosseteste and His Archdeacons 93
4 Conclusion 99
4Friars and Visitation: Grosseteste’s Interventions in the Diocese
1 Grosseteste and the Friars 102
2 Grosseteste and Parochial Visitation 115
3 Conclusion 125
5A Royal Priesthood: Grosseteste’s the Parish Priests
1 Classifying Pastoral Competence – a Tool for Reforming the Clergy 132
2 Grosseteste’s Ideal Clergyman 133
3 Grosseteste’s Bad Clergyman 138
4 The Inadequate Clergyman141
5 Grosseteste’s Work with His Parish Clergy145
6 Grosseteste and Book Eight of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 148
7 Conclusion 151
6Illuminating the Darkness: Grosseteste’s Panoptic Vision of the Diocese
1 Grosseteste and the Jews of the Diocese 155
2 Grosseteste and the Lay Elite 159
3 Grosseteste and His Religious Houses 172
4 Conclusion 179
7Grosseteste’s Pastoral Afterlife
1 Grosseteste’s Network amongst the Episcopate 181
2 Grosseteste and Episcopal Gravamina 1253–1261 189
3 Grosseteste and Secular Authority 198
4 Conclusion 211
All interested in the history of thirteenth-century England, particularly the Church in medieval England, and anyone interested in medieval pastoral care, philosophy and theology.