New Discourses in Medieval Canon Law Research

Challenging the Master Narrative


Editor: Christof Rolker
New Discourses in Medieval Canon Law Research offers a new narrative for medieval canon law history which avoids the pitfall of teleological explanations by taking seriously the multiplicity of legal development in the Middle Ages and the divergent interests of the actors involved. The contributors address the still dominant ‘master narrative’, mainly developed by Paul Fournier and enshrined in his magisterial Histoire de collections canoniques. They present new research on pre-Gratian canon collection, Gratian’s Decretum, decretal collections, but also hagiography, theology, and narrative sources challenging the standard account; a separate chapter is devoted to Fournier’s model and its genesis. New Discourses thus brings together specialized research and broader questions of who to write the history of church law in the Middle Ages.
Contributors are Greta Austin, Katheleen G. Cushing, Stephan Dusil, Tatsushi Genka, John S. Ott, Christof Rolker, Danica Summerlin, Andreas Thier and John C. Wei.

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Christof Rolker, Ph.D. (Cambridge, 2006), is professor for Historische Grundwissenschaften at the University of Bamberg. His numerous publications on medieval canon law include Canon Law and the Letters of Ivo of Chartres (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
"...the valuable historiographical and methodological reflection provided in this volume makes it a must-read for anyone interested in canon law, theology, and church history in the eleventh and twelfth centuries". John Burden, in The Medieval Review 20.05.05 (2020). The full review is accessible at this link:
Notes on Contributors
Christof Rolker and Andreas Thier

1 Fournier’s Model and Its Merits
Christof Rolker

2 Law and Reform: The Transmission of Burchard of Worms’ Liber decretorum
Kathleen G. Cushing

3 New Narratives for the Gregorian Reform
Greta Austin

4 Clerical Networks and Canon Law: The Beauvais Election Controversy of 1100–04
John S. Ott

5 The Role of Hagiography in the Development of Canon Law in the Reform Era
Tatsushi Genka

6 Of Scholasticism and Canon Law: Narratives Old and New
John C. Wei

7 The Decretum of Gratian: A Janus-Faced Collection
Stephan Dusil

8 Using the ‘Old Law’ in Twelfth-Century Decretal Collections
Danica Summerlin

9 Canon Law before Gratian: A Bibliographical Appendix
Christof Rolker

General Index
Anyone interested in medieval canon history or high medieval ecclesiastical history, especially intellectual history, legal history, history of the papacy.