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The title of this book expreses a paradox, not a fact. A papal monarchy was in principle and in practice inconceivable in medieval Europe. One of the distinctive features of Christianity has been a clear separationb etween church and state. The awaress nof two powers, each with its own area of authority, was founded upon the ministry of Christ. The distinction between sacred and secular, between kingdom and priesthood is a commonplace of Christian thinking and it was not forgotten between 1050 and 1250. This impressive book is comprehensive in coverage, masterful in synthesis, relentless in good sense, and felicitous in prose. This book covers the history of the Christian church from 1050-1250 with clarity, wit, elegant versing, and challenging epigrams. 673 page softcover from Oxford.
In this book Morris examines the building of Christian society between 1050 and 1250. The two centuries covered were among the most creative in the history of the Church and saw the emergence of much that is considered characteristic of European culture and religion: universities, commercial cities, hospitals, the crusades, the inquisition, papal government, canon law, and marriage in its "western" form.
"Extremely valuable....A very wide audience can use this book: it tends toward a comprehensiveness which makes it a text in medieval history itself, so that the general reader or undergraduate with no detailed knowledge of the Middle Ages can learn all that is necessary to understand church history; regularly the specialist will be delighted to see recent scholarship and the most current approaches to history embodied in a lucid narrative."--Catholic Historical Review
"Reading the book is like taking a serious course in the ecclesiastical history of the period....Every reader must feel that Morris has explained a lot, that without being aridly encyclopedic he has given us and those to whom we must explain things a source as rich as an encyclopedia. It is hard to think of teaching the history of any part of the book's period without its help again."--Speculum
"Has provided the student of medieval history with an important tool....Morris has, in short, created a book that can be a starting point for the student and a source of insight to the scholar."--Journal of Religion
"Morris has witten a masterful survey of the Church in the High Middle Ages....Without a doubt, Professor Morris has provided us with a very important and up-to-date study of the Church in one of its most interesting periods."--Reflections
"The book deserves overall a heartfelt salute for its many excellences....The work goes a long way toward presenting with unusual thoughtfulness and distinction the entire religious history of its crucial period."--Church History
"The book reads well and offers a fresh and detailed approach to the topic....The [Oxford History of the Christian Church] series should be in every academic library as it will be an important resource for students and scholars alike....This volume would greatly supplement any library's holdings concerning the medieval papacy and the medieval church."--CHOICE
"This is clearly an outstanding work; from now on, it will be unthinkable to do Church history from 1050 through 1250 without awareness and use of this magisterial volume."--ADRIS