Popes and Violence in the High Middle Ages


The title of this book uses a quotation of Bishop Bonizo of Sutri who saw those who executed violence on behalf of the church equal to people who suffered violence for righteousness. His argumentation belongs to many attempts of the papal reform movement to establish new claims of validity for papal superiority in church and world. The book looks especially for the biblical foundation of these claims and discusses especially stories taken from the Old Testament, which the Gregorians used to legitimize violence against disobedient people and infidels. This new doctrine seems to be responsible for a series of conflicts with worldly powers and even for the crusades.

Literature: Althoff, Gerd, „Selig sind, die Verfolgung ausüben“. Päpste und Gewalt im Hochmittelalter, Stuttgart: Konrad Theiss 2013.