(C2-21) The Episcopacy and Socio-Political Change before the Investiture Contest. A Comparative Study of Dioceses along the Franco-Imperial Border, c. 950 - c. 1050

The project examines the political and religious activities of bishops in the region straddling the border between the kingdom of France and the Empire from about 950 to 1050. As the 'middle management' of medieval society, whose religious and political activities encompassed the lives of aristocrats, kings and peasants, the history of the episcopacy offers an ideal focus point for understanding medieval social and cultural transformations. The core sources are episcopal chronicles commissioned by these bishops to create an institutional history, especially vis-a-vis lay aristocrats and other religious institutions (like monasteries). Additional sources include annals, monastic chronicles, saints’ lives, miracle collections and charters. The aim of the project is to complement and interrogate previous work done on the transformation of lay society in the period as well as on the religious reforms of the eleventh century by concentrating on secular clergy and taking a comparative approach which is not beholden to a single national narrative.

The Project is part of interconnecting platform E Differentiation and De-Differentiation  and coordinated project project group Legitimation and de-legitimation of violence with reference to text and tradition.