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Title: The political theory of Pope Clement VI
Author: Wood, D. P.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3571 8256
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 1975
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The mid-fourteenth century was a time of political and social turmoil - of imperial pretenders and rebellious kings, of incessant European warfare, of unchecked Islamic expansion and aggression and the concomitant persecution of Christians, of tensions generated by plague, economic decline, and violent, often heretical, popular movements. It was also an age of nationalism and the growth of the lay spirit, when novel and extreme theories led to the growth of constitutionalism not only within the regional kingdoms but even within the clerical body. Using the correspondence and sermon literature (largely unpublished) of Clement VI, the thesis aims to discover whether such challenging circumstances were reflected in adaptations to the strict letter of papal doctrine. Was Clement a ’humanist pope’, as has been suggested, or one in the customary hierocratic mould? After ’a historiographical introduction, the early chapters are devoted to an examination of the Pope’s conception of the Church, of his authority over it, and his special relationship with his see of Rome, at a time when the papacy was under attack for leaving it, Within the framework of his, largely traditional, ecclesiology, the later chapters aim to test Clement on a particularly sensitive aspect of papal theory, the creation and control of the officials of Western Christendom. His attitude to members of the Sacred College, to the Emperor, and to rulers of kingdoms both inside and out› side the territorial limits of the Empire are explored. Although in his private capacity Clement appears to have been a humanist, as Pope he emerges as a traditionally authoritarian monarch, whose views were in general similar to those of contemporary canonists and papal publicists.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available