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The Mound, the Altar, and the Tomb: Sanctuary, Jurisdiction, and Punishment in Early Medieval Hagiography

The Mound, the Altar, and the Tomb: Sanctuary, Jurisdiction, and Punishment in Early Medieval... <p>Abstract:</p><p>The legal landscape of eleventh-century England was cluttered with conflicting jurisdictional claims as the crown, church, and aristocracy all grappled for political power. More than just a matter of legal precedence, however, jurisdictional disputes also came to play a central role in clerical debates over the church&apos;s participation in the administration of secular justice, especially its involvement in the sentencing of capital crimes. Reflecting on the church&apos;s complex jurisdictional entanglements thus offered clerical authors a chance to consider problems of legal authority and institutional identity. In exploring these issues, this article will focus on the record of a later Anglo-Saxon sanctuary dispute involving the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds and preserved in the <i>Miracula sancti Edmundi</i> of Herman the Archdeacon. Herman&apos;s account provides a useful case study of the ways in which monastic authors navigated jurisdictional problems and addressed concerns over ecclesiastical participation in meting out the ultimate penalty. In doing so, it sheds light on the ways in which ecclesiastical authors negotiated the jurisdictional complexities of eleventh-century England while also illustrating how they reconciled the practical demands of justice administration with the moral commitments of the early medieval church.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

The Mound, the Altar, and the Tomb: Sanctuary, Jurisdiction, and Punishment in Early Medieval Hagiography

Studies in Philology , Volume 117 (3) – Jul 8, 2020

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Studies in Philology, Incorporated
ISSN
1543-0383

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>The legal landscape of eleventh-century England was cluttered with conflicting jurisdictional claims as the crown, church, and aristocracy all grappled for political power. More than just a matter of legal precedence, however, jurisdictional disputes also came to play a central role in clerical debates over the church&apos;s participation in the administration of secular justice, especially its involvement in the sentencing of capital crimes. Reflecting on the church&apos;s complex jurisdictional entanglements thus offered clerical authors a chance to consider problems of legal authority and institutional identity. In exploring these issues, this article will focus on the record of a later Anglo-Saxon sanctuary dispute involving the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds and preserved in the <i>Miracula sancti Edmundi</i> of Herman the Archdeacon. Herman&apos;s account provides a useful case study of the ways in which monastic authors navigated jurisdictional problems and addressed concerns over ecclesiastical participation in meting out the ultimate penalty. In doing so, it sheds light on the ways in which ecclesiastical authors negotiated the jurisdictional complexities of eleventh-century England while also illustrating how they reconciled the practical demands of justice administration with the moral commitments of the early medieval church.</p>

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jul 8, 2020

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