History 238-02

Papacy, Church, and Empire in the Age of Reform

X-listed with Religion
William North
Leighton 203B (on the left, just before the History Dept)
x4210 (office)//645-7807 (home: between 7 am-10 pm)
Office Hours: M 11:15-12:15; Th 10-12; F 11-12:15; & by appointment
email: WNorth@carleton.edu

The eleventh century was one of the most convulsive, yet creative, periods in medieval history and is a watershed in the history of the medieval Church and German Empire. For the era of the so-called "Investiture Controversy" and "Gregorian Reform" saw not only the rise of the papacy as the juridical and spiritual head of European Christendom but the rise of canon law and the assertion of rigorous standards for the monastic and priestly life based on a return to apostolic models. Through lectures and intensive discussion of primary and secondary works, we will examine the central debates and decisive events surrounding the clash between the nascent papacy and the German monarchy. Among other issues that we will discuss are: the relationship between sacred and secular power; just war; the call for clerical purity from all forms of corruption (money, sex, blood); the role of the papacy within the Church; secular challenges to kingship; and the nature and sources of authority in the eleventh century.

Course Requirements and Grading Class Participation
Participation is strongly encouraged. This class is primarily driven by discussion of the readings for the week: your and my questions, interpretations, and criticisms. And while being a passive listener can be tempting at times, such quietude will ensure a limited intellectual experience for me, for you, and for your colleagues. It is also utterly alien to the spirit of Christine's life and works! Perfect attendance (while appreciated) and silence can therefore only merit at best a C.

Attendance is absolutely mandatory. In a course of such short duration (15 classes at most) attendance is vital. One unexcused absence will therefore result in a drop of one full letter grade in class participation; two unexcused absences will result in a drop of an additional two full letter grades; three will result in a letter grade of F for class participation. The message is simple: if you are compelled by legitimate factors to miss a class, let me know immediately.
Textual Analyses/Reading Responses
Reading responses are short, typed, tightly written thought pieces (3 pages max) in which you do a close historical reading of a passage or small set of passages from the readings for that particular week. The passages in question must be quoted in the paper, either as a single-spaced block quotation or integrated into your essay). Since schedules and interests vary, you may choose which of the week's readings you would like to examine BUT you must submit one response each week. Your reading response should be submitted before or at the class during which the particular reading is discussed. Five responses are required.
Final Examination or Final Essay
For the final exercise, you will have the option of doing either a take-home final examination or writing a 10 page final essay. If you elect the paper option, you must speak with me by the end of Week III. If you elect the paper and change your mind at the last minute, you may take the final but you may not decide to do the paper at the last minute.
Books to Buy (Total Cost w/o Big Package Discount- ca. $52.00)
Because specific discussion of texts will be a significant element in each class session, members of the course are heartily encouraged to purchase the required texts. If cost is a factor, please consult with me as soon as possible about other arrangements.


Please note: Reading Assignments are placed under the day on which the readings will be discussed.

Week I     Spiritual Renewal and New Institutions

Week II    The German Empire

Week III The Rise of the Papacy and the Nature of Reform