Religions in Conflict: From Polemics to Wars (Late Antiquity - 18th Century)
About Programme Abstracts
Making Enemies: The Latin Church and its Anxieties in the Age of Reform

R.I. Moore, University of Newcastle

The reconstruction of the political and social order of western Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries was the establishment by the clergy of its own position and to collective identity as the unrivalled voice of religious authority. The Roman Church was the most universal the most complete vehicle of this authority, but by no means its only locus or always the source of its earliest expression. The claim to a monopoly of religious authority involved the denigration of possible alternatives, Christian as well as the non-Christian. It also on occasion required the invention of alternative, among which the notion of an alternative anti-church, dispatching missionaries to corrupt Latin Europe from a base in the Greek East is the best known and was the most fully elaborated. This paper will explore the promulgation of that idea in Latin Christendom, and the interests which it served, especially in the half century preceding the Fourth crusade and the Albigensian crusade.

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2004: Univeristy of Thessaly - Department. of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology