Throne and Pulpit: The Relationship Between the Medieval Church and the Nascent State During the Pontificate of Alexander III (1159-1181) Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.A., History) -- University of Idaho, 2017 | There is rarely anything glamorous in a job well done, especially when the nature of that work is administrative and bureaucratic. Such is the case of Pope Alexander III. His pontificate (1159-1181) existed in stark counterpoint to one of the most tumultuous centuries of the medieval era. This period was marked by culture and politics and is known by historians as the Twelfth Century Renaissance. Some historians have argued that this represented a period of crisis between the medieval church and the nascent state. Using Alexander’s pontificate as a case study I argue it was not. Alexander faced two major conflicts during his pontificate. One by the machinations of Frederick Barbarossa and the other Thomas Becket’s inflexibility. Alexander used compromise and diplomacy during both of these conflicts in fact to avoid a crisis in the relationship between church and state.

publication date

  • June 1, 2017


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