"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Popes and Monarchical Marriages

The current debate in the Catholic Church about marriage, made much murkier by that needlessly sprawling and carelessly prolix mess of a document known as Amoris Laetetia (which proves, yet again, that committees should not write documents, and that the writing of short documents and books requires far greater self-discipline than longer ones), could well benefit from a hefty dose of history such as that supplied in David d'Avray's book, first published in 2015, and released earlier this year in paperback: Papacy, Monarchy and Marriage 860-1600 (Cambridge UP, 2017), 370pp.

About this study the publisher tells us:
This analysis of royal marriage cases across seven centuries explains how and how far popes controlled royal entry into and exits from their marriages. In the period between c.860 and 1600, the personal lives of kings became the business of the papacy. d'Avray explores the rationale for papal involvement in royal marriages and uses them to analyse the structure of church-state relations. The marital problems of the Carolingian Lothar II, of English kings - John, Henry III, and Henry VIII - and other monarchs, especially Spanish and French, up to Henri IV of France and La Reine Margot, have their place in this exploration of how canon law came to constrain pragmatic political manoeuvring within a system increasingly rationalised from the mid-thirteenth century on. Using documents presented in the author's Dissolving Royal Marriages, the argument brings out hidden connections between legal formality, annulments, and dispensations, at the highest social level.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...