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THE FRANKISH CHURCH: THE SYMBIOSIS OF CHURCH AND STATE

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19
miimii
02-28-2007
07:56 AM ET (US)
wut i dew
18
Marissa Bond
03-12-2003
08:47 PM ET (US)
Wooohooo! Finally! Triumph over the heathen internet!


Letters between the Church and other church members and between the church and the state, although usually having a measure of distinct courtliness, give evidence to the type of power held and the authority of the writer but only under the constraint and veil of the Church doctrine. In this way, the Church and religion are capitalized upon for political purposes.
 Within the Church itself, scripture, and doctrine are invoked upon superiors for the gain of the subordinate. Bishop Boniface utilizes this in a letter to Pope Zacharias by using the empathetic appeal to secure the right for a Frankish synod, and for such synod the power to dismiss church officials by emphasizing the vices of appointed deacons in the light of scriptural condemnation. In this same letter he declares a union incestuous, but veils his pre-made decision by asking the Pope to officially disallow this marriage. He then chastises the Vatican for Rome’s carnal and secular indulgences by quoting the Apostles and St. Augustine. Boniface also requests to name a successor. In the matter of the successor, Boniface implies that it would not be within God’s will to appoint the successor that had already been picked, and therefore Boniface should do it himself in order to insure “what is most advantageous for God, the Church, and the safeguard of the faith.” Zacharias responds by granting the synod and right to dismiss priests, as well as conceding against incest. Yet he also uses the Church and Biblical precedent to refuse the naming of a successor, while the Papal authority is also aware that allowing him to do so would undermine his power. Zacharias argues that “it is in open contradiction to the law of the Church and the opinions of the Fathers.” He also says that the choice should not be made in Boniface’s lifetime, thus deferring his claim to the choice and “placating” him by telling him to pray that God may find a proper successor for him, firmly denying him using arguments of Christ and Church that he cannot refuse.
 Between Church and state, both tried to assert power over the other based on Biblical arguments. Alcuin of York’s letters to Charlemagne push for the empirical support of the Church, but with the awareness of a subordinate to a strong state power. He writes, “Third, the royal dignity to which the dispensation of our Lord
Jesus Christ has assigned you as ruler of the Christian people.” By asserting that Christ has given the Emporer his power, Alcuin is also saying that Charlemagne is subject to Christ, and therefore also the Christ’s delegates, the Church. But he also acknowledges Charlemagne’s power by saying, “Behold, upon you alone the whole safety of the Church of Christ leans and rests.” Even still, this statement suggests that there is withing Charlemagne’s power an obligation to support the Church of the power that granted him his station. However, when Archbishop Hincmar writes to the weaker King Louis of Germany, there is power and condemnation in his voice. He writes, “The Churches entrusted to us by God are not royal property, nor benefices of any sort that the king can give them or take them away as he sees fit, because everything which belongs to the church is dedicated to God.” He goes on to argue that bishops and prest should not be vassals, as they perform the ceremony of the Eucharist, and “it is abominable that such hands should be touched in a secular ceremony of oath taking.” Here, Hincmar is claiming doctrinal right to claim sanctity above being subject to the ordinances instated in 743 AD allowing the state to take over Church lands.
17
Christine ChungPerson was signed in when posted
03-10-2003
01:45 PM ET (US)
Re: Cooperation of the power of papacy and emperor, Cherlemagne.

 According to the letters of Alcuin of York,it seems like church wants to maked a strong alliance with several kings with exphasizing the importance of the power of the God and the fact that those kings were converted to Christianity. Church wanted use the power of other kings as a physical aid for protecting church, itself from other pagans. For example, in Letter 257, it says 'God has given power and wisdom...'.
Also, kings implied to churches to cooperate together for protecting each other as Letter 255 says 'Priesty power is one thing, royal power is another. The former carries the key to the kingdom of heaven, the latter the sword to punish the guilty'.
16
Jess Carlin
03-10-2003
12:49 PM ET (US)
What are some of the difficulties within the Church hierarchy?

By the time of St. Boniface, the Church had begun to spread throughout Europe, and the Papacy, while stronger than in past centuries, was still in a growth period. Tensions between those in the field, converting the pagans, and those at Rome begin to emerge. One of the main themes in the letters between St. Boniface and Pope Zacharias is that of jurisdiction. Who has control over what aspects of the Church? While in the field, Boniface found it necessary to estabilish three new bishoprics before gaining permission of the Pope. When he writes to the Pope after the fact and asks Zacharias to confirm the estabilishment of the bishoprics, Zacharias questions the necessity of the new bishoprics, and although he grants the request of Boniface, there is a sense of territorialism and irritation that Boniface would presume to estabilish bishoprics without the permission of the Pope beforehand. The second theme in the letters is Boniface's wish to be able to appoint his own successor. This is a direct challenge to Papal authority, although Pope Gregory, the predecessor of Zacharias, had given permission to Boniface to name his successor. Zacharias immediately discounts Boniface's word, because he feels "It is in open contradiction to the law of the Church and the opinions of the Fathers." The Papacy must be able to control who is a Bishop, otherwise the Pope has no control over any of the Clergy, and the Papacy becomes essentially powerless. This struggle for control over aspects of the Church will become extremely important in later centuries as the Papacy continues to try and gain control over all aspects of the Church.
15
Sarah Signor
03-10-2003
12:28 PM ET (US)
Why did God and Christ become more removed from men in the non-roman world?

I think a lot of this shift had to do with widespread illiteracy and the fact that it was a very uphill battle to convert the pagan masses. Most of the laity depended upon the masses for their knowledge of the bible, and knew very little else about it. Even many of the clergy did not know enough Latin to read many of the scriptures around at the time. The stress of converting the uneducated masses also lead to a lot of focus on the basic moral principles of the church, leaving out the more complex ideas of the divine mystery in favor of basic adherence to god's creed. Furthermore the Frankish Church, as a result of their need to defend Christ against the Arians, found themselves focusing a lot on his Divinity and his role as Judge and King of Heaven, that much of his humanity was forgotten. He became a much more terrifying figure and was distanced from the very people his humanity was meant to connect with. This gave rise to the importance of Saints and Martyrs, who, not being the son of god and all, could be both human and divine and bridge this gap between the terrifying judge and the laity.
14
Anna Kwon
03-10-2003
12:15 PM ET (US)
I just wanted to concur with Ana's posting that the Frankish church and state were in a mutually symbiotic relationship with one another: the church needed the authority and muscle-power of the state, while the state required legitimization and support of the holy powers. Also, I find the issue of denouncement of the Jewish faith as worse than that of paganism that was brought up by a few people to be both interesting and confounding. Lyndsey's comment about the need of the Christian church to distinguish itself from its Judaic counterpart for the sake of its own survival to be intriguing...are there any other reasons or possible explanations as to why the church was so adamant in its separation from Judaism?
13
Anne Colyn
03-10-2003
10:42 AM ET (US)
What is the influence/ meaning of a strong bureaucracy within the Church?

In the letter by Charlemagne to Pope Leo III, the struggles of the church are clearly stated regarding three "problem area" to be coped with in the expansion of christianity: "attacks of the pagans, devastations of the infidels, and within the Church to foster knowledge of the Catholic faith."
The pagan problem is discussed throughout the conversion of the European continent, and seems to remain a painful thorn in the eye of the church. Secondly, the devastation of the infidels in my interpretation refers back to the pagans and heathens, but it could also refer to those who do not embrace the word of God, like sinners by and large. Finally, the need to foster the knowledge of faith refers back to the many examples we find in today's reading about the misconduct of those associated with a position in the church.
Those three points emphasize the vulnerability that the Church has to cope with. To establish a strong sense of unity, hierarchy and political power allows the church - with the particiaption of laymen, like charlemagne - to control and exert power for its cause.
12
Lyndsey Schutte
03-10-2003
09:12 AM ET (US)
More on Judaism and the church:
It was worse to be a Jew than a pagan. Pagans were told to not do what they were doing and to do penitence. Jews were just killed in a horrible fashion. Why? It is mainly because the two religions are so similar, with Christianity springing up from Judaism. And the church of this time sounds like a twin of Judaism, for they are trading one interceding priest for another. They trade the sacrifices on the alter for penitence. They trade circumcision for baptism, and the way they interact with God has a lot to do with how they see the Israelites interacting with God. The church calls itself the new Israel.
Since they share so much, the church has to separate itself from and denounce Judaism as much as it can for it's own sake. And in many ways it's terrible and backwards and I don't understand it, but from another angle it simply logical that the church would interact this way.
11
Katie McConnaughey
03-10-2003
09:04 AM ET (US)
Jumping off of Sarah’s question of pagan influence in the ‘Ordeals and Judgments,’ it does seem the case that along the lines of conversion, superstitious pagan practices were kept in place with a “Christian flair.” In all the instructions for converting masses of heathens that we have read, this has been a common theme, for to allow part of the old religion remain along with the new, the people will be more comfortable with changes and more likely to not be entirely hostile during the whole ordeal. Whether through the conversion of temples, or saying of popular incantations, the ‘Ordeals and Judgments’ actually shows the result of the mixture of practices. For example, when instructing the “Judgment of the Morsel,” it is stated that the Lord’s Prayer should first be written on the bread and the bread and cheese should each weigh a certain amount before each is to be placed into the mouth at the same exact time and an elaborate system of cross making and incantations ensue. This text thus shows a prime example of a “Christianized” pagan ritual.
10
Julie Bednarski
03-10-2003
08:46 AM ET (US)
What was the design for the changes in the methods of conversion?
 Different methods of conversion, such as those proposed by Bishop Daniel of Winchester in his letter to Boniface are centered on a particular type of negotiation. The general idea was, that the more the pagans were worn down by questions their religious convictions could not answer the more likely they were to submit to the belief systems of Christianity. When addressing issues of location and prosperity the “grass is always greener on the other side” method was established for two reasons. The first was to prove that Christianity was superior to paganism, because Christians inhabited the better parts of the world. The second reason was to entice the pagans to become interested in Christianity because of its wealth, land, and God’s favor. Furthermore tying the church to a portion of land shows the positive political implications for conversion. This appears to be a gentler conversion method that enticed, rather than threatened.
first was to prove that Christianity was superior to paganism, because Christians inhabited the better parts of the world. The second reason was to entice the pagans to become interested in Christianity because of its wealth, land, and God’s favor. Furthermore tying the church to a portion of land shows the positive political implications for conversion. This appears to be a gentler conversion method that enticed, rather than threatened.
9
Emily Rosenberry
03-10-2003
07:54 AM ET (US)
What enabled Christianization of Germany?

In a fuedalistic society, Boniface needed Charles Martel's royal seal of approval. A lord had political and military power that others feared, and Charles Martel held sway over the entire Merovingian provinces. Boniface preached to pagans in these areas and thus required the protection of the strongest fuedal lord or Christianity, even Boniface's life would have been in danger. Boniface used the power that came with Charles Martel's protection to instill awe into the pagans as well as making use of a gospel written in gold (made by the Abbess Eadburga). Boniface used techniques of introducing the pagans to Christianity so that in their minds there was little doubt as to which religion was stronger simply by the physical evidence presented. Boniface took that evidence with him all throughout the Germanic areas, not staying in one place too long, as he was warned by Pope Gregory III when he says "You have no permission, brother, to remain in one district once your work there has been completed," forcing Boniface to continue to move about with his beliefs secure in his missionary ministry by the protection he recieved from Charles Martel and his heirs.
8
Sarah Pagni
03-10-2003
07:42 AM ET (US)
In what forms did paganism remain during the rule of Charlemagne?
 Although there were many attempts to eradicate paganism from the lives of the people, paganism did remain. It was illegal to be a practicing pagan but it did survive. Charlemagne and Boniface both chopped down two very important trees of the pagans but it was not enough to thwart the small ways that paganism had been imbedded into daily life. The most predominant way that paganism remained was in superstitions. The people paid attention to the day and small things such as sneezes and the sighting of a mouse. They also waited to marry on Friday because it was Venus’s day. In an attempt to convert people from worshipping the springs and trees, the church Christianized many of these places. They become trees and fountains dedicate to Saints. They created prayers for health and the harvest. They knew that these were important to the pagans and in order to get them to believe in God they would have to have respective prayers that showed that God did care about the same things and had powers over harvests and heath. However in the case of astrology, paganism was blatantly in practice, even by many that considered themselves to be Christians. Charlemagne is an example, he used astrology to predict when we was to travel. Many of the Carolingians predicted deaths and shifts of power by the stars.
7
Alexandra Polly
03-10-2003
12:24 AM ET (US)
Responding to the previous posting about Judiasm in Hillgarth:
In Judaizing Christians in Spain it was almost seen as a crime, if it wasnt already, to renounce a "good" religion for a "bad" one. Because of this apparent cruel act a more cruel punishment will be inflicted upon the person. It was declared in an edict that when it is proven that a Christian has practiced any Jewish rite he/she shall be put to an ignominous death. This "deplorable person" is to be put under the most ingenious and excruciating tortures that can be inflicted so that they could learn how horrible and destable the offence is. Also the persons property and belongings were confiscated for the royal treasury if the error contaminated the heirs of this person. This is an interesting look at how the Jewish people and the Catholics treated and responded to things in this time. The power of the Catholics to do things like the treatment of the Jews and to have the "authority" from G-d is an interesting cultural influence for the time.
6
Leslie Strongwater
03-09-2003
11:48 PM ET (US)
Question: Looking at Hillgarth, Legislation of the Barbarian Monarchies and Judaizing Christians in Spain, what was the social treatment of the Jewish minority like?

Jews were, up to a point, moderately tolerated. For the most part, they were discriminated against, and persecuted for their beliefs, which, ironically, made up the foundation of early Christianity. They were permitted to live in designated areas, were allowed to maintain certain jobs, but were not allowed to hold a bigger rank in office than Christians. Anyone caught practicing Jewish rites, such as circumcision (God Forbid!) were treated as criminals, and would be executed. Eliminating the Jewish tradition was seen as an act of cleansing evils “horrible and detestable.” In Spain, a considerable number of Jews resisted conversion. However, some were forcibly baptized. Was a person better off being a Jew than a pagan? Did the fact that Jesus Christ was Jewish make any difference to the overall opinion of the Jewish minority? Most likely, this hurt their side even more, as Jews were blamed for the death of Jesus. What then was the rationale for persecuting Jews who read from the same Bible as the Christians?
5
Sarah Kutner
03-09-2003
11:45 PM ET (US)
How did the Ordeals and Judgments reflet pagan influence?

The ordeals and judgments of the church seem to (in my mind at least) incorporate a number of pagan ritualistic traditions. The most obvious thing is the incantations over "holy" objects during the ordeal/judgment as is often condemned by church officials in most readings which reguard pagan practices. It's rather like the (the church) took a pagan practice and attatched christian words to the ritual and called it chrsitian. My last observation is that these rituals requre a very earthly active G-d. Instead of requireing that there be no devil's mark, they require that G-d take an active hand in each case. Although, on the otherhand, human nature is supposed to be evil, and there fore rather than the mark of the devil, one may instead require the mark of G-d to show that they have attoned for the sin they were supposedly born with and have not broken their commitment with G-d. So, I guess it's a double sided coin anyway even if I don't like one of the versions.
4
Ana-Maria PardoPerson was signed in when posted
03-09-2003
09:49 PM ET (US)
I agree with Anna when she mentions that the church presented itself as ranking before the king. As Alcuin of York tells us in Letter 255, there is conflict for supremacy between royal and priestly power. However, as these two types of power are not completely separated from each other, with kings and kingdoms converting to Christianism, the interaction between kings and the church evolves as one of symbiotic nature. Royal (Christian) power and ecclesiastical power mutually benefit each other by recognizing and reinforcing each other’s authority. The need of unification of rules throughout the expansion of Christianity stimulates the production of written law (Capitulary for the Missi 26), civil and canonical, for the support of its application and respect. As the church claims to have power that is superior to that of the kings we can see that it needs royal consent for its rules to be able to exist in the kingdoms (Capitulary for the Missi 16) and as a result be known by the people.
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