The Catholic University of America
Canon Law 714A
History of the Medieval Councils
Tuesday 1:10 PM - 3:00 PM
Classrooms: Caldwell 111 and occasionally the Canon Law Seminar Room, Third Floor Mullen Library
Spring 2011:and by appointment
413 Caldwell Hall
416 Law School
Home tel.: 202-547-3620
Councils were established in the first three centuries of the Christian Church. Their canons played a very important role in unifying the Church. This course will explore the theory and practice of conciliar institutions in local churches and the establishment of ecumenical or general councils. The function of the council as a court, legislative body, and vehicle for reform will be studied. The course will examine the councils of the Roman Catholic Church from the third century AD to the Council of Basel in the fifteenth century. The canons of the council will be studied for their legal and theological contents.
Required Book: Norman P. Tanner, The Councils of the Church: A Short History (New York 2001) ISBN 0-8245-1904-3 Tanner's book is an excellent overview of conciliar history with excellent bibliographies. It can be purchased from Amazon.com for $15.95.
Heinz Ohme, Sources of the Greek Canon Law to the Quinisext Council (692): Councils and Church Fathers
Anne J. Duggan, Conciliar Law 1123-1215: The Legislation of the Four Lateran Councils
Provided text on DVD: Greek and Latin Texts of the Ecumenical Councils, the Texts of the Councils in the Corpus of Canon Law, and Manuscripts of Early Councils
1. Councils before Constantine
|Councils of Carthage 253-256||Council of Antioch 268||Council of Elvira 306|
2. The Constantinian Councils
|Council of Rome 313||Council of Arles 314||Council of Nicaea 325|
3. Greek Councils
Constantinople I 381
Constantinople II and III 553 and 680-681
Nicaea II 787
Constantinople IV 869-870
4. Latin Councils before the Twelfth Century
|Rome 863||Council of Melfi 1089||Council of Claremont 1095|
5. Latin Ecumenical Councils
Second Lateran Council 1139
Third Lateran Council 1179
First Council of Lyon 1245
Second Council of Lyon 1270
Council of Vienne 1311-1312
6. The Age of Conciliarism
|Council of Constance 1414-1418||Councils of Basel and Ferrara 1431-1445||Councils of Florence and Rome 1431-1445|
The course will require one research paper that will be due at the end of the semester and ongoing class participation. Final Essay is due on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
Bibliography of Secondary Literature in English
Early Councils and Greek Councils
Davis, Leo Donald. The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology. Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgal Press, 1990.
Halfond, Gregory I. Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, AD 511-768. Medieval law and its practice, v. 6. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2010.
Hess, Hamilton. The Early Development of Canon Law and the Council of Serdica. Oxford Early Christian Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
Laeuchli, Samuel. Power and Sexuality: The Emergence of Canon Law at the Synod of Elvira. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1972.
Meyendorff, John. ""Councils (Ecumenical, 325-787)," Dictionary of the Middle Ages 3 (1983) 627-631.
Rackman, R. B. The Text of the Canons of Ancyra: The Greek, Latin, Syriac and the Armenian Versions. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2006.
Stocking, Rachel L. Bishops, Councils, and Consensus in the Visigothic Kingdom, 589-633. History, Languages, and Cultures
of the Spanish and Portuguese Worlds. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2000.
Blumenthal, Uta-Renate. The Early Councils of Pope Paschal II, 1100-1110 (
Gill, Joseph. The Council of Florence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959).
Gill, Joseph. Personalities at the Council of Florence and Other Essays (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1964).
Loomis, Louise Ropes, Mundy, John Hine and Kennerly M. Woody, editors.
. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Oakley, Francis. Council over Pope?
Oakley, Francis, "Councils, Western (1311-1449)," Dictionary of the Middle Ages 3 (1983) 642-656.
Pixton, Paul B. "Councils, Western (1215-1274)," Dictionary of the Middle Ages 3 (1983) 639-642.
Pixton, Paul B. T
Pixton, Paul B. “Cardinal Bishop Conrad of Porto and S. Rufina and the Implementation of Innocent III's
Conciliar Decrees in Germany, 1224-1226,” Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Medieval Canon Law,
Syracuse, New York, edited K. Pennington, S. Chodorow, and K. Kendall (Monumenta Iuris Canonici, Series C: Subsidia, vol. 11.
Cittŕ del Vaticano,Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 2001) 509-535.
Somerville, Robert. The Councils of Urban II, 1: Decreta Claromontensia (Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum, Supplementum 1.
Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert, 1972.
Somerville, Robert. Pope Alexander III and the Council of Tours (Los Angeles: University of California, 1978.
Somerville, Robert. "Councils, Western (869-1179)," Dictionary of the Middle Ages 3 (1983) 632-639.
Stieber, Joachim W. Pope Eugenius IV, the Council of Basel, and the Secular and Ecclesiastical Authorities in the Empire
(Studies in the History of Christian Thought, 13. Leiden: Brill, 1978.
Tierney, Brian. Foundations of the Conciliar Theory: The Contribution of the Medieval Canonists from Gratian to the Great Schism.
New Enlarged Edition. Studies in the History of Christian Thought, 81. Leiden-New York-Köln: Brill, 1998.