History of Canon Law Mid-Term Essay 

Coin of Constantine the Great  AD 324-326

Cleveland Museum of Art

"Bonus Pastor" Roman, ca. 300 AD

Cleveland Museum of Art

Monastery of San Speco, Italy

St. Benedict's first monastic home was here and still contained within the walls of the monastery

Due Friday, October 23, 2015

1. Describe the structure of the "ecclesia" in early Christian communities.  What institutions and texts did early Christian communities use to establish norms (100 A.D. to 600 A.D.)?  What were the norms produced by these institutions and what were their contents (in other words what were the chief concerns of the early Christian Church fathers and early Christian communities)?  Focus your discussion especially on the development of conciliar canons and papal decretals. (Long extensive discussion)

2.  Describe the relationship of the papacy, the emperor, the constitution of the Roman Empire, and canon law in the period from 100 A.D. and 500 A.D.  (Short section)

3. Describe and analyze the ecclesiastical norms that Justinian's jurists dealt incorporated into the Codex and Digest.  To what extent is Justinian's codification of Roman law evidence for Caesaropapism?

4. Discuss the differences and similarities between Greek and Latin canon law between 500 A.D. and 1100.  What is the significance of these differences? (Short section)

5. Christianity spread slowly in Northern Europe.  Discuss canonical collections of the 8th and 9th centuries,  their origins and contents. (Short section)

6. Discuss the eleventh-century reform movement.  Which sources in the canonical tradition were most important for shaping the reforms?  Was there a reform of canon law in the eleventh century?  How does the Collection in 74 Titles illustrate the push for reform within the Church at the mid-point of the eleventh century?  Describe Pope Gregory VII's vision of papal monarchy.   What sources shaped his vision and what influence did his conception of the papal office have? (Long extensive discussion)


Write an essay covering each of these points. It should be typed, double-spaced, and proofread. The font should be 12 point, the margins 1" left and right, top and bottom.    Place the numbers of the sections in your essay.  Keep quotations short.  All quotations should be single spaced, indented, and no longer than three lines.  Summarize longer passages that you take from the readings.  I would like to receive your essay as a Word or WordPerfect document (Windows; I cannot do Mac) as an email attachment.  If you cannot submit it this way please give it to me as a diskette.  Please label your file with your name, last first, first last, e.g. PenningtonKen.doc I will make my comments in the electronic document.  I have found that this spares you from reading my handwriting and spares me from writing something dumb that I cannot erase.  Everyone wins.  The essay should not be longer than 15 pages.