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The Sleep of BehemothDisputing Peace and Violence in Medieval Europe, 1000-1200$
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Jehangir Yezdi Malegam

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451324

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451324.001.0001

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False Sacraments

False Sacraments

Violence, Captivity, and Insurrection

(p.76) Chapter 3 False Sacraments
The Sleep of Behemoth

Jehangir Yezdi Malegam

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines a discourse of sedition and political resistance at the intersection of sacramental concerns and desires for true peace, a discourse that marks the transformation of papal reform between the tenures of Leo IX and Gregory VII. Vehicles for anxiety about excessive worldliness, inverted sacraments resurfaced in eleventh-century Rome just as the popes began to accrue monarchical authority. Energetic supporters of the Pataria, papal reformers had long denounced the sacraments of tainted clergymen as worthless. By 1074, they had determined that such sacraments were even worse than useless because they carried the danger of seduction: ignorant congregants might believe they had received communion, when in fact they had become trapped in a bond of excommunication. The reformers had also turned their attention to another type of sacrament, the oaths that laypersons exchanged with one another, personal and political bonds no less freighted with divine grace and clerical sanction.

Keywords:   sacraments, papal reform, excommunication, communion, inverted sacraments, political resistance

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