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Defiant Priests$
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Michelle Armstrong-Partida

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501707735

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501707735.001.0001

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Hierarchy, Competition, and Conflict

Hierarchy, Competition, and Conflict

The Parish as a Battleground

(p.232) Chapter 6 Hierarchy, Competition, and Conflict
Defiant Priests

Michelle Armstrong-Partida

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on priests, priors, and monks who fought against their religious colleagues to carve out status and privilege and to gain prestige within the hierarchy of the parish as well as greater access to economic resources. To subordinate their co-workers and demean their rivals, clerics insulted, sabotaged, and orchestrated petty acts of revenge and violence. Moreover, the economic crisis of the 1330s in Catalunya intensified the competition among the parish clergy struggling to survive in a time of famine, deprivation, and inflation. Clerics frequently quarreled over the customary gifts obtained when they officiated at baptisms and marriages, celebrated special masses, and buried the dead. They also became more aggressive in defending the privileges connected to their status and the rights attached to their benefices.

Keywords:   prestige, clerical privilege, clerical hierarchy, economic crisis, Catalunya, competition, aggression, parish clergy

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