Legal Interpretation amid the Socio-Political Climate: Property and Tithing Rights in Gratian's Decretum and Stephen of Tournai's Summa, in The Use of Canon Law in Ecclesiastical Administration, 1000– 1234

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The Use of Canon Law in Ecclesiastical Administration, 1000– 1234 (eds. Melodie H. Eichbauer and Danica Summerlin) explores the integration of canon law within administration and society in the central Middle Ages. Grounded in the careers of

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  󰁌󰁅󰁉󰁄󰁅󰁎 | 󰁂󰁏󰁓󰁔󰁏󰁎 The Use of Canon Law in Ecclesiastical  Administration, 1000– 1234  Edited by Melodie H. Eichbauer and Danica Summerlin  Legal Interpretation amid the Socio-Political Climate: Property and Tithing Rights in Gratian's  Decretum  and Stephen of Tournai's  Summa   Melodie H. Eichbauer Abstract Scholars are very much interested in how law was created and the purpose which it served. This essay asks whether we detect elements that reflect the environment in which canonists worked, the 'community' they sought to serve despite a more formalised legal training with the  Decretum's  success as a textbook. As an entry into this question, Stephen of Tournai makes for an interesting  juxtaposition to Gratian. Having studied canon and Roman law at Bologna, Stephen compiled his influential Summa  on Gratian's  Decretum  c. 1166 and very soon after began twenty-four years of service as abbot of two Victorine houses of canons regular, first at Saint-Euverte in Orléans and then at Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, before becoming bishop of Tournai. Gratian, on the other hand, taught at a time when the restoration and augmentation of episcopal authority were central concerns, and he may have left the classroom in Bologna to end his career a bishop. A subject of countless legal disputes, this essay will use property and tithing rights to suggest that the tone and treatment of these topics in Gratian's  Decretum  and Stephen's  summa fit within the socio-political climate in which each worked. Keywords Gratian,  Decretum , Stephen of Tournai, Summa decretorum , decretist, prescription, tithes, ecclesiastical property, monastic priests, boundary disputes
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