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date: 09 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter covers ecclesiology in the Western (or Catholic) church from the beginning of the schism between the churches of East and West—between Rome and Constantinople—in 1054 until the eve of the Reformation in 1517. Ecclesiology is taken to mean the nature or constitution of the church. The topic is considered from various standpoints: how it was viewed or taught by church officials, including the popes of the period, by councils, by theologians and other writers, and by the laity. Thereby the subject is treated from the standpoints of both the institutional church and the people of God, both ‘from above’ and ‘from below’. The chapter is divided chronologically into three periods: the Gregorian reform and its aftermath, from the mid-eleventh to the late twelfth century; the ‘long’ thirteenth century; the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries including the Avignon papacy, the conciliar movement, and the early Renaissance.

Keywords: Conciliar Movement, Constantinople, councils, ecclesiology, friars, Gregorian reform, medieval church, papacy

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