Agata Zielinska (UCL) - 2016-17 Students

Institutionalising the Latin Church on Christendom’s Eastern Periphery: Poland in the 13th and 14th centuries

The ecclesiastical history of the medieval Polish church is caught between a nationalistic Polish historiography determined to stress Poland’s path to statehood and its Roman Catholic bonds and a Western historiography that has often presumed that what characterises papal relations with certain Western polities provides the norm of papal government in all of Christendom. Whilst countless publications discuss the ‘plenitudo potestatis’ of popes and the penetration of Rome’s policies into all of Christendom, they do so based on cases limited to ‘core’ Western kingdoms. Looking at other Latin Christian polities will allow me to see whether these claims of universal power and authority were present in all papal interactions and if so, how they were received. This thesis will aim to provide an account of papal-Polish relations and church government in the Kingdom of Poland in the 13th and 14th centuries through a nuanced and multi-layered assessment of papal power and the dynamics of its government and local response and initiative that contributed to the institutionalisation the Church.

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