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Sin And The Construction Of Carolingian Kingship

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on political and civic dimensions of the Carolingian renovatio, particularly on attempts to work out a conception of Christian kingship and a public moral/spiritual order to sustain the construction of a Christian empire. Drawing especially on the work of Alcuin of York, it explores how Carolingian thinkers confronting the issues of governing an expanding territory beset by pagan resistance and hostility appropriate and employ patristic-era political thought, most importantly from Augustine of Hippo. The chapter considers the ways in which Carolingian treatments of sin build on systematizations by Gregory the Great and others, and the ways in which adaptations of theoretical and theological constructs inherited from Christian thinkers - constructs that often represent responses to hegemonic Greco-Roman traditions concerned with right rule, the best life, and the just polity - reveal a negotiation of pressing political realities that earlier Christian thinkers did not face.

Keywords: Augustine of Hippo; Carolingian kingship; Christian empire; Greco-Roman traditions; sin

10.1163/ej.9789004157859.i-312.11
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