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Introduction: The Great Schism And The Scholarly Record

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Chapter Summary

The Great Schism or Triple Schism has a long record of historiographic opinions, many tied to confessional suppositions. This introductory chapter provides an overview of discussions presented in the various chapters of this book. The time covered extends past the early years of the Schism to its termination at Constance. The broadest range of experiences is presented, center and periphery, clerical and lay, male and female, Christian and Muslim. The depth of the pain caused by the Schism, sundering the cherished unity of Christendom, is revealed. So too is the creativity that went first into defending a claim to the papacy and then to solving the problems that these claims had caused at every level of western European society. These are not the last words on the Great Schism, but they are contributions to the debates resulting from taking a broader view than just choosing between Rome, Avignon, and Pisa.

Keywords: French literature; historiography; Triple Schism

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