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General Ecclesiastical Vocabulary. Ecclesiastical Dignities, Orders And Institutions

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Chapter Summary

The Church as an institution held a special and exceptionally important place in public and political life, in everyday activities, in culture, and in practically all spheres of life in mediaeval Europe. In materialising the basic ideology of the epoch, the Church naturally has a direct relation to the state and law. However, in this sphere the situation is complex and ambiguous. This chapter presents it briefly, with a special emphasis on the fact that any one-sided, simple definition could lead to its incorrect, even utterly false interpretation. It also stresses that the chosen range of texts on which the glossary is based is not representative for the ecclesiastic vocabulary and does not provide a sufficiently complete idea about it. For that reason, and in consideration of the topic of power and relations connected with power, the author confines himself only to the basic institutional ecclesiastic vocabulary.

Keywords: canon law; church; ecclesiastic dignities; ecclesiastic vocabulary; mediaeval Europe

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