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Embodying Intercession: The Mediatory Politics of the Episcopacy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines intercessory and mediatory activities from a variety of perspectives, in an attempt to answer not only the question of how and for whom, but also why the episcopacy was so deeply engaged in mediatory politics. In particular, it argues that the bishop's intercessory activities were informed both by his role within early medieval political life and by a set of ideological imperatives and expectations particular to the Episcopal office, rooted in Late Antique thought and practice. On the whole, then, the bishop, as a figure structurally, ideologically, and literally in the middle of disparate and sometimes competing cultural formations, can be seen both as the practitioner par excellence of intercessory politics, as well as their literal and figurative embodiment. Within this political landscape, the bishop's intercession, often situated within his broader work as a mediator and negotiator, was an authoritative, or at least political, act.

Keywords: bishop's intercessory activities; episcopacy; Late Antique; mediatory politics; political landscape



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