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John of Salisbury as Ecclesiastical Administrator

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Chapter Summary

John of Salisbury's career as an ecclesiastical administrator may seem the least remarkable and interesting aspect of his life; it is certainly not the reason for his enduring fame. This chapter describes his life as an officialis and a curialis and places it in the context of the development of lay and clerical administrations and courts, which is a crucial and well-studied feature of the period. John's connection with the workings of the institutional Church was not limited to practical experience; his books and letters contain many reflective remarks on how the Church was run and should have been run, the two, as one would expect, being rather distinct in John's mind. John's duties at Canterbury are relatively well known, and that was his missions as an envoy to the papal court. At Exeter he featured from 1171 on the witness lists of several of the bishop's charters.

Keywords: bishop; Canterbury; church; ecclesiastical administrator; John of Salisbury; papal court



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