Farnham, Surrey, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2009.
Book — xii, 344 p. ; 24 cm.
Part I Background: The methodology of this study
The Decretum in the context of other medieval canon law books
Who was Burchard of Worms?
Finding Burchard's vision of canon law in the Preface and the Decretum canons on jurisprudence
Part II Burchard's Editing Priorities: The presentation of the Decretum's canons
The authority of the Decretum's canons
Eliminating conflicts between canons
Presenting a comprehensive vision of the Church's law
The result of the editing priorities: the substantive law of Decretum books 6, 10, 11 and 12
Part III Implications: Making sense of Burchard's textual alterations
Theology and canon law around the year 1000
Table1 The structure of Decretum book 6 as compared to the parallel section in the Libri duo
Table 2 Decretum book 6, on homicide and murder
Table 3 Decretum book 10, on practices and beliefs condemned as non-Christian, and on contentiousness
Table 4 Dercretum book 11, on excommunication and theft
Table 5 Decretum book 12, on oaths and breaking oaths
Table 6 The Libri duo section on oaths and perjury which provided canons to the Decretum
Table 7 Burchard's reworking of the Libri duo canons
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
This study of Burchard's "Decretum", a popular book of Catholic canon law compiled just after the year 1000, sheds new light on the development of law and theology long before the Gregorian Reform, normally considered as a watershed in the history of the Latin Church. Practical episcopal concerns and an appreciation of new scholarly methods led Burchard to be dissatisfied with the quality of contemporary jurisprudence and particularly with the teaching texts available to local bishops.Drawing upon new manuscript discoveries, the author shows how Burchard tried to create a new text that would address these problems. He carefully selected and compiled canons from earlier collections and then went on to tamper systematically with the texts he had chosen. By doing so, he created a book of church law that appeared to be based on indisputable authority, that was internally consistent and that was easy to apply through logical extrapolation to new cases. The present study thus provides a window into the development of legal and theological reasoning in the medieval West, and suggests that, thanks to the work of ambitious bishops, the flowering of law and theology began far earlier, and for different reasons, than scholars have heretofore supposed. (source: Nielsen Book Data)