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Freedom and protectionMonastic exemption in France, c. 590-c. 1100$
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Kriston R. Rennie

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526127723

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526127723.001.0001

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The ‘fetters of feudalism’

The ‘fetters of feudalism’

(p.150) 5 The ‘fetters of feudalism’
Freedom and protection

Kriston R. Rennie

Manchester University Press

The institutional practice of exemption did not operate outside existing ecclesiastical and political structures. It required the willing participation of lay and ecclesiastical magnates, whose support reveals a confluence of contemporary factors and motivations at play. That monasteries were increasingly seeking privileges from Rome raises important questions about their rights and authority (spiritual and judicial), and the potential disruption to established norms. This chapter asks whether a monastery’s success in acquiring exemption privileges effectively undermined existing political and ecclesiastical authority. In short: did the growth of this practice in any way contribute to a process of political fragmentation? Did individual religious houses benefit, or seek to benefit, from changing political circumstances? And finally: what role did the papacy play in these wider transformations?

Keywords:   Feudalism, Cluny, Jurisdiction, Historiography, Authority, Diocese, Bishops

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