A Sacred City

Consecrating churches and reforming society in eleventh-century Italy
Hamilton, Louis I.
Date published: 
June 2010

The so-called Investiture Conflict was a watershed moment in the political life of the Latin West and the history of the papacy. Occurring at a time of rapid social change and political expansion, the eleventh-century reform movement became a debate centered on a ritual: the investment of bishops with the signs of their sacred and secular authority. The consecration of bishops, however, was only one of several contemporaneous conflicts over the significance of consecrations. Less well known is that which occurred over the dedication of churches. This book provides an examination of the consecration, placing the fundamental questions of the Gregorian Reform and Investiture Conflict back into their original liturgical framework. This context allows us to consider the symbolic richness of the liturgy that attracted large numbers of people.