Chapter

The ordering of society

Mark Humphries

in Communities of the Blessed

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780198269830
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683824 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269830.003.0006

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

The ordering of society

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This chapter examines the emergence of ecclesiastical hierarchies in northern Italy, the impact of Church's claims for regional authority at the local level, and the participation of the Church in other issues in the region. During the 4th century, there was considerable fluidity in the administrative interrelationships of north Italian bishops and in their capacity to wield authority over their congregations. These types of episcopal administration were accomplished in various situations ranging from the proximity or absence of the imperial court to the particular character of an individual bishop. The north Italian episcopate later expanded its authority over non-religious issues and by the end of the fourth century they were fully enmeshed in the politics of the region's cities.

Keywords: ecclesiastical hierarchies; episcopal administration; Church; regional authority; state and religion; northern Italy

Chapter.  14750 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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