Conflict and authority in the eleventh-century Anglo-Norman Church: a case study of Lanfranc of Caterbury (c.1010-1089)
This thesis examines the relationship between conflict and authority in the Middle Ages by exploring how Lanfranc of Canterbury managed conflicts during his career and how his authority was changed by those processes. This thesis argues that during his career Lanfranc’s conflicts – theological, ecclesiastical, monastic, and political – threatened the different forms of his authority, including his charismatic authority, and that, by settling and managing these conflicts, in the end Lanfranc preserved and enhanced his authority. But it was his charismatic authority that led Lanfranc to attain positions in the Church and exercise other forms of authority, such as the institutional authority of Archbishop of Canterbury. However, Lanfranc was able to not only resolve his conflicts but also enhance his authority when he received recognition and support from his superiors – the kings of England and the papacy. In particular, without support from the king of England, Lanfranc could not exert his authority and settle conflicts. The connection between Lanfranc’s conflicts and these configurations of his authority demonstrates that authority in the Middle Ages, such as a charismatic leader’s authority, was established and preserved through the recognition and support from political and religious superiors, and that these superiors derived advantages by supporting these charismatic leaders. In other words, the settlement and management of conflicts in the Middle Ages reveal the close and mutual cooperative connection between charismatic leaders and their superiors.