Bishops, Canon Law and the Making of the Medieval Church, 875–1025

‘Bishops, Canon Law and the Making of the Medieval Church, 875–1025’, is running in 2018-19 and is funded by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.

This study looks at the transformation of the office of bishop in Western Europe between the eras of Carolingian and Gregorian ‘Reform’. It proposes that new approaches to church law by bishops and their followers in the tenth century underpinned a fundamental shift in the development of clerical identities and episcopal group consciousness. These changes, moreover, provided the institutional foundations for the triumph of the ‘reform papacy’ in the later eleventh century.​

Dr Roberts has recently had the following journal article published:

‘Construire une hiérarchie épiscopale: Flodoard de Reims et la correspondance de l’archevêque Foulques (vers 850–vers 950)’, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale 61 (2018), 11-26.

This article investigates how a tenth-century historian and canon of Rheims used an archive of letters written by a ninth-century bishop of Rheims to construct a historical basis for the pre-eminence of their bishopric in a milieu of episcopal rivalry and competition.