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The Faidas of Late Medieval Catholic Parishes
Leonova Tatiana Alekseevna

PhD in History

Associate Professor, Department of General History and Cultural Heritage, M. Akmulla Bashkir State Pedagogical University

450076, Russia, respublika Bashkortostan, g. Ufa, ul. Aksakova, 7, kv. 165


The subject of this research is the conflicts between laity and clergy, known in historical literature under the name of "faidas", as a commonplace phenomenon in Catholic parishes during the Middle Ages. The study examines two types of conflicts in parishes: conflicts as a result of a struggle to preserve the customs of local communities and conflicts of interpersonal relations between flock and shepherd. The author analyzes the arguments of modern Medievalists regarding the concept of anti-clerical and pro-clerical sentiments of the laity in conflict situation in parishes. The study is based on documents contained in episcopal registers of the 13th-15th centuries, in ecclesiastical and lay courts. The author sets out to undo the stabilized views concerning confrontations between state and church, taken to the lower strata of Medieval society. The article's research is based on the methods of historicism and the use of the historical-genetic method and the interdisciplinary approach, which take into account the historical context not only from the point of view of the approaching Reformation but also the persistent mental attitudes generated by the corporate connections within the Medieval society. The main conclusions drawn from the conducted research is the affirmation that the relationship between priests and laymen is not only a complex but also always an unstable phenomenon. This relationship reflected both the prevailing views of society on the status of the priest, as well as the particularities tied to the specific circumstances of the parish life of local communities in which parish clergymen had integrated. The scientific novelty of this study is that the author established that the conflicts in parish life were not the normal behavior of the clergy at those parishes. Neither the nature of the confrontation of the members of the conflict, nor their quantity, nor the systemic action of both sides are not evidence of a widespread popular anti-ecclesiastical attitude on the eve of the Reformation.

Keywords: Middle Ages, Catholic parish, laity, local community, secular clergy, priest, clerics, visitation, ecclesiastical court, faida



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