Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

St. Thomas Becket 850: Rowan Williams Lecture and Reading Suggestions

St. Thomas Becket was martyred at Canterbury Cathedral 850 years ago today. Here are some suggestions to mark the feast:

The McCullen Center at Villanova was pleased to co-sponsor a recent lecture for the occasion by Rowan Williams on the legacy of the conflict between Henry II and Becket for the law of church and state, and it is available here.

Some previous entries from me about Becket and Magna Carta,  John Guy's 2012 biography, and G. K. Chesterton on Becket are here, here, and here.

For those interested in the historical background to the legal conflict that led to Becket's assassination, I highly recommend Anne Duggan's 2004 biography (in addition to Guy's accessible biography). More detailed coverage of the canonical and jurisdictional issues is available in papers by her late husband Charles Duggan, especially "The Significance of the Becket Dispute in the History of the English Church," Ampleforth Journal 75 (1970): 365-75 and "The Becket Dispute and the Criminous Clerks," Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 35 (1962): 1-28, both of which are reprinted in Canon Law in Medieval England: The Becket Dispute and Decretal Collections (London: Variorum Reprints, 1982). Finally, Beryl Smalley's The Becket Conflict and the Schools: A Study of Intellectuals in Politics in the Twelfth Century (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1973) is a splendid work of intellectual history and discussion of the figures advising Becket such as Herbert of Bosham and John of Salisbury.


Moreland, Michael | Permalink