Attributions, Prerogatives and Episcopal Moral Paradigm in the Visigothic Kingdom

By: Leila Rodrigues da Silva  

The expansion of Christianity in the barbaric kingdoms was directly associated with episcopal activity and influence. Above all, in the kingdoms constituted in the Spanish Peninsula and in Gallia, in general, the episcopate encouraged and founded monasteries, promoted a broad movement to hold councils and sought to instrumentalize the intellectual preparation of the ecclesiastical body. As a group, the bishops sought to organize and maintain the recognition of their authority and legitimacy with the faithful and local leaders, thus promoting the expansion of their prestige and ecclesiastical institution. In this process, among other initiatives, he formulated general guidelines about his own conduct, that is, he defined the lines of what should be recognized as appropriate behavior for the episcopal body. Allusions to this conduct can be verified in a vast documentary set and deal with varied aspects including mentions of prerogatives, attributions and moral profile. In the present work, we are interested in identifying such allusions with the focus on the Visigothic kingdom during the episcopacy of Isidore of Seville, recognized by historiography as a prominent figure in the process of organization of the ecclesiastical institution. In this sense, it is important to us in the light of historiography, to analyze De Ecclesiasticis officiis, Sententiarum libri tres, written by Isidoro, and the minutes of the Fourth Council of Toledo, an event presided by him.

Institution Leadership Paradigm
Religious Community and Socialization
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Leila Rodrigues da Silva

Full Professor - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro - Brazil -