Magna Carta, canon law and pastoral care : excommunication and the church's publication of the charter
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This article argues that the church's strenuous efforts to publicize Magna Carta can only be fully understood when viewed in the context of canon law and pastoral care. The automatic sentence of excommunication that fell on anyone who infringed Magna Carta meant that every Christian in medieval England needed to know not just the general principles of the charter, but the contents of every clause. Clergymen had a duty to ensure that their parishioners did not unwittingly incur the sanction, thereby endangering their souls. Thus the threat of excommunication had a profound effect on the political awareness of English society, as a result of the church's obligation to look out for the spiritual welfare of its members.
Hill , F G 2016 , ' Magna Carta, canon law and pastoral care : excommunication and the church's publication of the charter ' Historical Research , vol. 89 , no. 246 , pp. 636-650 . DOI: 10.1111/1468-2281.12151
© 2016 Institute of Historical Research. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2281.12151
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