Sacred Space pp 151-171 | Cite as

Holy Body, Holy Society: Conflicting Medieval Structural Conceptions

  • Kenneth R. Stow


That Europeans in medieval times used or exploited sacred theologies on the way to self-definition is well known. Jews said they inhabited a qehillah qedoshah (a holy community); Christians, a communis patria (a common fatherland) — a term that originally referred exclusively to the Church — for which they were prepared to die. None other than the famous English jurist Bracton (d. 1268) referred to royal possessions and prerogatives as res quasi sacrae, because they were part and parcel of the corpus mysticum, the civic embodiment of the Corpus Christi, which had come to symbolize, if not sacralize, the undying body of the sovereign republic, wholly or in part.1


Jewish Community Thirteenth Century Body Politic Jewish History Biological Family 
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© The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities 1998

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  • Kenneth R. Stow

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