Defining ideology in the Pontificate of Gregory VII

Tivey, Michael Richard (2012). Defining ideology in the Pontificate of Gregory VII. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


Download (1MB)


This thesis explores the definition of ideology in the pontificate of Gregory VII (1073-1085) and in the reform movement which bears his name. The indeterminacy of historiographical notions of ‘Gregorian ideology’ is problematic. As a concept theorised in political science, ideology harbours a variety of connotations and meanings such that its generic use leaves important theoretical questions unanswered. Yet, in seeking to apply a theoretical definition, it is quickly apparent that the diversity of conceptual formulations grouped under the umbrella of ideology precludes any single, universally accepted definition of the term. Testing Gregorian reform for a concept of ideology therefore necessitates the prior definition of the concept itself. As a result, this thesis is as much an exercise in modelling a concept of ideology as seeking to address a historiographical ambiguity. The state of the question is this: can a definition of ideology be construed to theoretically prove or disprove a concept of ‘Gregorian ideology’? When coupled with the nature of Gregorian reform as one of the most complex aspects of Church history, defining ideology becomes an especially ambitious undertaking. The following analysis offers a discussion of how a theoretical concept can be applied to the sources.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Baylor University, USA, The University of Birmingham
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year