‘The zeal with which Christ was inflamed’: The irascible power and clerical authority in the writing of Pope Innocent III (r. 1198–1216)

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Abstract

The writing of Pope Innocent III (r. 1198–1216) contains multiple references to the irascible power of the human soul, the purpose of which was to repel evil. In Si dormiatis, Innocent’s sermon on the ideal priesthood, the violent emotional behaviour produced by the irascible power is proof that the priest was carrying out his office correctly. Analysis of the sermon in the context of Innocent’s own corpus, contemporary commentaries on ‘angry emotions’, and the intense period of ecclesiastical reform in which Innocent was writing reveals that Innocent intended this aggressive response to instantiate correct order, shore up clerical and papal authority over the spiritual, and to protect this authority as the exclusive preserve of men.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalEmotions: History, Culture, Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Pope Innocent III (1198-1216)
  • emotions
  • anger
  • clerical authority
  • gender

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