Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213-1272
2 Feb 2017
Oxford University Press
Ambler, S. T.
Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213-1272 explores, for the first time, the role of bishops in politics in thirteenth-century England, a time that saw some of the most dramatic and transformative events in English history: the issuing of Magna Carta and England's first revolution (1258-1265), when a group led by Simon de Montfort seized power from the king. It places England's bishops at the heart of the political community, examining their
culture and political theology, as well as tracing their actions. English bishops were central to the nation's equilibrium: uniquely qualified to reform the king and influence politics, and motivated to act by
a concern not only for the state of the Church but also for the welfare of the kingdom. The book demonstrates a fundamental rupture in English episcopal culture between 1258 and 1265: previously, bishops had acted as peacemakers but now they became partisans, helping to overturn royal power.