Curia, Canon Law and Moral Theology in the Modern Era

Research Field

One peculiarity of the development of Western law is the formation of a unique relationship between secular power and religion that was only possible due to the existence of an autonomous ecclesiastical legal and normative culture. The latter has traditionally been studied as part of the history of ecclesiastical law, focussing for Catholic law on the time between the late 11th and early 13th centuries, and on the 16th century for Protestant law. This illustrates how legal historical research has often exhibited the tendency to restrict itself to particular eras and to certain objects and forms of canonical regulation. As a result, key aspects of ecclesiastical normativity remain insufficiently studied until the present day.

The Research Field Curia, Canon Law and Moral Theology in the Modern Era tries to broaden the perspective in several respects. In addition to its particular chronological focus on the period between the 16th and the 20th centuries, its distinctive approach is most notable in the focus on diverse bodies of norms. These include not only the universal ius canonicum and particular canon law but also forms of ecclesiastical normativity traditionally defined as part of (moral) theology. Furthermore, the projects in this Research Field also investigate the foundations of ecclesiastical normative culture, for example by addressing methodological questions or focusing on the workings and global projection of individual institutions, such as the Roman Curia.

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