This is a comprehensive survey of the history of the Church in Western Europe from c. 900 to c. 1125, which is considered both as a set of institutions and as a spiritual body. The first half concentrates on the structures of religious belief and practice in the period 900-1050; the second half concentrates on the revolutionary changes associated with the rise of the papacy to a new level of rulership. It shows how far one can talk of a "reform movement," and how the idea and ideal of papal monarchy became both the prisoner and the leader of those who sought for a renewal of Christian life. Tellenbach's survey is the work of a scholar who has been working in the field for over sixty years. It is characterized by the freshness and maturity of its judgments, which cut through many fashionable theories. No other work on this topic offers comparable range, depth and authority.
"This is a wonderful book, not the least because it will force all students of this revolutionary epoch, as Tellenbach also believes it was (p. 340), to rethink their presuppostions. The translation by Timothy Reuter is excellent, both accurate and elegant." John Van Engen, University of Notre Dame, Speculum-A Journal of Medieval Studies "Gerd Tellenbach, professor emeritus at the University of Frieburg im Breisgau, ranks as one of the leading historians of the Middle Ages. His 1936 work Church, State and Christian Society at the Time of the Investiture Contest has become a classic. Now, in The Church in Western Europe, Tellenbach produces much more than a survey of a critical period in church history, and we are fortunate to have this work available in the eloquent translation of Timothy Reuter...Tellenbach brings a master's touch to complicated and controversial issues...[This book] will help to build a much needed bridge between the English speaking reader--from the advanced undergraduate on--and German medieval scholarship." Jay T. Lees, History "...its greatest strength lies in the wealth and precision of its detail, the mature depth of its scholarship, and the richness of the ongoing bibliographic commentary that runs through its footnotes." Francis Oakley, Church History "This is an outstanding translation of an outstading book... English readers will be especially grateful that Professor Reuter has updated and expanded the bibliography in accordance with English practice as well." The Catholic Historical Review "There is no book with which this one can be compared. It is more comprehensive that any existing study of comparable length and scope and, what is more, other books usually do not offer a few hours in the company of one of this century's greatest medievalists as he talks at length on the subjects that have engaged his attention and interest for more than six decades." American Historical Review