Ultramontanisme, Gallikalisme en Curialisme: Die invloed van Middeleeuse teorieë oor kerk en staat op die Monargomagies-Reformatoriese politieke denke


  • Andries Raath Navorsingsgenoot, Universiteit van die Vrystaat


Medieval interpretations of church-state relations culminated in three influential theoretical paradigms: Ultramontanism, Curialism and Gallicanism. Ultramontanism was the clerical conception within the Catholic Church that placed strong emphasis on the prerogatives of the Pope and advocated the supremacy of the papacy and the papal system, in opposition to those favouring national churches and the authority of church councils. Ultramontanist views on ecclesiastical and political matters, supported integral and active Catholicism, recognising as its spiritual head the Pope, who, for the greater part of Europe, was a dweller beyond the mountains (ultra montes), that is beyond the Alps. Different to the Ultramontanist views, Curialism highlighted the systems and methods of the Curia Romana, the offices and congregations convened in the place of the sovereign Pope and/or assisting the Pope in his duties. Gallicanism was mainly a reactionary view holding the belief that popular civil authority – often represented by the monarch’s or the state’s authority – over the Catholic Church is comparable to that of the Pope. Gallicanism originated in France (the term derived from Gallia, Gaul) and harboured the notion that national customs might trump Roman (Catholic Church) supremacy; it was mainly aimed at rejecting Ultramontanism, and had elements in common with Anglicanism and Erastianism. It was, however, nuanced, in that it played down the authority of the Pope in church affairs without denying that there were some authoritative elements to the office and power of ecclesiastical institutions. In this article the impact of Medieval church-state views on the early Reformation work of the anonymous author of the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos are considered. It is concluded, firstly that Gallicanism, supported by the views of the sovereignty of the people, gained a foothold in the views expressed in the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos. Secondly, the notion of people’s sovereignty inhibited a clear normative insight into the structural nature of both church and state and the nature of the relationships between ecclesiastical and political institutions. Johannes Althusius’s work Politica Methodice Digesta was the first work in the Monarchomach-Reformational fold coming to grips with the structural nature of societal institutions and their interrelatedness. However, due to the principle of people’s sovereignty, Althusius failed to appreciate the nature of sovereignty in own sphere and its effects for the development of nuanced normative interpretations of church-state relationships.





How to Cite

Raath, A. (2021). Ultramontanisme, Gallikalisme en Curialisme: Die invloed van Middeleeuse teorieë oor kerk en staat op die Monargomagies-Reformatoriese politieke denke. Tydskrif Vir Christelike Wetenskap | Journal for Christian Scholarship, 57(No 1&2), 89-113. Retrieved from https://pubs.ufs.ac.za/index.php/tcw/article/view/548

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