Title of Abstract

Spiritual or Secular Leader: Innocent III

Submitting Student(s)

Tristan Gosnell

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Gregory Bell, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

History

Abstract

Pope Innocent III is one of the most influential and powerful popes in history. Though he lived and worked in Italy during the 1200s, Innocent influenced people across Europe and affected many people outside Christendom. Some of his changes still had an impact in the mid-1900s. Although Innocent was most certainly a spiritual leader, scholars have long debated Innocent’s power as a secular leader. Should Pope Innocent III as a spiritual leader have power over secular rulers and their peoples? To better understand Innocent’s actions and motivations, the purpose of this paper is to outline a clearer division between how he exerts power within the institution of the church and how he exerts power throughout the secular world. In the end, though he held the title of pope, it appears that Innocent III was not so much a spiritual leader of Europe as one of the most powerful secular leaders across Europe.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Spiritual or Secular Leader: Innocent III

Pope Innocent III is one of the most influential and powerful popes in history. Though he lived and worked in Italy during the 1200s, Innocent influenced people across Europe and affected many people outside Christendom. Some of his changes still had an impact in the mid-1900s. Although Innocent was most certainly a spiritual leader, scholars have long debated Innocent’s power as a secular leader. Should Pope Innocent III as a spiritual leader have power over secular rulers and their peoples? To better understand Innocent’s actions and motivations, the purpose of this paper is to outline a clearer division between how he exerts power within the institution of the church and how he exerts power throughout the secular world. In the end, though he held the title of pope, it appears that Innocent III was not so much a spiritual leader of Europe as one of the most powerful secular leaders across Europe.