Joëlle Rollo-KosterJun 29, 2023
The Great Western Schism, 1378-1417
Performing Legitimacy, Performing Unity
Cambridge University Press 2022
The Great Schism divided Western Christianity between 1378 and 1417. Two popes and their courts occupied the see of St. Peter, one in Rome, and one in Avignon. Traditionally, this event has received attention from scholars of institutional history. In The Great Western Schism, 1378-1417: Performing Legitimacy, Performing Unity (Cambridge UP, 2022), by contrast, Joëlle Rollo-Koster investigates the event through the prism of social drama. Marshalling liturgical, cultural, artistic, literary and archival evidence, she explores the four phases of the Schism: the breach after the 1378 election, the subsequent division of the Church, redressive actions, and reintegration of the papacy in a single pope. Investigating how popes legitimized their respective positions and the reception of these efforts, Rollo-Koster shows how the Schism influenced political thought, how unity was achieved, and how the two capitals, Rome and Avignon, responded to events. Rollo-Koster's approach humanizes the Schism, enabling us to understand the event as it was experienced by contemporaries.
Joëlle Rollo-Koster is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Rhode Island. A scholar of the Avignon papacy, she is the author of Avignon and its Papacy, 1309–1417: Popes, Institutions, and Society and Raiding Saint Peter. In 2016, she was made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques.Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel.