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À LIRE | Canons, Councillors and Confrères

Canons, Councillors and Confrères

Changing Power Constellations in the City of Lyon (Late Middle Ages, Early Modern Times)


Dans le cadre de la série Religion and Urbanity Online, coordonnée par Susanne RAU et Jörg RÜPKE, à noter la dernière contribution Canons, Councillors and Confrères: Changing Power Constellations in the City of Lyon (Late Middle Ages, Early Modern Times) [auteur Susanne Rau].


Integrated into the Kingdom of France only around 1300, Lyon is a typical example of a city where diverse and potentially conflicting power resources reigned for a long time and influenced urban life in different ways. Lyon, therefore, can be taken as a typical case of urban heterarchy. The article describes these power structures and the potential influence of urban and ecclesiastical institutions: the archbishop with cathedral chapter (St. John), monasteries and convents (the mendicant orders), the consulate (with its main church St. Nizier and the chapel St. Jacquême as their seat) as well as the confraternities (secular associations). This synchronic picture alone shows two things: Firstly, the Church in this city was not at all a unit but was composed of different actors with different roles and responsibilities. Secular power did not belong only to the consulate but also to the confraternities and, later, to the royal officers. Secondly, there were fixed powers as well as interactions between religious and political structures and changes in power. For example, ecclesiastical and secular jurisdiction belonged to the archbishop for a long time, from whom it passed to the city’s royal officers after 1550. The confraternities, especially that of the Trinity, occupied the intermediate position between the church and the laity. Or, in other words, with the advent of this great general confraternity, we can observe the assumption of responsibility for religious (and charitable) affairs by the laity. As a third point, I will show how the constellation of power and its evolution are reflected in the urban space by territorial demarcations, by the implantation or takeover of symbolic buildings, and by processions organised by ecclesiastical actors and local authorities.


Susanne RAU

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Lundi 28 février 2022