First Advisor

John S. Ott

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History and University Honors




Stephen Langton ( -1228) -- Influence, Catholic Church -- Sermons -- History and criticism, Preaching -- History -- Middle Ages (600-1500), Doctrinal theology -- History -- Middle Ages (600-1500)




The influence of Peter the Chanter's (d. 1197) pedagogy and moral theology on the development of the faculty of theology at the University of Paris is being increasingly well documented. Much work remains to be done, however, in developing our understanding of how the teachings of the Parisian master influenced the theological views of one of his most politically active disciples, Stephen Langton (c. 1150-1228). This research offers an intensive semiotic analysis of violent imagery and allusions to the Holy Land within the sermons of Langton, found in BnF Lat. MSS 14470 and 14593, as well as the decrees and correspondence of Pope Innocent III (Lotario dei Conti di Segni, c. 1160-1216), Robert de Courçon (c.1160-1219), and Jacques de Vitry (c. 1170-1240). The goal of this research is to present a more nuanced understanding of how the moral theology of the Chanter circle helped to shape the sermonic rhetoric of the early thirteenth century. Special emphasis is given to understanding how the use of violent metaphor in Langton's sermons would have been interpreted within the social context of the Albigensian Crusade, and to understanding Langton's role within a broader intellectual lineage of crusade sermons, serving as a much needed precursor to the crusade sermons of Jacques de Vitry during the Fifth Crusade.


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