IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1309: Compassion, Coercion, and Capitulation: Canon Law in Action at the Turn of the 12th Century

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Peter Douglas Clarke, School of History, Welsh History & Archaeology, University of Wales, Bangor
Paper 1309-bCoercion, Consent, and Baptism in Canon Law
(Language: English)
Jessie Sherwood, Olympic College, Bremerton
Index terms: Canon Law, Ecclesiastical History, Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Paper b: Before 1201, if forcibly baptized, Jews freely returned to Judaism. In 1201, Innocent III ruled that, unless ‘absolutely’ coerced, any recipient of baptism must remain Christian. In this paper, I explore the canonical roots of this decretal, which had profound implications for Jews, converts, and Christians alike. I examine commentaries from the late 12th and early 13th century on the 6th-century canons that allow and the 7th-century canons that prohibit forcibly baptized Jews to revert. Particular attention is paid to questions of consent and the sacramental efficacy of baptism, as these were the grounds for Innocent’s prohibition.