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Unformatted text preview: The Owl, The Pussycat and the Investiture Controversy The scene is a forest glade, in the middle of which is a log. On one end of the log sits the Owl, a Medieval History Professor, and on the other end sits the Cat, a Student. The Cat speaks in italics, and the Owl in plain font. CHORUS SPEAKS: The time is early Autumn. Dappled rays of sunlight play about the forest floor, and soft breezes send leaves twirling down upon the Owl and the Cat from time to time. What better time and what better place to discuss Medieval History? So then to that forest glade let us now hie, to hear of the Investiture Controversie The Pussycat Speaks. Medieval History textbooks always devote a lot of space to the Investiture Controversy, and have more emperors and popes running around getting excited about rings, sticks, clumps of dirt, and such stuff that it's hard to figure out what was going on. Just what is "Investiture" and what makes it important enough that I should worry about it? An "investiture ceremony" is when someone gets inducted into a new office organization and is given some thing as a sign that he or she now holds that office or belongs to that organization. The Chancellor has a chain put around his neck ( No Chancellor jokes, please. He's new so give him a chance. ), fraternities and sororities give pins, administrators get nameplates for their desks, soldiers get chevrons or some other insignia, and so forth. Nowadays, the ceremony is only symbolic, but in the Middle Ages a person was not really inducted or whatever until he or she received the insignia of office. The Investiture Controversy was about the ceremony by which a man became a bishop or an archbishop. During the investiture, the bishop or archbishop- elect was given a signet ring representing his authority to act legally for his territory ( diocese or archdiocese ), a long staff like a shepherd's crook ( crozier ) signifying his spiritual leadership of the people of the diocese, a lump of dirt ( glebe ) that demonstrated his possession and ownership of the lands with which the churches in his diocese had been endowed, and a white woolen stole to hang around his neck ( pallium ) indicating that he was a legitimate successor to a long tradition of spiritual teaching and leadership reaching all the way back to the apostles ( apostolic succession ). Since bishops and archbishops appointed and directed all the clerics below them, either directly or indirectly, the investiture ceremony was the most important single factor in selecting church personnel and setting the structure of authority within the Church as a whole. Okay, so the ceremony was important, but what was the "Controversy" all about? Well, laymen took part in the investiture ceremony......
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- Fall '11