The Infidel in Medieval and Early Modern Canon Law. A Brief Overview of the History of Research

Fragment of "The Source of Life", also known as "The Triumph of the Church above the Sinagogue", attributed to a discipule of Jan van Eyck. Museo del Prado
(Public domain, wikimedia commons)
 
 
Christoph Meyer
 
In the course of 2015 a bibliography of the legal status of non-Christians in Medieval and early Modern canon law has been created. It focuses on the role Jews, Muslims and persons belonging to non-monotheistic religions played in the normative order of the pre-modern Catholic Church.  At the moment the bibliography comprises of appr. 600 titles.
 
The respective data provide some insights into major trends which have characterized this area of legal historical research since the 1960s. An analysis of the bibliographical material highlights the birth of a subject, its establishment as an object of academic research and its gradual transformation. By focusing both on popular topics as well as those that are rarely dealt with the communication will look at the picture of the infidel cultivated in secondary literature as compared with the evidence the normative sources provide.