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Papacy - Bibliography

by Melissa Morris (January 2004)

Bandelier, AD. F.  America.  2003.  Catholic Encyclopedia.  15 Sept. 2003.    <>
Bandelier discusses the methods by which Spain, Portugal, and the English structured and explained their expeditions to the newly found America.  Pope Alexander VI is presented as an umpire between the countries of Spain and Portugal.  The influence of Pope Alexander VI’s Inter caetera bulls and the issue of an infidel’s right to possess land receive great detail.  Ultimately, it is the colonization tactics used by Spain and Portugal and their reliance upon papal sanctioning of possession of the Americas that Bandelier finds the most influential for future historical discovery expeditions.
Barraclough, Geoffrey.  The Medieval Papacy.  London: Thames and Hudson, 1968.
Barraclough traces the papal line beginning with Pope Peter in 7 AD through Pope Paul in 1537.  The issue of whether or not the pope has the right to oversee religious and secular institutions is diagrammed with each papal term.  The most influential popes were Gregory VII, Innocent III, Innocent IV, Alexander VI, and St. Peter because of their use of popularity and religious strength in pressuring princes and kings to honor the holy throne before a kingdom’s throne.  The greatest achievement of the popes was their ability to become equal in power and authority to kings in politics while continuing to not allow kings to make religious decisions.
Brundage, James A.  The Crusades: A Documentary Survey.  Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1976.
Brundage makes use of the history of the Holy Crusades to explain the importance of papal authority and power over all Christian believers and the infidels they conquered.  Infidels were dehumanized in order to convince European Christians that the once honored commandment “thou shall not kill” did not apply to killing non-human beings.  Scripture passages, historical events, and methods of propaganda are introduced as the thorough methods used by the papacy to gain volunteers, money, and justification for the usurpation of enemy lands.
Castanha, Tony.  The Papal Bulls as Pertaining to the Americas.  2003.  The Hartford.  15  Sept. 2003.  <>
The largest and most important section of Castanha’s discussion revolves around the papal bulls of 1493, also known as the Inter caeteras.  These bulls, issued by Alexander VI, granted Spain far more land than was contracted to Portugal in the Americas.  The controversies arising from these bulls included papal favoritism toward Spain, barbarity in the Americas, and papal greed.  These bulls also reinforced the European policy of respecting the lines created by papal rules for colonization of infidels and for further exploration.
Davenport, Frances Gardiner, ed.  European Treaties bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies to 1648.  Washington: Carnegie Institution of  Washington, 1917.
As an anthology of works and treaties that directly affect the history of the United States and its land holding, this book provides the main text used for the papal portion of the justification of civilization project.  Davenport includes introductions, original productions, and translations for each text featured.  The usefulness of these texts ranges from the granting of land peacefully to the acquisition of land through force, the justification behind all usurpations of property, and the effect or lack thereof upon the growth of the United States throughout history.
Erdman, Carl.  The Origin of the Idea of Crusade.  Princeton: Princeton UP, 1977.
Erdman traces the history of the origin of the Holy Crusades and finds that the terms colonies and colonization actually begin within the Crusades themselves.  Holy warriors originally created colonies within conquered territories to help maintain peace and order.  It was within the colonies and battles that knightly combat in service of the church finally came to be adopted and accepted by Christians.  By labeling knights as pilgrims and non-believers as infidels, the papal throne effectively managed to create a functioning and threatening army of its own.
Green, L.C., and Olive P. Dickason.  The Law of Nations and the New World.  Alberta: U of Alberta P, 1989.
Green and Dickason focus much of their discussion upon the Medieval belief that Christians had the duty to spread the word of Christ by any means necessary.  Thus, the use of arms against infidels and barbarians was excused as just by kings and popes.  While force was allowed when necessary, especially in self-defense, it is Innocent IV who suggested that aggression directed toward the infidels was unjust.  Ultimately, it was the papal line that brought infidel rights to the forefront, but the issue was merely used as a screen for furthering profits in newly explored lands.  Dickason discusses the relationships that developed or deteriorated between kings and popes as the right of infidels argument raged.  The bottom line was not that of Christianizing the infidel but of gaining the territories occupied by the non-believers.  The arguments that raged between the secular and religious offices helped to rekindle a debate on just how much power a papal authority should be entitled to.  As long as popes agreed that infidels had no rights, kings were happy; otherwise both offices publicly claimed that the other had no rights in the New World.  Therefore, the spreading of Christianity, in the fifteenth and later centuries, became a thinly veiled cloak for a secular and religious war for property.
Madden, Thomas F.  Crusades: The Illustrated History.  Ann Arbor : U of Michigan P, 2004.
Go here and to Riley-Smith for illustrations.
Muldoon, James, ed.  The Expansion of Europe: The First Phase.  Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1977.
Muldoon examines the process by which Europeans invaded and swallowed up neighboring communities and non-believers.  He provides copies and abridgements of original letters and documents written by kings and popes in regard to the exploration and conversion of foreign lands.  The Europeans were very sophisticated in their expansion westward and eastward.  Instead of always making outward war on the "other," they slowly moved into the lands via trade and gradually took over local governments.  Because this former process took such a long time, the European governments (especially the English, Spanish, and French) found it to equal the price of quickly but brutally warring other nations for land, and such intentions are found within the individual entries. With the backing of the Church, especially after the 12th century onward, European nations were able to convince uneasy onlookers that their movements were just, and these theories were then used and applied in the conquest of the new world.  The biggest advantage of all was the ultimate marriage of the papacy and the throne.
---.  Popes, Lawyers, and Infidels. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1979.
An investigation into the emergence of canon law on the topic of infidel rights, this book questions the roles of popes and their critics as creators of and influencers of law-making.  A great deal of importance is placed upon the role of Europeans and their abuse of non-believers in Africa and North and South America. Ulitmately, Muldoon questions how popes were able to influence lawyers to the degree in which they did, and how that influence was documented and relayed in future colonization and charter documents.
Riley-Smith, Jonathan.  The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades.  New York : Oxford UP, 2001.
Go here and to Madden for illustrations.
Tyerman, Christopher.  Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusades.  New York: Oxford UP, 2004.
The Crusades, from definitions, to causes, to consequences, to contemporary appropriation of the term and the idea.
Williams, Robert A., Jr.  The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses  of Conquest.  New York: Oxford UP, 1990.
Williams traces the lines of popes and kings in order to explore the justification provided by both in the dispossessing of Indian land and life.  Underneath the overarching theme -- the West’s imposition of beliefs and culture on others -- Williams explores the circumstances that lead Christians to kill, brutalize, and steal from non-believers.  The justification for European expansion is granted, most significantly, by popes who inextricably bind religious and secular realms together.  With the approval of religion behind them, European kings sent troops, explorers, missionaries, and settlers across the ocean in search of land and wealth.  According to Williams, Christianity was an excuse used by kings and popes in search of more power.
Wilks, Michael.  The Problem of Sovereignty in the Later Middle Ages.  Cambridge:  Cambridge UP, 1963.
Wilks readily addresses the right of infidels to possess land, maintain liberty, and to rule themselves.  The topics of natural law and religious law are introduced in regard to non-believers and Christians themselves.  Supposedly, no matter what type of ruler a nation had, any ruler was better than an infidel ruler.  Natural law can change from country to country, but its basic premises remain the same; most human beings are worthy of fair treatment, unless they refuse to hear the Word of the Lord.  Wilks uses natural law to discuss the respect, or lack thereof, the Native Americans received from Europeans.