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The Imam of the ChristiansThe World of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, c. 750-850$
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Philip Wood

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691212791

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691212791.001.0001

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Tithes, Authority and Hierarchy, 740–840

Tithes, Authority and Hierarchy, 740–840

(p.78) 3 Tithes, Authority and Hierarchy, 740–840
The Imam of the Christians

Philip Wood

Princeton University Press

This chapter identifies three areas in which the infrastructure of church governance changed from 740 to 840. It includes the involvement of the caliphal government in the promotion of bishops, the ratification of patriarchal rights through official diplomas, and patriarchs' use of their ties to the caliph to protect the rights of Christians. It also demonstrates what the greater proximity between the patriarch and the caliph meant for the Jacobite hierarchy, and how the threat of Muslim populations encouraged the Jacobite leadership to act as a service elite for the caliph. The chapter describes the relatively decentralized, rural composition of the Jacobite church, which made it hard for bishops to maintain their prerogatives according to church canons. It mentions that canonists had to condemn the practice of laypeople going to individuals other than bishops for judgement.

Keywords:   church governance, caliphal government, Jacobite hierarchy, service elite, church canons, laypeople

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