July 12, 2019
Certainly, it would be anachronistic to reconstruct the ecclesial space, as it existed before the tenth century, from the modern parochial network, with its precisely delineated boundaries. However, the concept of “enveloppe territoriale”, an expression coined in order to take into account the flexibility of the medieval entities, may lead to confusion. It was in the interest of medieval scholars to choose their words carefully. The lexical study of a primarly Breton corpus would suggest that several notions of the parochial space coincide in Latin texts. Hence the importance of distinguishing the territory determined by the Church from the space experienced as a landmark by rural communities. Those who lived in such communities occupied a landscape whose demarcations were well-suited for extensive farming and they adapted as best they could to the presence of a clergy within their local church whose responsibility was to manage, on their behalf, their relationship with God.