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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

How would you answer the question "What is the relationship between political power and holy power within the context of the Investiture Conflict?"?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) April 8th, 2011

“What is the relationship between political power and holy power within the context of the Investiture Conflict? Look at both positive and negative connotations of the relationships.”

Yes, this is homework, but no, I’m not asking you to write the entire essay for me. I’m just having a hard time figuring out how to answer this question. It also has to be in narrative form. We have a book that we’re using for it.

The Investiture Controversy

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6 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

It seems to me, knowing nothing about the subject, that you have to tackle it by

1. knowing the nature of the Investiture Conflict and the terms of the conflict—the parties involved and the points at issue

2. knowing what the political power and the holy power, respectively, consisted of

3. knowing how the aspects of those two powers compared and/or interacted

The idea of a connotation of a relationship is a little bit enigmatic; or at least it doesn’t make sense to me (how do relationships have connotations?). Neither does speaking of “relationships” plural when the question pertains to a single relationship between two powers. I would ask the instructor what this means, unless this is language used in the book.

The question seems to call for an analysis and not a narrative, Again, I would seek clarification before investing a lot of work in what might be a wrong understanding of the assignment.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba The relationships part would be… well, most of the documents pertain to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII, but technically it’s an issue everyone at every level was having – lords with bishops, etc.

She likes to have us do an essay or two in a narrative to mix things up. I usually just write a letter back home.

So, I know those things, but then how do I talk about them?

Jeruba's avatar

Either the two powers are in accord or they are opposed to one another. If opposed, they are opposed entirely or in part. If in part, then in some ways they further one another’s interests and in others they do not. Where they do not, why do they conflict and how? Break it down. Figure out the relationship.

As to how to write about them, your best guide to that is your instructor’s guidelines and your previous experience in this class. Nobody here can solve that enigma by guesswork.

janbb's avatar

Oh Jeez – I wrote two papers about this eons ago, I think. Wasn’t that the one where Henry IV was standing in the snow outside the Pope’s palace? What would he be thinking? What might he be saying under his breath? Who represented “holy power” and who “political power”? Who really had the power? Are they different things or is power power?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@janbb Yes, yes it is.

janbb's avatar

So my questions were suggetions for your narrative.

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