Hans Brask. En senmedeltida biskop och hans tankevärld
Sammanfattning: This thesis deals with Hans Brask, Bishop of Linköping 1513–1527. Earlier research about Brask has dealt with the political events, his diocesan administration and finances. I study Brask’s episcopal role in a cultural-historical context. The primary source materials are his letters. I analyse Brask’s religious, political and ethnical concepts. I study his actions in order to understand his thoughts. Brask incorporated his roles as politician and landowner with that of a bishop. In contrast to many of the German and French bishops he did not delegate to others his visitation and jurisdictional duties. He was a jurist, but that did not exclude him from his role as pastor who offered his spiritual advice in letters. Brask’s patriotism, his admonitions to unity within the realm and his antipathy for the Danes was a way of demonstrating that the Church and the realm were closely connected. In Brask’s world Lutherans soon replaced Russians as the principal enemies of the Christian faith and of the realm. His patriotism did not exclude a positive approach to the Kalmar Union, but Brask emphasized that the Danes were the disruptive forces within the Union. The law is the recurrent theme in Brask’s universe. He was a doctor of canon law and he was also proficient in Roman law and Swedish law. As judge he was meticulous in applying canon law. He defended the rights of the Church at parochial level during his visitations. In Brask’s opinion the Church’s condemnation of Husite teaching was still relevant and applicable to Lutherans. Both the bishops’ and the Church’s relations to the sovereign and to the Pope were strictly regulated by Swedish and international law. Brask considered it his duty to preserve this order of things. At the same time he did not wish papal power to encroach upon the Church’s self-determination in matters of local importance. Brask considered that the council of the realm with the bishops at its head should play a leading political role. The bishops counterbalanced the sovereign. Brask and his knowledge of political documents was a guarantee for this form of governance. His patriotism consisted in maintaining the law. His role as a landowner characterized his legal way of thinking. Brask acquired documents which could be used in legal proceedings to confirm the right of the realm to lost territories. He wanted to defend the Christian faith from heresy in the same way that land ownership was defended in a court of law by virtue of prescription. In sum, Brask resisted that gradual change that finally led to the centralized, Protestant state.
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