Centuries ago, when what we now refer to as “States” were just starting to take shape, who did they turn to for guidance on how to perform their basic functions? Who taught them the equivalent of accounting, record-keeping, law, taxation and dispute resolution 101? Who served as a model for how to administer justice and organize an assembly of representatives?
And who, by extension, do we have to thank for the great inheritance of such fundamental principles as the rule of law, that have been passed down generation after generation?
That’s right, the Roman Catholic Church of the medieval era!
Our guest for this episode is Dr. Anna Grzymala-Busse, author of the recently published book, Sacred Foundations: The Religious and Medieval Roots of the European State.
Dr. Grzymala-Busse researches and teaches at Stanford University, where she serves as the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies in the Department of Political Science, the Director of the Europe Center, and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute. Her areas of expertise include the historical development of the state and its transformation, political parties, and religion and politics.
Anna Grzymala-Busse (faculty bio)
Sacred Foundations: The Religious and Medieval Roots of the European State