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Professor Peter Clarke

Professor Peter Clarke

Professor of Medieval History

Research interests

  • My principal research interest is the canon law of the medieval Western Church, an international legal system that touched the lives of Christians and non-Christians in the Medieval West. My doctoral work (later developed into a monograph) focussed on the interdict, a sanction of the Western Church that might be imposed on communities, even kingdoms, and had the effect of closing churches and suspending religious rites. Interdicts were usually provoked by a secular ruler’s disobedience to church authorities and often exploited by popes as a political weapon in clashes with such rulers.

More research

Accepting applications from PhD students.


Address: B65, Avenue Campus, Highfield Road, SO17 1BF (View in Google Maps)


Peter specialises in the history of medieval canon law and has published extensively on this subject since 1999. Since 2016 he has been the British member of the Board of Directors of the Stephan Kuttner Institute of Medieval Canon Law, which is responsible for the publication of proceedings of the quadrennial International Congress of Medieval Canon Law and of editions of medieval canon law collections and commentaries in the Vatican Library’s Monumenta.

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