Wazo of Liège

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19th-century statue of Wazo (right), Palais Provincial, Liège

Wazo of Liège (c. 985 – 1048) was bishop of Liège from 1041 to 1048, and a significant educator and theologian. His life was chronicled by his contemporary Anselm of Liège.

During this period Liège became known as an educational center. Wazo, himself a student with Heriger of Lobbes, served as school master, under his predecessor Notker of Liège, before himself becoming bishop.[1]

He is noted also for his nuanced approach to cases of heresy (not common in his day). In a letter he wrote to Roger, Bishop of Châlons,[2] he quoted the New Testament Parable of the Tares and argued "the church should let dissent grow with orthodoxy until the Lord comes to separate and judge them".[3]

He was involved in the period 1021-5 in a controversy with John, canon and provost in Liège; Durandus of Liège, then bishop, had Wazo leave for a time.[4] His election as bishop in 1041 was strongly contested,[5] with Emperor Henry III against him.


  1. ^ C. Stephen Jaeger (1994), The Envy of Angels: Cathedral Schools and Social Ideas in Medieval Europe, 950-1200, p. 55.
  2. ^ The Birth of Heresy, a Millennial Phenomenon
  3. ^ Jeffrey Burton Russell, Dissent an Order in the Middle Ages: The Search for Legitimate Authority p. 23 (New York: Twayne Publishers 1992)
  4. ^ Jaeger, pp. 205-8.
  5. ^ Jaeger, pp.208-9; Jaeger sees the conflict as between the educational tradition of Brun of Cologne, and monastic tradition; and convicts Wazo of a lack of urbanity.

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