Medieval Religion and its Anxieties

History and Mystery in the Other Middle Ages

Author: Thomas A. Fudgé

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137566108

Category: History

Page: 300

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This book examines the broad varieties of religious belief, religious practices, and the influence of religion within medieval society. Religion in the Middle Ages was not monolithic. Medieval religion and the Latin Church are not synonymous. While theology and liturgy are important, an examination of animal trials, gargoyles, last judgments, various aspects of the medieval underworld, and the quest for salvation illuminate lesser known dimensions of religion in the Middle Ages. Several themes run throughout the book including visual culture, heresy and heretics, law and legal procedure, along with sexuality and an awareness of mentalities and anxieties. Although an expanse of 800 years has passed, the remains of those other Middle Ages can be seen today, forcing us to reassess our evaluations of this alluring and often overlooked past.

Magic and Religion in Medieval England

Author: Catherine Rider

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780230745

Category: History

Page: 219

View: 7334

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During the Middle Ages, many occult rituals and beliefs existed and were practiced alongside those officially sanctioned by the church. While educated clergy condemned some of these as magic, many of these practices involved religious language, rituals, or objects. For instance, charms recited to cure illnesses invoked God and the saints, and love spells used consecrated substances such as the Eucharist. Magic and Religion in Medieval England explores the entanglement of magical practices and the clergy during the Middle Ages, uncovering how churchmen decided which of these practices to deem acceptable and examining the ways they persuaded others to adopt their views. Covering the period from 1215 to the Reformation, Catherine Rider traces the change in the church’s attitude to vernacular forms of magic. She shows how this period brought the clergy more closely into contact with unofficial religious practices than ever before, and how this proximity prompted them to draw up precise guidelines on distinguishing magic from legitimate religion. Revealing the necessity of improving clerical education and the pastoral care of the laity, Magic and Religion in Medieval England provides a fascinating picture of religious life during this period.

Blessing the World

Ritual and Lay Piety in Medieval Religion

Author: Derek A. Rivard

Publisher: CUA Press

ISBN: 0813215455

Category: History

Page: 332

View: 5144

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In Blessing the World, Derek A. Rivard studies liturgical blessing and its role in the religious life of Christians during the central and later Middle Ages, with a particular focus on the blessings of the Franco-Roman liturgical tradition from the tenth to late thirteenth centuries.

The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity

Author: John H. Arnold

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191015008

Category: Religion

Page: 640

View: 2887

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The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity takes as its subject the beliefs, practices, and institutions of the Christian Church between 400 and 1500AD. It addresses topics ranging from early medieval monasticism to late medieval mysticism, from the material wealth of the Church to the spiritual exercises through which certain believers might attempt to improve their souls. Each chapter tells a story, but seeks also to ask how and why 'Christianity' took particular forms at particular moments in history, paying attention to both the spiritual and otherwordly aspects of religion, and the material and political contexts in which they were often embedded. This Handbook is a landmark academic collection that presents cutting-edge interpretive perspectives on medieval religion for a wide academic audience, drawing together thirty key scholars in the field from the United States, the UK, and Europe. Notably, the Handbook is arranged thematically, and focusses on an analytical, rather than narrative, approach, seeking to demonstrate the variety, change, and complexity of religion throughout this long period, and the numerous different ways in which modern scholarship can approach it. While providing a very wide-ranging view of the subject, it also offers an important agenda for further study in the field.

Contesting Inter-Religious Conversion in the Medieval World

Author: Yaniv Fox,Yosi Yisraeli

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1317160274

Category: History

Page: 276

View: 2561

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The Mediterranean and its hinterlands were the scene of intensive and transformative contact between cultures in the Middle Ages. From the seventh to the seventeenth century, the three civilizations into which the region came to be divided geographically – the Islamic Khalifate, the Byzantine Empire, and the Latin West – were busily redefining themselves vis-à-vis one another. Interspersed throughout the region were communities of minorities, such as Christians in Muslim lands, Muslims in Christian lands, heterodoxical sects, pagans, and, of course, Jews. One of the most potent vectors of interaction and influence between these communities in the medieval world was inter-religious conversion: the process whereby groups or individuals formally embraced a new religion. The chapters of this book explore this dynamic: what did it mean to convert to Christianity in seventh-century Ireland? What did it mean to embrace Islam in tenth-century Egypt? Are the two phenomena comparable on a social, cultural, and legal level? The chapters of the book also ask what we are able to learn from our sources, which, at times, provide a very culturally-charged and specific conversion rhetoric. Taken as a whole, the compositions in this volume set out to argue that inter-religious conversion was a process that was recognizable and comparable throughout its geographical and chronological purview.

The War on Heresy

Author: Robert Ian Moore,R. I. Moore

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674065379

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 6328

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Some of the most portentous events in medieval history—the Cathar crusade, the persecution and mass burnings of heretics, the papal inquisition—fall between 1000 and 1250, when the Catholic Church confronted the threat of heresy with force. Moore’s narrative focuses on the motives and anxieties of elites who waged war on heresy for political gain.

Religion and the Decline of Magic

Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England

Author: Keith Thomas

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195213607

Category: Social Science

Page: 716

View: 2639

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Astrology, witchcraft, magical healing, divination, ancient prophecies, ghosts, and fairies were taken very seriously by people at all social and economic levels in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Helplessness in the face of disease and human disaster helped to perpetuate this belief in magic and the supernatural. As Keith Thomas shows, England during these years resembled in many ways today's "underdeveloped areas." The English population was exceedingly liable to pain, sickness, and premature death; many were illiterate; epidemics such as the bubonic plague plowed through English towns, at times cutting the number of London's inhabitants by a sixth; fire was a constant threat; the food supply was precarious; and for most diseases there was no effective medical remedy. In this fascinating and detailed book, Keith Thomas shows how magic, like the medieval Church, offered an explanation for misfortune and a means of redress in times of adversity. The supernatural thus had its own practical utility in daily life. Some forms of magic were challenged by the Protestant Reformation, but only with the increased search for scientific explanation of the universe did the English people begin to abandon their recourse to the supernatural. Science and technology have made us less vulnerable to some of the hazards which confronted the people of the past. Yet Religion and the Decline of Magic concludes that "if magic is defined as the employment of ineffective techniques to allay anxiety when effective ones are not available, then we must recognize that no society will ever be free from it."

A History of Medieval Heresy and Inquisition

Author: Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 0742568113

Category: History

Page: 328

View: 2355

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In this concise and balanced survey of heresy and inquisition in the Middle Ages, Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane explores the increasingly bitter encounters between piety, reform, dissent, and the institutional Church between 1100 and 1500. Although the loaded terms of "heresy" and "orthodoxy" employed by ecclesiastical officials suggest a clear division between right and wrong, that division was in fact vigorously contested by medieval people at all levels of society. Deane investigates key issues that sparked confrontations between Christians, including access to scripture, apostolic models of poverty and preaching, the Eucharist and sacramental power, and clerical corruption and wealth. She traces the means by which Church elites developed an increasingly complex set of inquisitorial procedures and resources to identify, label, and repress "heresy," examines the various regional eruptions of such confrontations across medieval Europe, and considers the judicial processes that brought many to the stake. The book ranges from the "Good Christians" of Languedoc and Lombardy and the pan-European "Poor," to Spiritual Franciscans, lay religious women, anticlerical and vernacular movements in England and Bohemia, mysticism, magical practices, and witchcraft. Throughout, Deane considers how the new inquisitorial bureaucracies not only fueled anxiety over heresy, but actually generated fictional "heresies" through their own texts and techniques. Incorporating recent research and debates in the field, her analysis brings to life a compelling issue that profoundly influenced the medieval world.

Toleration and Tolerance in Medieval European Literature

Author: Albrecht Classen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 135100106X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 330

View: 512

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Toleration and Tolerance in Medieval European Literature aims to examine and unearth the critical investigations of toleration and tolerance presented in literary texts of the Middle Ages. In contrast to previous approaches, this volume identifies new methods of interpreting conventional classifications of toleration and tolerance through the emergence of multi-level voices in literary, religious, and philosophical discourses of authorities in medieval literature. Accordingly, this volume identifies two separate definitions of toleration and tolerance, the former as a representative of a majority group accepts a member of the minority group but still holds firmly to the believe that s/he is right and the other entirely wrong, and tolerance meaning that all faiths, convictions, and ideologies are treated equally, and the majority speaker is ready to accept that potentially his/her position is wrong. Applying these distinct differences in the critical investigation of interaction and representation in context, this book offers new insight into the tolerant attitudes portrayed in medieval literature of which regularly appealed, influenced and shaped popular opinions of the period.

Ancestors and Anxiety

Daoism and the Birth of Rebirth in China

Author: Stephen R. Bokenkamp

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520249486

Category: History

Page: 220

View: 7093

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A work on Chinese concepts of the afterlife. It explores how Chinese authors, including Daoists and non-Buddhists, received and deployed ideas about rebirth from the third to the sixth centuries CE. In tracing the antecedents of these scriptures, it presents non-Buddhist accounts that provide detail on the realms of the dead.

Pagan and Christian in an Age of Anxiety

Some Aspects of Religious Experience from Marcus Aurelius to Constantine

Author: E. R. Dodds,Eric Robertson Dodds

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521385992

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 1933

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Drawing on the abundant material available for the study of religious experience in late antiquity, Professor Dodds examines the personal religious attitudes and experiences common to pagans and Christians in the period between Marcus Aurelius and Constantine. World-hatred and asceticism, dreams and states of possession, and pagan and Christian mysticism are all discussed. Finally, Dodds considers both pagan views of Christianity and Christian views of paganism as they emerge in the literature of the time. Although primarily written for social and religious historians, this study will also appeal to all those interested in the ancient world and its thought.

Genealogies of Religion

Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam

Author: Talal Asad

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 0801895936

Category: Religion

Page: 344

View: 2434

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In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept. The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is a construction of European modernity, a construction that authorizes—for Westerners and non-Westerners alike—particular forms of "history making." -- James R. Wood

Law and Piety in Medieval Islam

Author: Megan H. Reid

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107067111

Category: History

Page: N.A

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The Ayyubid and Mamluk periods were two of the most intellectually vibrant in Islamic history. Megan H. Reid's book, which traverses three centuries from 1170 to 1500, recovers the stories of medieval men and women who were renowned not only for their intellectual prowess but also for their devotional piety. Through these stories, the book examines trends in voluntary religious practice that have been largely overlooked in modern scholarship. This type of piety was distinguished by the pursuit of God's favor through additional rituals, which emphasized the body as an instrument of worship, and through the rejection of worldly pleasures, and even society itself. Using an array of sources including manuals of law, fatwa collections, chronicles, and obituaries, the book shows what it meant to be a good Muslim in the medieval period and how Islamic law helped to define holy behavior. In its concentration on personal piety, ritual, and ethics the book offers an intimate perspective on medieval Islamic society.

Medieval Death

Ritual and Representation

Author: Paul Binski

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801433153

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 1384

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Medieval Death is an absorbing study of the social, theological, and cultural issues involved in death and dying in Europe from the end of the Roman Empire to the early sixteenth century. Drawing on both archaeological and art historical sources, Paul Binski examines pagan and Christian attitudes towards the dead, the aesthetics of death and the body, burial ritual and mortuary practice. The evidence is accumulated from a wide variety of medieval thinkers and images, including the macabre illustrations of the Dance of Death and other popular themes in art and literature, which reflect the medieval obsession with notions of humility, penitence, and the dangers of bodily corruption. The author discusses the impact of the Black Death on late medieval art and examines the development of the medieval tomb, showing the changing attitudes towards the commemoration of the dead between late antiquity and the late Middle Ages. In the final chapter the progress of the soul after death is studied through the powerful descriptions of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory in Dante and other writers and through portrayals of the Last Judgment and the Apocalypse in sculpture and large-scale painting.

Cities of Ladies

Beguine Communities in the Medieval Low Countries, 1200-1565

Author: Walter Simons

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812200128

Category: History

Page: 352

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Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2002 In the early thirteenth century, semireligious communities of women began to form in the cities and towns of the Low Countries. These beguines, as the women came to be known, led lives of contemplation and prayer and earned their livings as laborers or teachers. In Cities of Ladies, the first history of the beguines to appear in English in fifty years, Walter Simons traces the transformation of informal clusters of single women to large beguinages. These veritable single-sex cities offered lower- and middle-class women an alternative to both marriage and convent life. While the region's expanding urban economies initially valued the communities for their cheap labor supply, severe economic crises by the fourteenth century restricted women's opportunities for work. Church authorities had also grown less tolerant of religious experimentation, hailing as subversive some aspects of beguine mysticism. To Simons, however, such accusations of heresy against the beguines were largely generated from a profound anxiety about their intellectual ambitions and their claims to a chaste life outside the cloister. Under ecclesiastical and economic pressure, beguine communities dwindled in size and influence, surviving only by adopting a posture of restraint and submission to church authorities.

Remaking the Middle Ages

The Methods of Cinema and History in Portraying the Medieval World

Author: Andrew B.R. Elliott

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786461764

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 286

View: 646

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Proposing a fresh theoretical approach to the study of cinematic portrayals of the Middle Ages, this book uses both semiotics and historiography to demonstrate how contemporary filmmakers have attempted to recreate the past in a way that, while largely imagined, is also logical, meaningful, and as truthful as possible. Carrying out this critical approach, the author analyzes a wide range of films depicting the Middle Ages, arguing that most of these films either reflect the past through a series of visual signs (a concept he has called “iconic recreation”) or by comparing the past to a modern equivalent (called “paradigmatic representation”).

Religion and the Cold War

Author: D. Kirby

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1403919577

Category: Philosophy

Page: 245

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Although seen widely as the twentieth-century's great religious war, as a conflict between the god-fearing and the godless, the religious dimension of the Cold War has never been subjected to a scholarly critique. This unique study shows why religion is a key Cold War variable. A specially commissioned collection of new scholarship, it provides fresh insights into the complex nature of the Cold War. It has profound resonance today with the resurgence of religion as a political force in global society.

Culture and Spirituality in Medieval Europe

Author: Giles Constable

Publisher: Variorum

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 318

View: 7842

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The studies in the present selection of Giles Constable's work concentrate on culture and spirituality in the 11th and 12th centuries, though they also touch on the early and late Middle Ages. The cultural articles are concerned respectively with perceptions of time and the past, forgery (seen as a reflection of social and religious concerns), entry to religious life, preaching, and letters and letter-writing. The articles on spirituality deal with the themes of suffering and attitudes towards the self, especially the growing concentration on the individual in the religious life of the 12th century.

Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies

Judaism in Christian Painting, Poetry, and Politics

Author: David Nirenberg

Publisher: Brandeis University Press

ISBN: 1611687799

Category: Religion

Page: 248

View: 584

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Through most of Western European history, Jews have been a numerically tiny or entirely absent minority, but across that history Europeans have nonetheless worried a great deal about Judaism. Why should that be so? This short but powerfully argued book suggests that Christian anxieties about their own transcendent ideals made Judaism an important tool for Christianity, as an apocalyptic religionÑcharacterized by prizing soul over flesh, the spiritual over the literal, the heavenly over the physical worldÑcame to terms with the inescapable importance of body, language, and material things in this world. Nirenberg shows how turning the Jew into a personification of worldly over spiritual concerns, surface over inner meaning, allowed cultures inclined toward transcendence to understand even their most materialistic practices as spiritual. Focusing on art, poetry, and politicsÑthree activities especially condemned as worldly in early Christian cultureÑhe reveals how, over the past two thousand years, these activities nevertheless expanded the potential for their own existence within Christian culture because they were used to represent Judaism. Nirenberg draws on an astonishingly diverse collection of poets, painters, preachers, philosophers, and politicians to reconstruct the roles played by representations of Jewish ÒenemiesÓ in the creation of Western art, culture, and politics, from the ancient world to the present day. This erudite and tightly argued survey of the ways in which Christian cultures have created themselves by thinking about Judaism will appeal to the broadest range of scholars of religion, art, literature, political theory, media theory, and the history of Western civilization more generally.