Culture and Spirituality in Medieval Europe: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Culture and Spirituality in Medieval Europe

1st Edition

By Giles Constable


336 pages

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Hardback: 9780860786092
pub: 1996-08-22
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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.


'a very stimulating volume…well worth reading.' Parergon, Vol. 15, No. 2 '…an excellent and informative collection…overwhelmingly one is left with the sense of inquiry, open-minded interest, and wide-ranging scholarship that consistently inform his work.' Reviews in History

Table of Contents

Contents: Forgery and plagiarism in the Middle Ages; Forged letters in the Middle Ages; Dictators and diplomats in the 11th and 12th centuries: medieval epistolography and the birth of modern bureaucracy; Past and present in the 11th and 12th centuries. Perceptions of time and change; A living past: the historical environment of the Middle Ages; The language of preaching in the 12th century; The ceremonies and symbolism of entering religious life and taking the monastic habit, from the 4th to the 12th century; The diversity of religious life and acceptance of social pluralism in the 12th century; Attitudes towards self-inflicted suffering in the Middle Ages; Moderation and restraint in ascetic practices in the Middle Ages; The ideal of inner solitude in the 12th century; The concern for sincerity and understanding in liturgical prayer, especially in the 12th century; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General