The Charisma of Distant Places: Travel and Religion in the Early Middle Ages, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Charisma of Distant Places

Travel and Religion in the Early Middle Ages, 1st Edition

By Courtney L Luckhardt


280 pages | 1 Color Illus. | 12 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367137359
pub: 2019-08-02
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This cultural history of early medieval travel and religion reveals how movement affected society, demonstrating the connectedness of people and regions between 500 and 850 CE. In The Charisma of Distant Places, Courtney Luckhardt enriches our understanding of migration through her examination of religious movement. Vertical links to god and horizontal links to distant regions identified religious travelers - both men and women - as holy, connected to the human and the divine across physical and spiritual distances. Using textual sources, material culture, and place studies, this project is among the first to contextualize the geographic and temporal movement of early medieval people to reveal the diversity of religious travel, from the voluntary journeys of pilgrims to the forced travel of Christian slaves. Luckhardt offers new ways of understanding ideas about power, holiness, identity, and mobility during the transformation of the Roman world in the global Middle Ages. By focusing on the religious dimensions of early medieval people and the regions they visited, this book addresses probing questions, including how and why medieval people communicated and connected with one another across boundaries, both geographical and imaginative.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of maps



Introduction: Uncovering Religious Travel


Chapter One: Practicalities of Early Medieval Travel


Chapter Two: Contested Space, Sacred Space in the Holy Land


Chapter Three: The Pull of Rome


Chapter Four: Monastic Migration and Social Motion


Chapter Five: Unfreedom and Religious Migrations


Conclusion: Epilogue




About the Author

Courtney Luckhardt is Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.

About the Series

Studies in Medieval History and Culture

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General