The Routledge History of Medieval Christianity explores the role of Christianity in European society from the middle of the eleventh-century until the dawning of the Reformation. Arranged in four thematic sections and comprising 23 originally commissioned chapters plus introductory overviews to each part by the editor, this book provides an authoritative survey of a vital element of medieval history.
Comprehensive and cohesive, the volume provides a holistic view of Christianity in medieval Europe, examining not only the church itself but also its role in, influence on, and tensions with, contemporary society. Chapters therefore range from examinations of structures, theology and devotional practices within the church to topics such as gender, violence and holy warfare, the economy, morality, culture, and many more besides, demonstrating the pervasiveness and importance of the church and Christianity in the medieval world.
Despite the transition into an increasingly post-Christian age, the historic role of Christianity in the development of Europe remains essential to the understanding of European history – particularly in the medieval period. This collection will be essential reading for students and scholars of medieval studies across a broad range of disciplines.
Table of Contents
Preface List of illustrations Introduction The Starting Point. Part 1: Structures Introduction 1. Brett Edward Whalen The Papacy 2. R.N. Swanson Bishoprics and Parishes 3. R.N. Swanson Manning the Church: Priests and Bishops 4. James D. Mixson Religious Life and Religious Orders Part 2: Forming the Mindset Introduction 5. Ian Christopher Levy The Study of Theology in the Middle Ages 6. Peter D. Clarke Canon Law 7. Cary J. Nederman Social and Political Thought 8. Andrew Reeves Education and Religious Instruction Part 3: Catholicism in Practice Introduction 9. Nicolas Bell Liturgy 10. D. Bornstein Administering the Sacraments 11 Thomas M. Izbicki Sin and Pastoral Care 12 Simon Yarrow Pilgrimage 13 Robert W. Shaffern Death and the Afterlife in the Middle Ages 14 Chistopher Tyerman Violence and Holy War in Western Christendom15 Alixe Bovey ‘From Material to Immaterial Things’: Gothic Art and Immaterial Culture 16 Alexandra Gajewski Building Christendom: Patrons, Architects and Centres of Innovation in Medieval Europe Part 4: Challenges Introduction 17 Jonathan Elukin Christianity and Judaism; Christians and Jews18 Peter Biller Heresy and Dissent 19. Catherine Rider Magic and Superstition Part 5: Shaping a Catholic Society Introduction 20. R.H. Helmholz Jurisdiction and Discipline 21. A.T. Brown Economic Life 22. Kim M. Phillips Gender and Sexuality 23. Alexandra Barratt Literature Afterword Index
R.N. SWANSON is Professor of Medieval Ecclesiastical History at the University of Birmingham. His previous publications include Church and Society in Late Medieval England (1989); Religion and Devotion in Europe, c.1215-c.1515 (1995); The Twelfth Century Renaissance (1999); and Indulgences in Late Medieval England: Passports to Paradise? (2007).
'In The Routledge History of Medieval Christianity Robert Swanson provides us with a clear, authoritative, and wide-ranging account of the social and economic structure of the Medieval Church. In particular Swanson’s discussion of the importance of the administrative and spiritual role of the bishop in medieval society, and of the multi-faceted relationship which existed between diocese, parish and the laity during the High and Late Middle Ages is a timely and much needed addition to recent scholarship.'
Rebecca Rist, University of Reading, UK
'Robert Swanson has gathered together a distinguished group of scholars to explore medieval Christianity, the Church, and society. The volume manages to penetrate into every conceivable crevice of medieval thought, institutions and beliefs. The clear and accessible style of the essays, the bibliographies attached to each chapter, and the range of subjects will make this volume a vade mecum for students on all levels.'
Ken Pennington, The Catholic University of America, USA