This volume explores the wide range of institutions, beliefs and practices within later medieval Christianity. It describes and analyses routines of Christian life, dissent, and the striving for religious perfection and provides an accessible account of the rich and varied life of medieval European Christians.
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"...inspires awe....enormous diversity of of excellent scholars....stands out from rivals by its sheer scale....provide an effective structure....identification and development of themes is thoroughly successful....deeply impressive..."
During the early middle ages, Europe developed complex and varied Christian cultures, and from about 1100 secular rulers, competing factions and inspired individuals continued to engender a diverse and ever-changing mix within Christian society. This volume explores the wide range of institutions, practices and experiences associated with the life of European Christians in the later middle ages. The clergy of this period initiated new approaches to the role of priests, bishops and popes, and developed an ambitious project to instruct the laity. For lay people, the practices of parish religion were central, but many sought additional ways to enrich their lives as Christians. Impulses towards reform and renewal periodically swept across Europe, led by charismatic preachers and supported by secular rulers. This book provides accessible accounts of these complex historical processes and entices the reader towards further enquiry.
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