This reader fills a gap in classroom offerings by exploring historians' ongoing attempt to understand the social and cultural aspects of medieval Christianity. James L. Halverson organizes his selections around two central questions: what do we mean when we say that medieval Europe was a Christian culture, and what did it mean to be a Christian in the Middle Ages? He argues that the diversity of medieval society over time and space defies the simple answers given in textbooks and that students of medieval religion must have more exposure to issues such as class, gender, and literacy. This carefully selected and provocative collection of key works in the field will provide an invaluable introduction to the medieval world.
James L. Halverson is professor of history and chair of social sciences at Judson College.
Introduction Part I: The Extent of Christianization in the Early Middle Ages Chapter 1: Some Historical Reidentification and the Christianization of Kent Chapter 2: Background to Augustine's Mission to Anglo-Saxon England Chapter 3: The Barbarian Conversion from Paganism to Christianity Chapter 4: Popular Religion in Late Saxon England: Elf Charms in Context Chapter 5: Forgetful of Their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society, ca. 500-1100 Chapter 6: The Rise of Western Christendom Part II: The Development of Christendom Chapter 7: The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest: The Making of Modern Marriage in Medieval France Chapter 8: Knightly Piety and the Lay Response to the First Crusade Chapter 9: Sword, Mitre, and Cloister: Nobility and the Church in Burgundy Chapter 10: Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages Chapter 11: To the Glory of Her Sex Part III: The Apostolic Life Chapter 12: Religious Movements in the Middle Ages Chapter 13: Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe Chapter 14: Holy Anorexia Chapter 15: Women Mystics and Eucharistic Devotion in the Thirteenth Century Chapter 16: The Devil's World: Heresy and Society, 1100-1300 Part IV: Popular Religion in the Late Middle Ages Chapter 17: Religious Life in Germany on the Eve of the Reformation Chapter 18: The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, ca. 1400-1580 Chapter 19: Religion and the Decline of Magic Chapter 20: Women in the Late Medieval English Parish Chapter 21: The Magnificent Ride: The First Reformation in Hussite Bohemia