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Indulgences played a major role in medieval 'strategies for eternity', easing the journey through Purgatory to Heaven after death. However, theological attacks during the Reformation and the subsequent Protestant rejection of indulgences have given them a poor reputation, compounding the effect of the fourteenth-century satires by Chaucer and Langland of the pardoners who ensured their widespread distribution. This 2007 book examines indulgences in late medieval England and it offers an extensive and authoritative re-evaluation of their role in England's religious, social and economic life between 1300 and the Reformation. R. N. Swanson traces their importance to devotional life, their contribution to charitable and economic structures and the complex tale of their disappearance under Henry VIII. This is a major contribution to the religious history of late medieval England and will be essential reading for scholars of medieval history, religious studies and the Reformation.Read more
- Was the first major study of the role of indulgences in religious and social life in medieval England
- Sheds light on late medieval religion and the origins of the Reformation
- Essential reading for scholars of medieval history, medieval studies and religious studies
Reviews & endorsements
"[Swanson's] extraordinary research skills are displayed on virtually every one of those pages as he reports on material ferreted out in the most improbable places and in virtually every imaginable type of source."
Sixteenth Century Journal, Eric Josef Carlson, Gustavus Adolphus CollegeSee more reviews
"While much of the scholarship on indulgences in the Middle Ages focuses on the summae of the academic theologians and canon lawyers, Swanson's book constitutes the highly useful contribution of a study based on archival documentation." -Robert W. Shaffern, Speculum
"...impressively extensive study..." -Elizabeth Evenden, Church History
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- Date Published: September 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521293921
- length: 594 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 31 mm
- weight: 0.79kg
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
1. Doctrine and development
2. Pardons for every occasion
3. Nooks, crannies, needles, haystacks - the sources
4. The practicalities of pardons
5. A pardoner there was ...
6. Devotion and veneration
7. Indulgences debated
8. Responses and appreciations
9. Indulgences in England's economy
10. Into oblivion: the reign of Henry VIII
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