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By Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane

In this concise and balanced survey of heresy and inquisition within the heart a while, Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane explores the more and more sour encounters among piety, reform, dissent, and the institutional Church among 1100 and 1500. even supposing the loaded phrases of ''heresy'' and ''orthodoxy'' hired by way of ecclesiastical officers recommend a transparent department among correct and mistaken, that department was once in reality vigorously contested through medieval humans in any respect degrees of society. Deane investigates key matters that sparked confrontations among Christians, together with entry to scripture, apostolic versions of poverty and preaching, the Eucharist and sacramental strength, and clerical corruption and wealth. She lines the skill wherein Church elites constructed an more and more advanced set of inquisitorial systems and assets to spot, label, and repress ''heresy,'' examines a few of the neighborhood eruptions of such confrontations throughout medieval Europe, and considers the judicial tactics that introduced many to the stake. The publication levels from the ''Good Christians'' of Languedoc and Lombardy and the pan-European ''Poor,'' to religious Franciscans, lay non secular girls, anticlerical and vernacular pursuits in England and Bohemia, mysticism, magical practices, and witchcraft. all through, Deane considers how the hot inquisitorial bureaucracies not just fueled nervousness over heresy, yet truly generated fictional ''heresies'' via their very own texts and methods. Incorporating fresh examine and debates within the box, her research brings to existence a compelling factor that profoundly motivated the medieval world.

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6 The heretics, she warned, are hypocritical servants of the devil who will walk about “with wan faces,” clothed in sanctity and ready to seduce devout Christians. ”7 Thus, according to Hildegard, does the devil send deceptively pious agents whose apparent asceticism contrasts so disastrously with priestly self-indulgence. By the mid-twelfth century, therefore, it was already difficult for Church leaders to distinguish between piety and pretense, holiness and hypocrisy. NAMING AND NAME CALLING Language poses one of the most significant challenges facing modern readers of medieval heresy, and not simply because materials are usually written in medieval Latin or sometimes in German, French, or Italian (quite different languages from their modern counterparts).

525 F. Property of the Kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Verein. Photo by Joerg P. Anders. Gemaeldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany. indb 22 11/9/10 2:10 PM Introduction 23 disc into God. ”13 The transformation of grain and grape into body and blood, the mystery of the incarnate Word, and the other astonishing joinings of heaven and earth in Christendom represent a pulsing spiritual vein linking the men and women of fortified towns of southern France, urban Rhineland, Alpine villages, Bohemian towns, the English countryside, and beyond.

Can we thus believe what he says, or is it possible that he distorts, exaggerates, reports false secondhand information, and so on? Two basic rules for historians will be useful here. First, never read sources in isolation: one must always check one document against other sources of information before drawing firm conclusions. Second, one must always read both hostile and sympathetic accounts as critically as possible— that is, reading “against the grain” to figure out not only what the author intended to communicate to the reader, but what is inadvertently conveyed through assumptions, omissions, and other, less obvious aspects of the text.

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