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Penance, confession and their texts (penitential and confessors' manuals) are important topics for an understanding of the middle ages, in relation to a wide range of issues, from medieval social thought to Chaucer's background. These essays treat a variety of different aspects of the topic: subjects include the frequency and character of early medieval penance; the summae and manuals for confessors, and the ways in which these texts (written by males for males) constructed women as sexual in nature; William of Auvergne's remarkable writing on penance; and the relevance of confessors' manuals for demographic history. JOHN BALDWIN's major study `From the Ordeal to Confession', delivered as a Quodlibet lecture, traces the appearance in French romances of the themes of a penitent's contrition, the priest's job in listening, and the application of the spiritual conseil and penitence.

PETER BILLER is Professor of Medieval History at the University of York; A.J. MINNIS is Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of English, Yale University.

Contributors: PETER BILLER, ROB MEENS, ALEXANDER MURRAY, JACQUELINE MURRAY, LESLEY SMITH, MICHAEL HAREN, JOHN BALDWIN

Reviews

Interesting, learned. MEDIUM AEVUM

Details

First Published: 29 Oct 1998
13 Digit ISBN: 9780952973416
Pages: 230
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: York Medieval Press
Series: York Studies in Medieval Theology
Subject: History of Religion
BIC Class: HRAX

Details updated on 25 Oct 2014

Contents

  • 1  `Medieval Confession' and ``Confessors' manuals and the avoiding of offspring'.
  • 2  `The Frequency and Nature of early medieval Penance'.
  • 3  `Counselling in Medieval Confession'.
  • 4  `Gendered Souls in Sexed Bodies: the Male Construction of Sexuality in Some Medieval Confessors' Manuals'.
  • 5  `William of Auvergne and Confession'.
  • 6  `Confession, Social Ethics and Social Discipline in the `Memoriale Presbiterorum'' and `The Interrogatories for Officials, Lawyers and Secular Estates of the `Memoriale Presbiterorum''.and Secular Estates of the `Memoriale Presbiterorum''.
  • 7  `The 1996 York Quodlibet Lecture, `From the Ordeal to Confession: In Search of Lay Religion in Early Thirteenth Century France''.



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