The Age of Pilgrimage: The Medieval Journey to God / Edition 1

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About the Author

Jonathan Sumption was a History Fellow at Magdalene College, Oxford, until 1975 and is now a QC practicing at the commercial bar. He has also written The Albigensian Crusade and Trial by Battle and Trial by Fire, the first two volumes of his acclaimed history of the Hundred Years War.

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Editorial Reviews

Vivid reading. He has researched widely, and the 'curious' aspect of pilgrimage finds many extraordinary examples...[It] fascinates and entertains.
Sumption is a gifted narrator, and careful scholar and a brave man.
The Daily Telegraph
A great virtue of [this book] is that it draws into one coherent and eminently readable whole references scattered throughout a vast body of literature.
The Month
This is a fascinating book, accurate, scholarly and eminently readable. The author's knowledge and the breadth of his research are astonishing.
The Times
Jonathan Sumption set out to provide an image of medieval religion. He has done so colourfully, with an admirably light touch, vivid illustration and scholarly precision.
Times Educational Supplement
The first work of a brilliant young scholar of medieval literature...A book of scholarly rigour, broad scope and vital humanity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587680250
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 768,503
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1 Introduction 5
2 The Cult of Relics 21
3 The Saints and Their Relics 50
4 The Pursuit of the Miraculous 69
5 The Medicine of the Sick 98
6 Origins and Ideals 122
7 The Penitential Pilgrimage 136
8 The Great Age of Pilgrimage 160
9 The Legacy of the Crusades 194
10 The Growth of a Cult 207
11 The Journey 239
12 The Sanctuary 299
13 Rome 308
14 The Later Middle Ages I 369
15 The Later Middle Ages II 385
16 Medieval Christianity: Religion to Ritual 418
Abbreviations 441
Notes 445
Bibliography 512
Index 549
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 24, 2013

    will appeal to both the general reader and the specialist

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this volume. I read history, including church history, for pleasure and I've derived a lot of pleasure from this volume from Jonathan Sumption. This is history made easy to read and yet packed with details and anecdotes. Footnotes are appended at the back of the book, which is a kindly way to do it.

    The book covers the entire range of pilgrimage days, from the very earliest travelers and into early modern times. Journeys to Jerusalem, Rome, Santiago de Compostela and numerous other, smaller western European sites are brought to life.

    Sumption covers the charms, the clothing, and other items every pilgrim needed. He recounts the various permissions that were granted through the centuries to allow both upper and lower classes to be allowed to make their visitations. He clarifies the dangers and protections travelers could anticipate.

    Many pilgrims never returned from their journeys, some by choice and others through death or captivity. When you see in detail what those pilgrims had to endure, or often chose to endure, you gain a respect for what we used to refer to as the Dark Age. It was anything but Dark.

    If you are interested in this aspect of Christianity's past, I think you'd enjoy this read immensely. I do recommend it most highly. I believe the book will appeal to both the general reader and the specialist.

    Sumption's strength is the detail he brings to his book. He spent years in researching medieval archives and documents, and he uses these to make a very old time come to life.

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