High Way to Heaven: The Augustinian Platform Between Reform and Reformation, 1292-1524

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This volume reveals the political, religious, theological, institutional, and mythical ideals that formed the self-identity of the Augustinian Order from Giles of Rome to the emergence of Martin Luther. Based on detailed philological analysis, this interdisciplinary study not only transforms the understanding of Augustine's heritage in the later Middle Ages, but also that of Luther's relationship to his Order. The work offers a new interpretative model of late medieval religious culture that sheds new light on the relationship between late medieval Passion devotion, the increasing demonization of the Jews, and the rise of catechetical literature. It is the first volume of a planned trilogy that seeks to return late medieval Augustinian theology to the historical context of Augustinian religion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'High Way to Heaven will become mandatory reading for scholars of late medieval and early modern intellectual and religious history. As indeed it should.'
John M. Frymire, Renaissance Quarterly, 2005.
'The book does make overarching archuments, but the whole is not crucially important for an understanding of the parts. Readers interested in particular themes, such as catechesis, devotion to Passion, Apocalyse commentaries, dissemination of theology, or the roots of the Lutheran Reformation, should take note that there are shorter books within this longer one that would repay their attention.'
Richard Kieckheffer, Speculum, 2005.
'Saak's study is a work of immense historical learning and essential reading for anyone interested in late medieval religion. It is also methodologically sophisticated, moving almost effortlessly from straightforward historical narrative, to social historical analysis, to the history of theology and back again.'
Mickey L. Mattox, Theological Studies (2004) 65: 2
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Product Details

Meet the Author

E.L. Saak, Ph.D. (1993) in History, University of Arizona, is currently a Visiting Instructor at the University of Tennesse, Knoxville. He has published extensively on the late medieval Augustinian tradition.
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Table of Contents

Note on Citation of Sources

Introduction: The Heart of the Matter

1. Power Politics and the Emergence of the Augustinian Platform: The Myth of Christendom
2. Creating Religious Identity: The Myth of Augustine
3. Precepts and Practice: Jordan of Quedlinburg and the Defining of Augustinian Life
4. Ethics and Erudition: The Theological Endeavor of the Augustinian Studia
5. Passion and Piety: Catechesis and The Power of Images in the Later Middle Ages
6. Between Reform and Reformation


A. Terms, Concepts, and Definitions
B. Bonifacii VIII Bullae selectae spectantes ad ordinem eremitarum sancti Augustini
C. Augustini de Ancona Summe de potestate ecclesiastica Littera Dedicatoris et Tabula
D. Jordani de Quedlinburg Vita Sancti Augustini
E. Gregorii Ariminensis Ordinationes et Litterae
F. Jordani de Quedlinburg Meditationum de Passione Christi Momentum et Expositio Arboris eius


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