The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages / Edition 1

The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages / Edition 1

by Robert Bartlett
     
 

How did people of the mediaeval period explain physical phenomena, such as eclipses or the distribution of land and water on the globe? What creatures did they think they might encounter: angels, devils, witches, dogheaded people? This fascinating book explores the ways in which mediaeval people categorized the world, concentrating on the division between the natural… See more details below

Overview

How did people of the mediaeval period explain physical phenomena, such as eclipses or the distribution of land and water on the globe? What creatures did they think they might encounter: angels, devils, witches, dogheaded people? This fascinating book explores the ways in which mediaeval people categorized the world, concentrating on the division between the natural and the supernatural and showing how the idea of the supernatural came to be invented in the Middle Ages. Robert Bartlett examines how theologians and others sought to draw lines between the natural, the miraculous, the marvelous, and the monstrous and the many conceptual problems they encountered as they did so. The final chapter explores the extraordinary thought-world of Roger Bacon as a case study exemplifying these issues. By recovering the mentalities of mediaeval writers and thinkers, the book raises the critical question of how we deal with beliefs we no longer share.

About the Author:
Robert Bartlett is Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of St. Andrews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521702553
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
03/31/2008
Series:
Wiles Lectures Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.47(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1 The Boundaries of the Supernatural 1

2 "The Machine of This World": Ideas of the Physical Universe 35

3 Dogs and Dog-heads: The Inhabitants of the World 71

4 "The Secrets of Nature and Art": Roger Bacon's Opus maius 111

Bibliography of Works Cited 149

Index 165

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