The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe

The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe

by R. I. Moore
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674065824

ISBN-13: 9780674065826

Pub. Date: 05/01/2012

Publisher: Harvard

Between 1000 and 1250, the Catholic Church confronted the threat of heresy with increasing force. Some of the most portentous events in medieval history-the Cathar crusade, the persecution and mass burnings of heretics, the papal inquisition established to identify and suppress beliefs that departed from the true religion-date from this period. Fear of heresy

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Overview

Between 1000 and 1250, the Catholic Church confronted the threat of heresy with increasing force. Some of the most portentous events in medieval history-the Cathar crusade, the persecution and mass burnings of heretics, the papal inquisition established to identify and suppress beliefs that departed from the true religion-date from this period. Fear of heresy molded European society for the rest of the Middle Ages and beyond, and violent persecutions of the accused left an indelible mark. Yet, as R. I. Moore suggests, the version of these events that has come down to us may be more propaganda than historical reality.

Popular accounts of heretical events, most notably the Cathar crusade, are derived from thirteenth-century inquisitors who saw organized heretical movements as a threat to society. Skeptical of the reliability of their reports, Moore reaches back to earlier contemporaneous sources, where he learns a startling truth: no coherent opposition to Catholicism, outside the Church itself, existed. The Cathars turn out to be a mythical construction, and religious difference does not explain the origins of battles against heretic practices and beliefs.

A truer explanation lies in conflicts among elites-both secular and religious-who used the specter of heresy to extend their political and cultural authority and silence opposition. By focusing on the motives, anxieties, and interests of those who waged war on heresy, Moore's narrative reveals that early heretics may have died for their faith, but it was not because of their faith that they were put to death.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674065826
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps ix

List of Illustrations x

Preface xii

Map xiv

Prologue: Death arid a maiden 1

Part 1 Cry Havoc

1 The avenging flames 13

2 The gift of the Holy Spirit 32

3 The apostolic life 45

4 Monks, miracles and Manichees 56

5 The simoniac heresy 71

6 Routing out these detestable plagues 87

7 Sowers of the word 104

8 Sheep in the midst of wolves 127

9 Making enemies 143

Part 2 The Dogs of War

10 Exposed to contumely and persecution 165

11 Sounding the alarm 184

12 Drawing the lines 204

13 Speaking of principles 215

14 The enemy at the gate 228

15 To war and arms 241

16 Politics by other means 264

17 The sleep of reason 274

18 The vineyard of the lord 298

Epilogue: A winter journey 327

Afterword: The war among the scholars 332

Chronology 337

Further Reading 343

Notes 346

Glossary 356

Biographical Index of Names 358

Index 371

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