The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages

The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages

by Robert Bartlett

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Overview

The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages by Robert Bartlett

How did people of the medieval 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 medieval 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 medieval writers and thinkers the book raises the critical question of how we deal with beliefs we no longer share.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521878326
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/31/2008
Series: Wiles Lectures Series
Pages: 182
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Robert Bartlett is Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of St Andrews. His previous publications include The Making of Europe (1993), England under the Norman and Angevin Kings (2000) and The Hanged Man (2004).

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