Promissary Notes on the Treasury of Merits offers an important selection of work on a neglected topic of medieval European religious history. The contributions clearly demonstrate the vibrant, multi-faceted, and at times contested, role which indulgences played in many aspects of medieval catholic life.
Using hitherto unconsidered source materials from late antiquity to the early modern period, this volume charts new views about the role of penance in shaping western attitudes and practices for resolving social, political, and spiritual tensions, as penitents and confessors negotiated rituals and expectations for penitential expression.
At the five-hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses and the dawn of the Protestant movement, Indulgences: Luther, Catholicism, and the Imputation of Merit sets forth a revised theological interpretation of the Church’s practice of indulgences. Author Mary C. Moorman argues that Luther’s sola fide theology merely absolutized the very logic of indulgences which he sought to overthrow, while indulgences in their proper context remain an irreducible witness to the Church’s corporate nuptial covenant with Christ, by which penitents are drawn into deeper fellowship with the Church and the Church’s Lord. As Robert W. Shaffern, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Scranton, writes in his foreword to Indulgences, “Mary Moorman’s book joins a number of recent scholarly studies that revise substantially the old convictions about indulgences. She is mostly interested in how theological thinking about indulgences should be done today, with of course the help that patristic, medieval, and early modern authorities might lend. She brings to bear a broad range of primary and secondary sources on the issue of indulgences and constructs an impressive series of covalent images with which to understand the role of indulgences in today’s Christian Church.”
Mormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostasy
Author: Miranda Wilcox
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Winner of the Best Anthology Award from John Whitmer Historical Association Latter-day Saints have a paradoxical relationship to the past; even as they invest their own history with sacred meaning, celebrating the restoration of ancient truths and the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, they repudiate the eighteen centuries of Christianity that preceded the founding of their church as apostate distortions of the truth. Since the early days of Mormonism, Latter-day Saints have used the paradigm of apostasy and restoration in their narratives about the origin of their church. This has generated a powerful and enduring binary of categorization that has profoundly impacted Mormon self-perception and relations with others. Standing Apart explores how the idea of apostasy has functioned as a category to mark, define, and set apart "the other" in Mormon historical consciousness and in the construction of Mormon narrative identity. The volume's fifteen contributors trace the development of LDS narratives of apostasy within the context of both Mormon history and American Protestant historiography. They suggest ways in which these narratives might be reformulated to engage with the past, as well as offering new models for interfaith relations. This volume provides a novel approach for understanding and resolving some of the challenges faced by the LDS church in the twenty-first century.
Inward Baptism analyses the theological developments that led to the great evangelical revivals of the mid-eighteenth century. Baird Tipson here demonstrates how the rationale for the "new birth," the characteristic and indispensable evangelical experience, developed slowly but inevitably from Luther's critique of late medieval Christianity. Addressing the great indulgence campaigns of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Luther's perspective on sacramental baptism, as well as the confrontation between Lutheran and Reformed theologians who fastened on to different aspects of Luther's teaching, Tipson sheds light on how these disparate historical moments collectively created space for evangelicalism. This leads to an exploration of the theology of the leaders of the Evangelical awakening in the British Isles, George Whitefield and John Wesley, who insisted that by preaching the immediate revelation of the Holy Spirit during the "new birth," they were recovering an essential element of primitive Christianity that had been forgotten over the centuries. Ultimately, Inward Baptism examines how these shifts in religious thought made possible a commitment to an inward baptism and consequently, the evangelical experience.
Print, Politics, and Propaganda in Renaissance Rome
Author: Margaret Meserve
Publisher: JHU Press
Category: Business & Economics
An exciting interdisciplinary study based on new literary, historical, and bibliographical evidence, this book will appeal to students and scholars of the Italian Renaissance, the Reformation, and the history of the book.
Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World
Author: Patrick Wyman
Publisher: Hachette UK
The creator of the hit podcast series Tides of History and Fall of Rome explores the four explosive decades between 1490 and 1530, bringing to life the dramatic and deeply human story of how the West was reborn. In the bestselling tradition of The Swerve and A Distant Mirror, The Verge tells the story of a period that marked a decisive turning point for both European and world history. Here, author Patrick Wyman examines two complementary and contradictory sides of the same historical coin: the world-altering implications of the developments of printed mass media, extreme taxation, exploitative globalization, humanistic learning, gunpowder warfare, and mass religious conflict in the long term, and their intensely disruptive consequences in the short-term. As told through the lives of ten real people—from famous figures like Christopher Columbus and wealthy banker Jakob Fugger to a ruthless small-time merchant and a one-armed mercenary captain—The Verge illustrates how their lives, and the times in which they lived, set the stage for an unprecedented globalized future. Over an intense forty-year period, the seeds for the so-called "Great Divergence" between Western Europe and the rest of the globe would be planted. From Columbus's voyage across the Atlantic to Martin Luther's sparking the Protestant Reformation, the foundations of our own, recognizably modern world came into being. For the past 500 years, historians, economists, and the policy-oriented have argued which of these individual developments best explains the West's rise from backwater periphery to global dominance. As The Verge presents it, however, the answer is far more nuanced.
Indulgences have been synonymous with corruption in the Catholic Church ever since Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenberg in 1517. Tingle explores the nature and evolution of indulgences in the Counter Reformation and how they were used as a powerful tool of personal and institutional reform.
The Body of the Cross is a study of holy victims in Western Christian history and how the uses of their bodies in Christian thought led to the idea of the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. Since its first centuries, Christianity has traded on the suffering of victims—martyrs, mystics, and heretics—as substitutes for the Christian social body. These victims secured holiness, either by their own sacred power or by their reprobation and rejection. Just as their bodies were mediated in eucharistic, social, and Christological ways, so too did the flesh of Jesus Christ become one of those holy substitutes. But it was only late in Western history that he took on the function of the exemplary victim. In tracing the story of this embodied development, The Body of the Cross gives special attention to popular spirituality, religious dissent, and the writing of women throughout Christian history. It examines the symbol of the cross as it functions in key moments throughout this history, including the parting of the ways of Judaism and Christianity, the gnostic debates, martyr traditions, and medieval affective devotion and heresy. Finally, in a Reformation era haunted by divine wrath, these themes concentrated in the unique concept that Jesus Christ died on the cross to absorb divine punishment for sin: a holy body and a rejected body in one.
Between Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 and his excommunication from the church in 1520, he issued twenty-five sermons and treatises on Christian piety, most of them in German. These pastoral writings extended his criticisms of the church beyond indulgences to the practices of confession, prayer, clerical celibacy, the sacraments, suffering, and death. These were the issues that mattered most to Luther because they affected the faith of believers and the health of society. Luther’s conflict with Rome forced him to address the issue of papal authority, but on his own time, he focused on encouraging lay Christians to embrace a simpler, self-sacrificing faith. In these pastoral writings, he criticized theologians and church officials for leading people astray with a reliance on religious works, and he began to lay the foundation for a reformed Christian piety.