The concept of Purgatory was a central tenet of late-medieval and early-modern Catholicism, and proved a key dividing line between Catholics and Protestants. However, as this book makes clear, ideas about purgatory were often ill-defined and fluid, and altered over time in response to particular needs or pressures. Drawing upon printed pamphlets, tracts, advice manuals, diocesan statutes and other literary material, the study traces the evolution of writing and teaching about Purgatory and the fate of the soul between 1480 and 1720. By examining the subject across this extended period it is argued that belief in Purgatory continued to be important, although its role in the scheme of salvation changed over time, and was not a simply a story of inevitable decline. Grounded in a case study of the southern and western regions of the ancien régime province of Brittany, the book charts the nature and evolution of 'private' intercessory institutions, chantries, obits and private chapel foundation, and 'public' forms, parish provision, confraternities, indulgences and veneration of saints. In so doing it underlines how the huge popularity of post-mortem intercession underwent a serious and rapid decline between the 1550s and late 1580s, only to witness a tremendous resurgence in popularity after 1600, with traditional practices far outstripping the levels of usage of the early sixteenth century. Offering a fascinating insight into popular devotional practices, the book opens new vistas onto the impact of Catholic revival and Counter Reform on beliefs about the fate of the soul after death.
In recent years, the rituals and beliefs associated with the end of life and the commemoration of the dead have increasingly been identified as of critical importance in understanding the social and cultural impact of the Reformation. The associated processes of dying, death and burial inevitably generated heightened emotion and a strong concern for religious propriety: the ways in which funerary customs were accepted, rejected, modified and contested can therefore grant us a powerful insight into the religious and social mindset of individuals, communities, Churches and even nation states in the post-reformation period. This collection provides an historiographical overview of recent work on dying, death and burial in Reformation and Counter-Reformation Europe and draws together ten essays from historians, literary scholars, musicologists and others working at the cutting edge of research in this area. As well as an interdisciplinary perspective, it also offers a broad geographical and confessional context, ranging across Catholic and Protestant Europe, from Scotland, England and the Holy Roman Empire to France, Spain and Ireland. The essays update and augment the body of literature on dying, death and disposal with recent case studies, pointing to future directions in the field. The volume is organised so that its contents move dynamically across the rites of passage, from dying to death, burial and the afterlife. The importance of spiritual care and preparation of the dying is one theme that emerges from this work, extending our knowledge of Catholic ars moriendi into Protestant Britain. Mourning and commemoration; the fate of the soul and its post-mortem management; the political uses of the dead and their resting places, emerge as further prominent themes in this new research. Providing contrasts and comparisons across different European regions and across Catholic and Protestant regions, the collection contributes to and extends the existing literature on this important historiographical theme.
Across Europe, the parish church has stood for centuries at the centre of local communities; it was the focal point of its religious life, the rituals performed there marked the stages of life from the cradle to the grave. Nonetheless the church itself artistically and architecturally stood apart from the parish community. It was often the largest and only stone-built building in a village; it was legally distinct being subject to canon law, as well as consecrated for the celebration of religious rites. The buildings associated with the "cure of souls" were sacred sites or holy places, where humanity interacted with the divine. In spite of the importance of the parish church, these buildings have generally not received the same attention from historians as non-parochial places of worship. This collection of essays redresses this balance and reflects on the parish church across a number of confessions - Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed and Anti-Trinitarian - during the early modern period. Rather than providing a series of case studies of individual buildings, each essay looks at the evolution of parish churches in response to religious reform as well as confessional change and upheaval. They examine aspects of their design and construction; furnishings and material culture; liturgy and the use of the parish church. While these essays range widely across Europe, the volume also considers how religious provision and the parish church were translated into a global context with colonial and commercial expansion in the Americas and Asia. This interdisciplinary volume seeks to identify what was distinctive about the parish church for the congregations that gathered in them for worship and for communities across the early modern world.
Hillman presents a fascinating account of the role that women played during the Catholic Reformation in France. She reconstructs the devotional practices of a network of powerful women showing how they reconciled Catholic piety with their roles as part of an aristocratic elite, challenging the view that the Catholic Reformation was a male concern.
Biblical Theology Prompted by Visions and Dreams from the Holy Spirit
Author: Don Elijah Eckhart
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Jesus the Everlasting Hope of Humankind: Biblical Theology Prompted by Visions and Dreams from the Holy Spirit begins with a vision that came to Don Eckhart of two persons: one a Spirit-filled Christian and the other in the lake of fire. The vision depicts Jesus saving the desperate one crying out for mercy. Eckhart enrolled in seminary where he studied the Bible and the history of Christian theology, especially eternal punishment, a topic seldom examined since Augustine in the fifth century. Uniquely unfolding in the book are visions and dreams prompting an insightful study of Scripture and a biblical theology developed as the hope of Christ-mediated salvation for all. The effects are far-reaching but not complicated. This coherent theology includes afterlife correction and purification for nonbelievers, as well as for believers who never fully devoted to Jesus Christ. This purification compares to Catherine of Genoa's vision in the early sixteenth century. The book demonstrates how God's desire that all be saved can be accomplished according to Scripture. God's sovereignty and human free will coalesce, as every tongue joyfully confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. The Good News may be even better than we thought!
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 question of what happens after death was a vital one in Shakespeare's time, as it is today. And, like today, the answers were by no means universally agreed upon. Early moderns held surprisingly diverse beliefs about the afterlife and about how earthly life affected one's fate after death. Was death akin to a sleep where one did not wake until judgment day? Were sick bodies healed in heaven? Did sinners experience torment after death? Would an individual reunite with loved ones in the afterlife? Could the dead communicate with the world of the living? Could the living affect the state of souls after death? How should the dead be commemorated? Could the dead return to life? Was immortality possible? The wide array of possible answers to these questions across Shakespeare's work can be surprising. Exploring how particular texts and characters answer these questions, Shakespeare and the Afterlife showcases the vitality and originality of the author's language and thinking. We encounter characters with very personal visions of what awaits them after death, and these visions reveal new insights into these individuals' motivations and concerns as they navigate the world of the living. Shakespeare and the Afterlife encourages us to engage with the author's work with new insight and new curiosity. The volume connects some of the best-known speeches, characters, and conflicts to cultural debates and traditions circulating during Shakespeare's time.
"While studies abound about Catholic Reform and its institutional or social history, its spiritual motives and practices, what one could call its "inner life," have been widely neglected. This book examines how these spiritual ideas and practices shaped the Catholic Reform and Catholic view of the world and led to a diverse but peculiarly theological imagination, a new outlook on the self and the world, and influenced human behaviors and sentiments. It tells the story of how the idea of the "inner reform of the soul" shaped a world religion. The historicization of these religious practices and beliefs makes this book also highly accessible to historians and anthropologists. It relies on a plethora of published and unpublished sources, and a wide field of secondary literature. Although the emphasis is on Europe, this book takes a global perspective by integrating material from Africa, America and Asia as it was in this era that Catholicism became a "world religion.""--
Religion, Political Conflict, and the Search for Conformity, 1350-1750
Author: Peter G. Wallace
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
In this established textbook, Wallace provides a succinct overview of the European Reformation, interweaving the influential events of the religious reformation with the transformations of political institutions, socio-economic structures, gender relations and cultural values throughout Europe. Examining the European Reformation as a long-term process, he reconnects the classic 16th century religious struggles with the political and religious pressures confronting late medieval Christianity, and argues that the resolutions proposed by reformers such as Luther were not fully realised for most Christians until the early 18th century. This new edition features a brand new chapter on the Reformation from a global perspective, updated historiography, a new chronology, and updated material throughout, including on the interrelationship between religion and politics after 1648.The Long European Reformation provides an even-handed and detailed account of this complex topic, providing a clear overview that is perfect for undergraduate and postgraduate students of history and religious studies. New to this Edition: - New chapter on the Reformation in global perspective - Incorporates new perspectives and current debates on Luther and the place of the Reformation within Western history, including consideration of how people lived with their religious differences - Expanded conclusion with references to the 500th anniversary and religious continuities