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Studies and Texts (ST 151)
B. Filotas
Pagan Survivals, Superstitions and Popular Cultures
in Early Medieval Pastoral Literature

XII+438 p., 155 x 230 mm, 2005
ISBN: 978-0-88844-151-5
Languages: English, Latin
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Is medieval pastoral literature an accurate reflection of actual beliefs and practices in the early medieval West or simply of literary conventions inherited by clerical writers? How and to what extent did Christianity and traditional pre-Christian beliefs and practices come into conflict, influence each other, and merge in popular culture?

This comprehensive study examines early medieval popular culture as it appears in ecclesiastical and secular law, sermons, penitentials and other pastoral works - a selective, skewed, but still illuminating record of the beliefs and practices of ordinary Christians. Concentrating on the period from ca. 500 to ca. 1000, this study presents the evidence for folk religious beliefs and piety, attitudes to nature and death, festivals, magic, drinking and alimentary customs. As such it provides a precious glimpse of the mutual adaptation of Christianity and traditional cultures at an important period of cultural and religious transition.

 

Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Comparative religion & religions not otherwise listed
Christian devotion & forms of religious expression
Pastoral care & theology
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval History (400-1500) : subperiods
Late Antique & Early Middle Ages (c.250-600)

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