Doubt in an Age of Faith
Uncertainty in the Long Twelfth Century
XIV+216 p., 156 x 234 mm, 2008
Languages: English, Latin
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Online content: http://www.brepolsonline.net/action/showBook?doi=10.1484/M.DISPUT-EB.5.105969
The first systematic treatment of doubt and its role in medieval
Doubt in an Age of Faith presents the first systematic
scholarly treatment of doubt and its cultural role in Latin
Christendom during the long twelfth century (c.
1060-1220). Flanagan rejects the popular image of the credulous
Middle Ages, showing the centrality of doubt to intellectual and
religious discourses of the period. However this wide-ranging
investigation is not confined to matters of faith or religious
scepticism. Examining doubt as both a psychological and social
phenomenon, Flanagan explores how medieval people experienced
uncertainty, and the different ways in which they sought to resolve
it. Both positive and negative aspects of doubt are discussed. Her
proposal that the rejection of doubt as a tool of intellectual
inquiry, coupled with the quest for ever-greater certainty
contributed to the closing of minds that marked the thirteenth
century, has obvious implications for our own times.
"The topic of the book is also its greatest strength, as few eras lend themselves so well to an analysis of doubt as this one. Flanagan offers fresh insights in the discovery of the self (...). ... Flanagan's steady focus on doubt has much to offer, not the least of which is to nuance once again any one-dimensional idea of the twelfth century as one of intellectual progress alone." (W. Otten, in: American Historical Review, October 2010, p. 1205-1206)
This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston