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Imagining the Medieval Afterlife
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: October 2020
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online ISBN: 9781316823255
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Book description

Where do we go after we die? This book traces how the European Middle Ages offered distinctive answers to this universal question, evolving from Antiquity through to the sixteenth century, to reflect a variety of problems and developments. Focussing on texts describing visions of the afterlife, alongside art and theology, this volume explores heaven, hell, and purgatory as they were imagined across Europe, as well as by noted authors including Gregory the Great and Dante. A cross-disciplinary team of contributors including historians, literary scholars, classicists, art historians and theologians offer not only a fascinating sketch of both medieval perceptions and the wide scholarship on this question: they also provide a much-needed new perspective. Where the twelfth century was once the 'high point' of the medieval afterlife, the essays here show that the afterlife of the early and later Middle Ages were far more important and imaginative than we once thought.

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