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In this book, Stewart Clem develops an account of truthfulness that is grounded in the Thomistic virtue of veracitas. Unlike most contemporary Christian ethicists, who narrowly focus on the permissibility of lying, he turns to the virtue of truthfulness and illuminates its close relationship to the virtue of justice. This approach generates a more precise taxonomy of speech acts and shows how they are grounded in specific virtues and vices. Clem's study also contributes to the contemporary literature on Aquinas, who is often classified alongside Augustine and Kant as holding a rigorist position on lying. Meticulously researched, this volume clarifies what set Aquinas's view apart in his own day and how it is relevant to our own. Clem demonstrates that Aquinas's account provides a genuine alternative to rigorist and consequentialist approaches. His analysis also reveals the perennial relevance of Aquinas's thought by bringing it to bear on contemporary social and ethical issues.
In premodern China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, just as in the far less culturally cohesive countries composing the West of the Middle Ages, enslavement was an assumed condition of servitude warranting little examination, as the power and profits it afforded to the slaver made it a convention pursued unreflectively. Slavery in medieval East Asia shared with the West the commonplace assumption that nearly all humans were potential chattel, that once they had become owned beings, they could then be either sold or inherited. Yet, despite being representative of perhaps the most universalizable human practice of that age, slavery in medieval East Asia was also endowed with its own distinctive traits and traditions. Our awareness of these features of distinction contributes immeasurably to a more nuanced understanding of slavery as the ubiquitous and openly practiced institution that it once was and the now illicit and surreptitious one that it intractably remains.
With the new millennium, papal power sought to restore Christian rule in the Holy Land through a series of eight crusades, but these campaigns were military and political failures, especially at the expense of the Papacy. However, they did succeed in opening the way for the scholarship of the Islamic world to enter western European intellectual life. With the founding of universities, new scholarship slowly emerged. The pioneering teachings of Pierre Abélard, Roger Bacon, and Albertus Magnus led to a revival of interest in the ancient writers with their emphasis on rational thought to secure human knowledge. This movement, called Scholasticism, reached its pinnacle with the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas who sought a reconciliation of Aristotle’s rationalism and Christian theology. A major implication of Aquinas’ success was the acceptance by scholars within the universities and the Church that both reason and faith serve as sources of human knowledge. William of Ockham extended the Scholastic movement and his predecessor Roger Bacon by presented a law of parsimony in scientific explanation, which in turn laid the foundation of empirical science.
Far from being solely an academic enterprise, the practice of theology can pique the interest of anyone who wonders about the meaning of life. This introduction to Christian theology – exploring its basic concepts, confessional content, and history – emphasizes the relevance of the key convictions of Christian faith to the challenges of today's world. Part I introduces the project of Christian theology and sketches the critical context that confronts Christian thought and practice today. Part II offers a survey of the key doctrinal themes of Christian theology, including revelation, the triune God, and the world as creation, identifying their biblical basis and the highlights of their historical development before giving a systematic evaluation of each theme. Part III provides an overview of Christian theology from the early church to the present. Thoroughly revised and updated, the second edition of An Introduction to Christian Theology includes a range of new visual and pedagogical features, including images, diagrams, tables, and more than eighty text boxes, which call attention to special emphases, observations, and applications to help deepen student engagement.
In 1980, Paul Zumthor published Parler du moyen age, an elegant little book on the state of the discipline and the task of the medievalist, tracing a history of medieval studies from its pre-war romanticism and positivism up to Zumthor’s own view from the horizon of the late 1970s. Through this retrospective, Zumthor in part recounts the transformation of the field by medievalists like Auerbach, Curtius, and Spitzer, but also positions himself as a kind of bridge between that generation of medievalists whose most influential works came out in the years immediately following WWII and the work of medievalists today, with the rise of post-structuralism, for instance, breaking in between. One of the central concerns of the book is precisely this movement between eras, not only between postwar medievalism and its romantic heritage, but also between the present moment of a reader and the objects of the past being read. Such concerns with interpretation across historical distance have a long and crucial history in the field of hermeneutics, which reached its peak between the 1960s and 1980s. Following Zumthor’s lead, therefore, this chapter will look backwards, performing a genealogy of philosophical and literary hermeneutics that traces Zumthor’s engagement with this tradition – particularly his engagement with Hans Robert Jauss, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and his friend Roland Barthes – and attends to the place of the medieval in it.
The large body of surviving poetry and prose from medieval Wales contains many references to the performance and practice of music, to musical instruments and to the reception of musical events by both noble and urban audiences. The medieval Welsh word for music, cerdd, also signifies ‘craft’, ‘song’, ‘poetry’ or ‘musical instrument’, indicating the close links between music, poetry and the craft of making instruments. It also indicates that both music and poetry were regarded as a type of professional craft, moderated by their own particular standards and hierarchies. The commonest entertainments offered at the courts of the nobility in medieval Wales were poetry, storytelling and music, and these three arts were closely intertwined. Well-known examples include the poem by Dafydd ap Gwilym (c.1325–60) to his beloved as she plays the harp, while other references can be found in the prose tales of the Mabinogion. However, the private entertainments of the nobility and gentry were not the only occasions for the performance of music; travelling minstrels also performed in the streets of towns and at local fairs. This chapter examines a range of such references to music, performers and instruments in medieval Welsh literature, looking at the different kinds of entertainers, their professional hierarchies, the patronage of nobility and gentry and the popular entertainments characteristic of urban culture.
This volume is the first to consider the golden century of Gothic ivory sculpture (1230-1330) in its material, theological, and artistic contexts. Providing a range of new sources and interpretations, Sarah Guérin charts the progressive development and deepening of material resonances expressed in these small-scale carvings. Guérin traces the journey of ivory tusks, from the intercontinental trade routes that delivered ivory tusks to northern Europe, to the workbenches of specialist artisans in medieval Paris, and, ultimately, the altars and private chapels in which these objects were venerated. She also studies the rich social lives and uses of a diverse range of art works fashioned from ivory, including standalone statuettes, diptychs, tabernacles, and altarpieces. Offering new insights into the resonances that ivory sculpture held for their makers and viewers, Guérin's study contributes to our understanding of the history of materials, craft, and later medieval devotional practices.
Veterinary medicine can be defined as the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of animal health problems in the context of human–animal relationships. This broad definition is used in this book to include many types of animal healing throughout history. However, this "concise" history of veterinary medicine does not attempt to include all important topics in the history of animal healing. Instead, the history of animal healing and veterinary medicine is framed using a global and world history approach. Activities are included at the end of each chapter that encourage readers to explore the veterinary history of their own region and nation. Every chapter considers how animal healing interacted with tensions between the economic, military, and cultural value, status, and uses of domesticated animals. Who were the animal healers? What was their social status? How were they trained? What skills and knowledge did they have? How did people explain or theorize, and respond to, animal health problems in each place and time period?
On Christmas Day in the year 800 CE, Charlemagne, the king of the Franks and the Lombards, and father of at least eighteen children, was crowned ‘Emperor of the Romans’ by Pope Leo III at Old St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Charlemagne thereby united most of Western Europe under his rule, a vast area home to between 10 and 20 million people.1 Almost all of these people lived in the countryside.
The reason for this was that, after the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century CE, Western Europe was characterised by conflict, population decline and de-urbanisation (the movement of people from the cities to rural areas). The Romans, of course, were known for their prosperous cities. A visitor to Rome today can still see the impressive ancient architecture of the Palatine Hill, the Forum, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon.
The paleodemography analysis of the Early medieval Lauchheim cemetery (Germany) was conducted to reconstruct the age-at-death distribution of 789 adults with preserved teeth using the Tooth Cementum Annulation (TCA) method, and the analysis of individual morphological age markers (MAE) for those without teeth. Aggregating TCA and MAE results revealed specific mortality peaks for males in their early fifties. After a mortality peak in their early forties, females surviving their fertile age group seemed to benefit from a resilience pattern that allows them to survive longer than their male counterparts. The mean life expectancy for females was below male life expectancy, whereas the oldest age group above 70 years of age included females only. In conclusion, TCA shows a more diverse age-at-death distribution without MAE inherent effects. Thus, it could be argued that TCA allows us to complement osteological age estimations and shape age at death distributions to understand demographic processes in premodern societies better.
Hunter–gatherer occupations of small islands are rare in world prehistory and it is widely accepted that island settlement is facilitated by agriculture. The Ryukyu Islands contradict that understanding on two counts: not only did they have a long history of hunter–gatherer settlement, but they also have a very late date for the onset of agriculture, which only reached the archipelago between the eighth and thirteenth centuries AD. Here, we combine archaeology and linguistics to propose a tripartite model for the spread of agriculture and Ryukyuan languages to the Ryukyu Islands. Employing demographic growth, trade/piracy and the political influence of neighbouring states, this model provides a synthetic yet flexible understanding of farming/language dispersals in the Ryukyus within the complex historical background of medieval East Asia.
Alexander III of Macedon (356-323 BC) has for over 2000 years been one of the best recognized names from antiquity. He set about creating his own legend in his lifetime, and subsequent writers and political actors developed it. He acquired the surname 'Great' by the Roman period, and the Alexander Romance transmitted his legendary biography to every language of medieval Europe and the Middle East. As well as an adventurer who sought the secret of immortality and discussed the purpose of life with the naked sages of India, he became a model for military achievement as well as a religious prophet bringing Christianity (in the Crusades) and Islam (in the Qur'an and beyond) to the regions he conquered. This innovative and fascinating volume explores these and many other facets of his reception in various cultures around the world, right up to the present and his role in gay activism.
Mirosław Kocur defines ‘Staropolska’ as an umbrella term that is used to bring together multiple social, class, religious, ideological and aesthetic issues that signalled different cultural formations emerging in the period between the twelfth and the eighteenth centuries in a territory which was not ethnically or politically homogeneous. In the same constellation, Agnieszka Marszałek approaches Staropolska from the perspective of spectators and diverse publics and argues that its theatre was ‘a combination of changing ways of demonstrating belonging to various communities and representing specific particular interests, models of behaviour, as well as signalling one’s own presence (and separateness) within what was then called the state, society or the nation’. Marszałek insists that theatre became ‘Polish’ only with the establishment of a public theatre (1765–67). Even then, a knowledge of foreign languages (French, Italian, German) was crucial.
'Poetic speech is a pearl, connected to the king's ear.' This statement gestures to words as objects of material value sought by those with power and resources. The author provides a sense for the texture of the Persian world by discussing what made poetry precious. By focusing on reports on poets' lives, they illuminate the social scene in which poetry was produced and consumed. The discussion elicits poetry's close connections to political and religious authority, economic exchange, and the articulation of gender. At the broadest level, the study substantiates the interdependency between cultural and material reproduction of society.
The paper introduces a new explanation of international order that focuses on representants. Representants are practices, artifacts, and language that stand in for the international system's units in international fora. They are crucial for International Relations (IR), given that IR deal with a macro-realm that can never be fully present, but needs to be made concrete in specific localities. Representants have four interrelated effects: (1) they define the units of the international system; (2) they legitimize them; (3) they provide them with differential degrees of power; and (4) they serve as tools for governing. When representants are seriously challenged, orders are in crisis; when new representants emerge, a new order has taken hold. The paper develops a mechanism of change emerging from struggles over representants. It studies the transition from the medieval order of universal monarchy to an order of divine right absolutism. Representants, such as gothic cathedrals, the mass, and coronation rituals maintained the medieval hierarchical order with the pope/emperor at the apex. The Reformation provided the last step in kings' challenge to the medieval order. Kings adapted existing representants, so that they would portray the independence of kings from the papacy/emperor, and simultaneously position kings above feudal lords.
Medieval Europe was a world of kings, but what did this mean to those who did not themselves wear a crown? How could they prevent corrupt and evil men from seizing the throne? How could they ensure that rulers would not turn into tyrants? Drawing on a rich array of remarkable sources, this engaging study explores how the fears and hopes of a ruler's subjects shaped both the idea and the practice of power. It traces the inherent uncertainty of royal rule from the creation of kingship and the recurring crises of royal successions, through the education of heirs and the intrigue of medieval elections, to the splendour of a king's coronation, and the pivotal early years of his reign. Monks, crusaders, knights, kings (and those who wanted to be kings) are among a rich cast of characters who sought to make sense of and benefit from an institution that was an object of both desire and fear.
The German mystic Gertrude the Great of Helfta (c.1256–1301) is a globally venerated saint who is still central to the Sacred Heart Devotion. Her visions were first recorded in Latin, and they inspired generations of readers in processes of creative rewriting. The vernacular copies of these redactions challenge the long-standing idea that translations do not bear the same literary or historical weight as the originals upon which they are based. In this study, Racha Kirakosian argues that manuscript transmission reveals how redactors serve as cultural agents. Examining the late medieval vernacular copies of Gertrude's visions, she demonstrates how redactors recast textual materials, reflected changes in piety, and generated new forms of devotional practices. She also shows how these texts served as a bridge between material culture, in the form of textiles and book illumination, and mysticism. Kirakosian's multi-faceted study is an important contribution to current debates on medieval manuscript culture, authorship, and translation as objects of study in their own right.
Which language should philosophers use: technical or common language? In a book as important for intellectual historians as it is for philosophers, Lodi Nauta addresses a vital question which still has resonance today: is the discipline of philosophy assisted or disadvantaged by employing a special vocabulary? By the Middle Ages philosophy had become a highly technical discipline, with its own lexicon and methods. The Renaissance humanist critique of this specialised language has been dismissed as philosophically superficial, but the author demonstrates that it makes a crucial point: it is through the misuse of language that philosophical problems arise. He charts the influence of this critique on early modern philosophers, including Hobbes and Locke, and shows how it led to the downfall of medieval Aristotelianism and the gradual democratization of language and knowledge. His book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the transition from medieval to modern philosophy.
This short introduction first places the medieval tradition of thought about the afterlife in a larger and longer context, then lays out the historiographical background for the collection. It also briefly introduces each of the fifteen chapters, noting how together they tend to shift the focus away from the twelfth century (hitherto considered a key turning point in the history of the afterlife) to the early Middle Ages and the later. It closes by noting that the contributions also keep to a current trend of seriously considering the reception and influence of texts and ideas, here suggesting that afterlife visions (for example) became an integral part of the medieval imagination.
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 afterlives of the early and later Middle Ages were far more important and imaginative than we once thought.