The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity

The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity is about the beliefs, practices, and institutions of the Roman Church between 400 and 1500AD, and brings together in one volume a host of cutting-edge analysis. The book does not primarily provide a chronological narrative, but rather seeks to demonstrate the variety, change, and complexity of religion across this long period, and the numerous different ways in which modern scholarship can approach it. It presents the work of thirty academic authors, from the US, the UK, and Europe, addressing topics that range from early medieval monasticism to late medieval mysticism, from the material wealth of the Church to the spiritual exercises through which certain believers might attempt to improve their souls. Each chapter tells a story, but seeks also to ask how and why ‘Christianity’ took on a particular shape at a particular moment, paying attention to both the spiritual and otherwordly aspects of religion, and the very material and political contexts in which they were often embedded. The book aims to be an indispensable guide to future discussion in the field.