The Practice of Penance, 900-1050
Title Details

296 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

1 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Practice of Penance, 900-1050

by Sarah Hamilton

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  • Reviews
Penitential practice in the Holy Roman Empire 900-1050, examined through records in church law, the liturgy, monastic and other sources.
This study examines all forms of penitential practice in the Holy Roman Empire under the Ottonian and Salian Reich, c.900 - c.1050. This crucial period in the history of penance, falling between the Carolingians' codification of public and private penance, and the promotion of the practice of confession in the thirteenth century, has largely been ignored by historians.
Tracing the varieties of penitential practice recorded in church law, the liturgy, monastic practice, narrative and documentary sources, Dr Hamilton's book argues that many of the changes previously attributed to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries can be found earlier in the tenth and early eleventh centuries. Whilst acknowledging that there was a degree of continuity from the Carolingian period, she asserts that the period should be seen as having its own dynamic. Investigating the sources for penitential practice by genre, sheacknowledges the prescriptive bias of many of them and points ways around the problem in order to establish the reality of practice in this area at this time. This book thus studies the Church in action in the tenth and eleventhcenturies, the reality of relations between churchmen, and between churchmen and the laity, as well as the nature of clerical aspirations. It examines the legacy left by the Carolingian reformers and contributes to our understanding of pre-Gregorian mentalities in the period before the late eleventh-century reforms.

SARAH HAMILTON teaches in the Department of History, University of Exeter.
"Richly documented study." CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW
"Stimulating study changing our perceptions of medieval penance." HISTORY
"A thoroughly researched book, well documenetd and with many thought-provoking ideas, and it deserves a warm welcome." SPECULUM

Paperback

9781843836384

September 2011

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Hardcover

9780861932504

November 2002

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$90.00 / £50.00

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Ebook (EPDF)

9781846151354

November 2002

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Title Details

296 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

1 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series

Imprint: Boydell Press