War and the Making of Medieval Monastic Culture
Monastic culture has generally been seen as set apart from the medieval battlefield, as "those who prayed" were set apart from "those whofought". However, in this first study of the place of war within medieval monastic culture, the author shows the limitations of this division. Through a wide reading of Latin sermons, letters, and hagiography, she identifies a monastic language of war that presented the monk as the archetypal "soldier of Christ" and his life of prayer as a continuous combat with the devil: indeed, monks' claims to supremacy on the spiritual battlefield grew even louder asChurch leaders extended the title of "soldier of Christ" to lay knights and crusaders. So, while medieval monasteries have traditionally been portrayed as peaceful sanctuaries in a violent world, here the author demonstrates thatmonastic identity was negotiated through real and imaginary encounters with war, and that the concept of spiritual warfare informed virtually every aspect of life in the cloister. It thus breaks new ground in the history of European attitudes toward warfare and warriors in the age of the papal reform movement and the early crusades.
Katherine Allen Smith is Assistant Professor of History, University of Puget Sound.
Monks and Warriors: Negotiating Boundaries
Spiritual Warfare: The History of an Idea to c.1200
Martial Imagery in Monastic Texts
Warriors as Spiritual Exemplars
Appendix: The Loricati, c,1050-1250
"A highly recommended masterpiece, a model of how historians should investigate the cross-cultural contacts between two elites, seemingly opposites, in the High Middle Ages." CHURCH HISTORY
"Demonstrates very effectively the ways in which military metaphors were employed to describe spiritual struggles, and provides many insights into the monastic mind." ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
"This important book is a welcome addition to the recent literature on the relations between medieval church and society." THE CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW
"Skilfully demonstrates that martial imagery was a major force in the creation of monastic culture. [...] Truly a remarkable achievement. Highly recommended." CHOICE
£19.99 / $25.95
£50.00 / $90.00
£19.99 / $24.99
£19.99 / $24.99