Pain and Suffering in Medieval Theology

May 2009
204 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843834618
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

Pain and Suffering in Medieval Theology

Academic Debates at the University of Paris in the Thirteenth Century

Donald Mowbray

Examines the works of Paris theologians to show how they dealt with the questions of human pain and suffering.
Questions of pain and suffering occur frequently in medieval theological debate. Here, Dr Mowbray examines the innovative views of Paris's masters of theology in the thirteenth century, illuminating how they constructed notions of pain and suffering by building a standard terminology and conceptual framework. Such issues as the Passion of Christ, penitential suffering, suffering and gender, the fate of unbaptized children, and the pain and suffering of souls and resurrected bodies in hell are all considered, to demonstrate how the masters established a clear and precise consensus for their explanations of the human condition.

DONALD MOWBRAY gained his PhD from the University of Bristol.

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Table of Contents

Thirteenth-Century Theological Ideas about Human Pain and Suffering and the Passion of Christ
Gendering Pain: Theological Ideas about Female and Male Suffering
Pain as a Restorative Power: Voluntary Suffering and Satisfaction for Sin
The Intellectual Development of Limbo: Pain, Children and Original Sin
Anima Separata: Masters of Theology and the Controversy surrounding the Suffering of the Separated Soul
Defining the Corporeal: Suffering in Hell according to Masters of Theology at Paris, c.1230-c.1280


Has much to contribute to the broad theme of suffering in later medieval culture. CHURCH HISTORY

Comprehensive and... addresses some of the knottiest problems of medieval theology. [...] All students of medieval religion will be very much in Mowbray's debt for his final perseverance in producing this excellent and highly informative book. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

A useful survey of the terrain that puts the reader in the position to make further investigation. CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW

A respectable introductory monograph to the rather understudied subject of medieval conceptualizations of pain experience. SPECULUM

This is a useful gathering together of the themes of medieval discussion of pain and suffering with special reference to the debates among the theologians at Paris in the thirteenth century. It is new work in a number of respects. The topic has not been systematically discussed in quite this way before. The discussion is comprehensively underpinned by footnotes giving extensive quotations from the source-texts, which include materials still available only in manuscript. JOURNAL OF THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

Admirably maps out how theologians at the University of Paris developed a nuanced typology of pain and suffering. [...] Mowbray helps his reader better understand how these theologians argued in general, and presents us with a compelling case for the centrality of suffering in the thinking of thirteenth century intellectuals. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW