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Topographies Of Penance In The Latin West (C.800–C.1200)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on link between the individual Christian and the emblematic monument of the Christian community-the Church. While returning to the basic work that has been done on the history of penance-from the more canonical and classic studies of Jungmann, Poschmann, and Vogel to the more recent and innovative works of Mansfield, De Jong, and Hamilton- the chapter addresses an aspect that remains largely undiscussed, namely the topography, or rather topographies, of penance. The fact that within the medieval Latin world the same term could simultaneously connote the contained and the container makes it possible to grasp the true sociological implications of the monumental and material expressions of a Church that progressively became a structure for the control of populations and also a land-based institution and power regarded as "holy" or "sacred".

Keywords: Christianity; Church; Latin West; penance



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