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Conclusion To Part I: Do Think Twice, It’s Not Alright

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Chapter Summary

Though competition and conflict often characterized the everyday relationships of medieval parishioners, their participation in parochial religion exposed them to teachings and ideals that problematized or outright prohibited aggression encouraged concord and necessitated self-restraint. Ideally, sacred spaces, religious rituals, pastoral example and vernacular admonitions during mass or in confession reminded all parishioners of the need for reverent reservation, Christian conscientiousness and charitable spirit. Clerical leaders and writers demanded that all parishioners, whether lay or clerical, look to them and to their sovereign, not to each other, for the rules that governed the use of violence. Interestingly, many of the rituals and lessons that lauded the suppression of sinful emotions, such as anger and wrath, did so by appealing to another entrenched emotion, fear; fear of worldly disrepute, fear of pollution and fear of eternal damnation.

Keywords: Christian; parishioners; parochial religion; religious rituals



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