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Conclusion Finding Religion In Restraint

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Chapter Summary

Slowly over the course of medieval history, Christianity, as its ideas were expressed and received at the parish level, goaded parishioners, for whom violence was a normative part of life, to consider violence against their fellow believers or against the holy materials of their faith as not only sinful, but also markedly dishonorable. The rituals, sermons and laws of late medieval religion reminded parishioners that they should not let contemporary norms, which lauded the use of violence and concern for external appearance, go unquestioned. Parishioners' recognition of the 'problem of violence' is reflected in their uneasiness with some acts of aggression and vengeance, particularly those involving the sacred, for they understood well that protracted and unrepentant impiety meant sure censure by their neighbors and, in the end, damnation by God.

Keywords: Christianity; God; medieval religion; parishioners; violence



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