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Chapter Summary

A better understanding of propertied lifes cultural legitimacy has helped this book offer its main contribution: from new source material, a close reading of fifteenth-century reforming ideas and practices of the common life. Scholars of religious life long tended to present Observant ideals of community as self-evident, drawn from transparent readings of religious rules and inspired by a return to an earlier spirituality. The call to reformed community has thus appeared here as something other than simply a reaction to crisis, something other than simply a return to rules or twelfth-century spirituality. The study of medieval religion now encompasses a remarkable range of themes: spirituality and mysticism, heresy, magic and witchcraft; clerical power and persecution; and relationships between clergy and laity, men and women.

Keywords: medieval religion; reformed community; religious life; twelfth-century spirituality



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