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Preaching And Pastoral Care In The Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the role of preaching in the art of pastoral care at the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. While historians often focus much of their attention on the pastoral care literature centered on penance and other elements of sacramental theology, it is important to appreciate that with regard to the literature of pastoral care in the late Middle Ages, sermons and the art of preaching were the primary vehicle for communicating Catholic moral and doctrinal teaching to the laity. So it goes without saying that preaching is one of the more central elements of pastoral care, and that this general point or ideal applies to virtually every period in the history of the Church, regardless of how often sermons were actually given. Preaching has always communicated to people what medieval Catholics were to believe and how they were to behave.

Keywords: Catholic; Church; doctrinal teaching; pastoral care; preaching; sacramental theology; sermons



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