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Anger as a Spiritual, Social and Mental Disorder in Late Medieval Swedish Exempla

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Chapter Summary

In particular, anger has received a lot of attention because all human cultural evolution, the civilizing process, to use the classical term coined by Norbert Elias, can be regarded largely as a tale of socialisation, pacification and control of aggressive and violent behavior, anger management, to use a modern psychological concept. This chapter focuses on tales that describe anger and analyses the terms used to describe it. It intends to see how anger was understood and treated in areas where Christianity was still of relatively recent origin. The chapter focuses on Northern Europe, that is Scandinavia and Finland, which were Christianised from the tenth century onwards. The main source of the author's study is an exempla collection which was composed in the monastery of Vadstena in Sweden before the end of the fourteenth century and which was apparently used in other parts of the North as well.

Keywords: anger management; Christianity; exempla; mental disorder; Northern Europe; socialisation; Sweden



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