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Trustworthy men : how inequality and faith made the medieval church

Author: Ian Forrest
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2018] ©2018
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The medieval church was founded on and governed by concepts of faith and trust--but not in the way that is popularly assumed. Offering a radical new interpretation of the institutional church and its social consequences in England, Ian Forrest argues that between 1200 and 1500 the ability of bishops to govern depended on the cooperation of local people known as trustworthy men and shows how the combination of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Church history
Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Forrest, Ian, 1975-
Trustworthy men.
Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2018]
(OCoLC)1005111753
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Ian Forrest
ISBN: 9781400890132 1400890136
OCLC Number: 1033404524
Description: 1 online resource : illustrations
Contents: Cover; Title; Copyright; Dedication; CONTENTS; List of Illustrations and Tables; Acknowledgements; Introduction; PART I LATE MEDIEVAL CULTURES OF TRUST; CHAPTER 1 Theology: Belief in God; CHAPTER 2 Law and Agreements: A World Made from Promises; CHAPTER 3 Identity and Emotion: Faith in the Heart; PART II IDENTIFYING THE TRUSTWORTHY MEN; CHAPTER 4 The Emergence of the Trustworthy Men; CHAPTER 5 Bishops Describe Trustworthiness; CHAPTER 6 Very Local Elites; PART III TRUSTWORTHINESS AND INEQUALITY IN THE PARISH; CHAPTER 7 Representing the Community? CHAPTER 8 Time, Place, and the Limits of Trustworthy StatusCHAPTER 9 Face-to-Face with the Trustworthy Men; PART IV BISHOPS AND A CHURCH BUILT ON INEQUALITY AND FAITH, 1250-1500; CHAPTER 10 Practical Epistemology; CHAPTER 11 Other People's Money; CHAPTER 12 The Material Church; CHAPTER 13 Subtle Judgements; CHAPTER 14 The Church Built on Trust; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
Responsibility: Ian Forrest.

Abstract:

The medieval church was founded on and governed by concepts of faith and trust--but not in the way that is popularly assumed. Offering a radical new interpretation of the institutional church and its social consequences in England, Ian Forrest argues that between 1200 and 1500 the ability of bishops to govern depended on the cooperation of local people known as trustworthy men and shows how the combination of inequality and faith helped make the medieval church. Trustworthy men (in Latin, virifidedigni) were jurors, informants, and witnesses who represented their parishes when bishops needed local knowledge or reliable collaborators. Their importance in church courts, at inquests, and during visitations grew enormously between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. The church had to trust these men, and this trust rested on the complex and deep-rooted cultures of faith that underpinned promises and obligations, personal reputation and identity, and belief in God. But trust also had a dark side. For the church to discriminate between the trustworthy and untrustworthy was not to identify the most honest Christians but to find people whose status ensured their word would not be contradicted. This meant men rather than women, and--usually--the wealthier tenants and property holders in each parish. Trustworthy Men illustrates the ways in which the English church relied on and deepened inequalities within late medieval society, and how trust and faith were manipulated for political ends.

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"Ian Forrest's richly detailed history provides not just a magisterial narrative of an institution, but also shows how that institution reinforced social trust between individuals in the wider Read more...

 
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