The Birth of Purgatory

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Dec 15, 1986 - History - 430 pages
In The Birth of Purgatory, Jacques Le Goff, the brilliant medievalist and renowned Annales historian, is concerned not with theological discussion but with the growth of an idea, with the relation between belief and society, with mental structures, and with the historical role of the imagination. Le Goff argues that the doctrine of Purgatory did not appear in the Latin theology of the West before the late twelfth century, that the word purgatorium did not exist until then. He shows that the growth of a belief in an intermediate place between Heaven and Hell was closely bound up with profound changes in the social and intellectual reality of the Middle Ages. Throughout, Le Goff makes use of a wealth of archival material, much of which he has translated for the first time, inviting readers to examine evidence from the writings of great, obscure, or anonymous theologians.
 

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Jacques Le Goff is by all accounts a very important historian. This book seems to be a collection of undigested reading notes on obscure theologians, except that undigested reading notes would probably have been better organized. Read full review

Contents

i
17
The Fathers of Purgatory
52
Doctrinal Stagnation
96
The Century of the Great Advance
130
A Place for Purgation
154
Purgatory between Sicily and Ireland
177
The Logic of Purgatory
209
The Scholastic Systematization
237
Purgatory and the Cure of Souls
289
The Divina Comtnedia
334
Why Purgatory?
356
The History of a Word
362
Recent Works
369
Notes
375
Index
423
Copyright

9
246

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About the author (1986)

Jacques Le Goff is the author of Time, Work, and Culture, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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