Runaway Religious in Medieval England, c.1240-1540
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of Pages: 324
Width: 14 cm
Height: 21.7 cm
The 'runaway religious' were monks, canons and friars who had taken vows of religion and who, with benefit of neither permission nor dispensation, fled their monasteries and returned to a life in the world, usually replacing the religious habit with lay clothes. No legal exit for the discontented was permitted - religious vows were like marriage vows in this respect - until the financial crisis caused by the Great Schism created a market in dispensations for priests in religious orders to leave, take benefices, and live as secular priests. The church therefore pursued runaways with her severest penalty, excommunication, in the express hope that penalties would lead to the return of the straying sheep. Once back, whether by free choice or by force, the runaway was received not with a feast for a prodigal but, in a rite of stark severity, with the imposition of penalties deemed suitable for a sinner.
"...Logan has asked a modest but interesting and revealing question of the records of ecclesiastical history and, after exhaustive research, offers up a very thorough answer...Many compelling human vignettes are offered in this highly readable book." Choice "Logan has produced a welcome, one might almost say definitive study of a neglected aspect of English monastic history. There are five appendixes, a select bibliography, and indexes could have been fuller and subjects. The subject index could have been fuller and better arranged, for the book contains much incidental detail of interest to a wider audience." F.G. Cowley, American Historical Review "...this study is to be most warmly welcomed as the first authoritative account of a much-neglected field; its findings must now be taken into account by all scholars of monastic history. "...the collection and organization of the hard data found in the apprendix will provide a good base for the thoughtful reader's interpretive powers." Albion "...it is a great relief and pleasure to review Professor Logan's balanced and sympathetic study of runaway religious in medieval England. Dr. Logan's book is a very welcome addition to our knowledge and his researches do serve to bring a lot of light to what has been a subject full of individual anecdotes and badly in need of a balanced overall survey. His careful, judicial and well written account of his findings has produced a book which anyone studying medieval relgious life should read." Richard Copsey, The Medieval Review "...the collection and organization of the hard data found in the appendix will provide a good base for the thoughtful reader's interpretive powers." Jo Ann McNamara, Albion