Item description for Faith in the Medieval World (Ivp Histories) by G. Russell Evans...
Faith in the Medieval World paints a fascinating picture of a turbulent stage of western religious history, as a companion to Faith in the Byzantine World. G. R. Evans begins by giving a lucid overview of the development of Christianity in the West in the Middle Ages, before looking at key aspects of medieval faith: the Bible and belief, popular piety and devotion, the Crusades and the concept of "holy war," politics and the church, rebellion against authority, and finally the road to Reformation.The gorgeous full-color illustrations from medieval art and the accessible writing make this attractive pocket-size volume the perfect introduction to the medieval world. Covering the lives of key figures--from pontiffs like Gregory the Great to laypeople like John Wycliffe--this book is a must for all those who want to experience one of the most famous and enthralling periods of human history.
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Studio: IVP Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.14" Width: 5" Height: 0.39" Weight: 0.52 lbs.
Release Date Aug 8, 2002
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
Series IVP Histories
ISBN 0830823530 ISBN13 9780830823536
Availability 0 units.
More About G. Russell Evans
G. R. Evans is a professor of medieval theology and intellectual history and the author of numerous books on religion, including "A Brief History of Heresy," "The Church in the Early Middle Ages," and "Faith in the Medieval World."
G. R. Evans currently resides in Cambridge. G. R. Evans was born in 1944 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Cambridge Cambridge University Cambridge University Sidn.
G. R. Evans has published or released items in the following series...
Classics of Western Spirituality (Paperback)
Earlier Middle Ages
Great Medieval Thinkers (Hardcover)
HarperCollins Spiritual Classics
Lincoln Studies in Religion and Society
Outstanding Christian Thinkers (Paperback Continuum)
Reviews - What do customers think about Faith in the Medieval World (Ivp Histories)?
Okay, but biased Apr 15, 2003
First, the positives:
1.) It is an easy, quick read suitable for people who are approaching Church history for the first time.
2.)It is beautifully illustrated and I really enjoy the format
3.) It will give one a broad general overview.
1.) The author's evangelical bias really comes into play and results in some errors. For example, the author claims that the understanding that the bread and wine are literally transformed into the body and blood of Christ occured after the rediscovery and use of Aristotle's logic in the west is simply not true. Even a cursory glance at the apostolic fathers, especially St. Ignatios of Antioch, shows that the eucharist was considered to be an eating of the flesh of Christ. Also, the Eastern Orthodox have always held that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ without using any specifically scholastic categories. Also, the author claims that there is no evidence that the experience of "deep conversion" persisted on a regular basis in the middle ages as it did in early Christianity. It seems to me that the author here is reading his own evangelical understanding of what is essential to true conversion back into history. The idea of a "warming of the heart" to use Wesley's expression or of a moment in time in which I was saved is foreign to Christianity up until the Reformation and then is only strongly brought out in later pietism and during the great awakening in the United States. The author is trying to imply that medieval Christianity was not commited to the average person having a personal relationship with Jesus, but this is simply untrue. Also, his attempt to show that the veneration of saints was simply a taking over of the greek pantheon into Christianity was weak and showed a grave ignorance concerning the spirituality and meaning of such veneration. There are numerous other errors, but these the biggies in my book.
2.) Finally, there really was not much theological discussion, nor any understanding of how medieval theologians grounded their teachings in Scripture and the Fathers. There was basically no discussion of Aquinas and of high scholasticism. One would get the impression from this book that everything is just about society and politics. I do commend the author though for admitting that the doctrine of "justification by faith alone" was a creation of Martin Luther. Also, the author surprisingly gave an accurate description of indulgences. I applaud him for that.
I would not recommend this book. There is simply too much bias to allow one to get a deep and balanced picture of the medieval Church. A better choice would be David Knowles "The Evolution of Medieval Thought" Gilson, "History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages," Pelikan's history of the middle ages and perhaps a good overview of church history as a whole.