By James Brodman

Demanding situations traditional perspectives of medieval piety by way of demonstrating how the ideology of charity and its imaginative and prescient of the energetic lifestyles supplied a massive replacement to the ascetical, contemplative culture emphasised via such a lot historians.

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Extra resources for Charity and Religion in Medieval Europe

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See my “What Is a Soul Worth? Pro anima Bequests in the Municipal Legislation of Reconquest Spain,” Medievalia et Humanistica, new series, no. 20 (1994): 20–21. 57. Ruiz, From Heaven to Earth, 37. 58. , of the Province of York, from the Year MCCC Downwards, ed. James Raine (London: Surtees Society, 1855), 2:96–98. the pious and the practical 39 teenth century. He ties this to the growing use of written testaments and the development of the Church’s penitential system. Daniel Le Blévec’s study of the lower Rhône valley of France, on the other hand, does not believe that charity was more than ritualistic until the crisis of the plague caused donors to confront specific human tragedies.

54. Quoted in Geremek, Poverty, 20, 48. 38 the pious and the practical giving from the deathbed less meritorious than during life, nonetheless, much recorded charity is contained in wills, and these are an important source for the mentalité of givers. Wills contain lists of otherwise obscure charitable beneficiaries, to each of whom would be given a modest gift. ” He then went on to donate money to a variety of churches and religious houses. ⁵⁸ Modern historians debate the relative importance to the medieval benefactor of the motives of religion that have been the subject of this chapter and the more practical considerations of kinship, neighborhood, and town.

Mollat, Poor in the Middle Ages, 57–58. See also Tierney, Medieval Poor Law, 15–18, 33– 44. The concept of right can also be seen in Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae: “He who suffers from extreme need can take what he needs from another’s goods if no one else will give them to him” (Little, Religious Poverty, 179). the pious and the practical 19 ing God. Rather his poverty was merely a burden. Charity and justice, on the other hand, demanded that he be assisted; society in some sense owed this to him as a form of moral restitution.

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