Review Of "Varieties Of Religious Conversion In The Middle Ages" Edited By J. Muldoon

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These interesting, informative, and well-written essays shed light on a much-neglected aspect of medieval life and thought. Covering the fourth to the 14th centuries, the contributors not only describe the wide range of religious conversions, from the personal experience of Augustine to the conversion of whole peoples like the Saxons in the eighth century and the Lithuanians in the thirteenth, but also discuss the role of women, missions to China in the 14th century, the conversion of Arian Christians to Catholicism, conversions by force, and the role of shrines in the sacralization of the landscape. Included also are discussions of the spiritual transformation fostered by the monastic life, the low status of Jews even after their adoption of Christianity, and the conversion and reconversion of Muslims, Christians, and Jews during the crusades. This collection is a valuable resource for upper-division undergraduates and beyond. Notes, but no bibliography. Muldoon (history, Camden College of Rutgers Univ.) is author of Popes, Lawyers, and Infidels (CH, Mar'80).


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