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Description - The Devil's World by Andrew Roach

'Issues of religious doctrine and beliefs are once more at the forefront of political and cultural conflicts around the world. Andrew Roach's interesting book can help us understand our modern world better, and should have a wide appeal to non-specialist readers. 'Paul Ormerod, author of the best-selling Death of Economics and Butterfly Economics Recent academic scholarship has emphasised the idea that 'heresy is in the eye of the beholder'. Greater definition of the Church's role and Catholic belief in the 12th and 13th centuries 'created' heretics, people who represented or championed local variation in religious practices or adherence to old-fashioned doctrines. In his fascinating new study, Andrew Roach argues that, by contrast, the emergence of heresy in the twelfth century reflected lay impatience with the monopoly of the medieval Church. Unprecedented consumer choice in food, clothing and less tangible products such as troubadour entertainment and higher education meant that people looked at religion in a new light. Not only did they expect to be cared for in this life and the next, but they also hoped to enhance their wealth and social standing through their involvement in religious organizations. Consequently, they turned to informal groups such as the Cathars and Waldensians who were there at pivotal moments in their lives and offered them simple theology, explained through preaching. This is not to say that medieval religion was insincere, only that there was a range of commitment. 'Heresy' literally means choice, and medieval heresy saw the birth of the modern consumer. For a brief period in the early thirteenth century there was more choice in religion in Western Europe than at any period before the Reformation. Only a combination of systematic persecution of heresy through inquisitors and a change in lay taste brought this to an end. Placing the rise and fall of the heresies of the central Middle Ages in their broader context, this book is essential reading for students, scholars, and anyone with an interest in economic or religious history. Andrew Roach is a Lecturer in History at the University of Glasgow. This is his first book.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780582279605
ISBN-10: 0582279607
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 16mm)
Pages: 280
Imprint: Longman
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 3-Aug-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Andrew Roach

Andrew Roach is currently a Lecturer in History at the University of Glasgow. In the early 1990s he wrote economic predictions for the Henley Centre for Forecasting. Besides articles on Catharism and the Inquisition he has written on early censorship, Occitan identity, and, in conjunction with an econophysicist, heresy and scale-free network theory.