Three Studies in Medieval Religious and Social Thought

The Interpretation of Mary and Martha, the Ideal of the Imitation of Christ, the Orders of Society

Three Studies in Medieval Religious and Social Thought

These three studies concentrate on the changes in religious thought and institutions in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and include not only monks and nuns but also less organized types of life such as hermits, recluses, crusaders, and penitents. "The Interpretation of Mary and Martha" deals primarily with the balance of action and contemplation in Christian life; "The Ideal of the Imitation of Christ" studies the growing emphasis on the human Christ, especially His body and wounds; and "The Orders of Society" looks at the conceptual divisions of society and the emergence of the modern idea of a middle class.


"Constable himself laments that here was much material he was not able to include. But one doubts that any reader will complain about the richness of the material discussed in these essays, which fully accomplish the author's goal of displaying the richness and variety of medieval culture." Bryn Mawr Medieval Review

"The three studies...are bibliographically and topically independenteach contributes to a rich developmental picture of medieval society and spirituality." Theological Studies

"...the topics and their treatment are original, fresh, and valuable." Choice

"Constable is an excellent historian scholar who encompasses the best in disciplined historical documentary research with a broad interdisciplinary grasp of the salient issues in a number of disparate fields of inquiry....Highly recommended." The Reader's Review

"These three studies, in gestation over a period of thirty years, constitute a remarkable and densly packed dossier....Constable not only reports thoroughly the evidence from the main collections of written sources, but also draws on evidence from art history....this volume will become an indispensable guide for those who would try to understand how traditional Christendom differed from yet birthed the modern West." Dennis D. Martin, Anglican Theological Review

"If Constable has missed any noteworthy expressions concerning the subjects he treats, he has not missed many. His presentation of evidence is awesomely meticulous....a work rich in learning and insights." Robert E. Lerner, American Historical Review

"Rarely has there been such a thoroughly sustained and literally descriptive analysis of three themes as that done by Professor Constable in the volume under review." Steven Chase, Speculum


Choice Outstanding Academic Books 1996
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Books for 1996