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Excommunication for Debt in Late Medieval France: The Business of Salvation

Excommunication for Debt in Late Medieval France: The Business of Salvation (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Late medieval church courts frequently excommunicated debtors at the request of their creditors. Tyler Lange analyzes over 11,000 excommunications between 1380 and 1530 in order to explore the forms, rhythms, and cultural significance of the practice. Three case studies demonstrate how excommunication for debt facilitated minor transactions in an age of scarce small-denomination coinage and how interest-free loans and sales credits could be viewed as encouraging the relations of charitable exchange that were supposed to exist between members of Christ's body. Lange also demonstrates how from 1500 or so believers gradually turned away from the practice and towards secular courts, at the same time as they retained the moralized, economically irrational conception of indebtedness we have yet to shake. The demand-driven rise and fall of excommunication for debt reveals how believers began to reshape the institutional Church well before Martin Luther posted his theses.

History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450/1500Medieval historyHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsChristianityChristian Churches & denominations Publisher: Cambridge University Press Publication Date: 24/03/2016 ISBN-13: 9781107145795  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Tyler Lange is a historian of the late Middle Ages and the early modern period whose research centers on questions of legal, religious, and social practices between 1400 and 1600. His first book, The First French Reformation: Church Reform and the Origins of the Old Regime, appeared with Cambridge in 2014. He is a past fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and presently a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.

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