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Published: 27 September 2001

288 Pages | 3 halftones, 1 map

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195149807

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Bookseller Code (06)

Power & Purity

Cathar Heresy in Medieval Italy

Carol Lansing

Catharism was a popular, if bleak, medieval heresy that held that the creation of humankind was a disaster in which angelic spirits were trapped in matter, and their only goal was to escape through purification. Power and Purity explores the place of cathar heresy in the life of the medieval Italian town of Orvieto. Based on extensive archival research, it details the social makeup of the Cathar community and argues that Cathar beliefs about the body addressed questions of sexual difference and the structure of authority that were central to medieval Italian life. This detailed microhistory will appeal to medieval historians and scholars of religion and gender studies.

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