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Meditating Death in Medieval and Early Modern Devotional Writing – From Bonaventure to Luther - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Meditating Death in Medieval and Early Modern Devotional Writing: From Bonaventure to Luther

Mark Chinca


Meditating about death and the afterlife was one of the most important techniques that Christian societies in medieval and early modern Europe had at their disposal for developing a sense of individual selfhood. Believers who regularly and systematically reflected on the inevitability of death and the certainty of eternal punishment in hell or reward in heaven would acquire an understanding of themselves as unique persons defined by their moral actions; they would also learn to discipline themselves by feeling remorse for their sins, doing penance, and cultivating a permanent vigilance over th ... More

Keywords: history of meditation, asceticism, devotional writing, spiritual exercise, death, afterlife, eschatological beliefs, last things, medieval Christianity, Reformation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198861980
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198861980.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark Chinca, author
Reader in Medieval and Early Modern German Literature, University of Cambridge