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Doloses Handeln hochmittelalterlicher Bischöfe und Äbte im Spannungsfeld von Weltwirken und Weltflucht
Ergon,  2019, 352 Pages

ISBN 978-3-95650-497-6

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The work is part of the series Religion und Politik (Volume 18)
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englischDeceits were evaluated ambivalently in the Middle Ages. Although Christian authors condemned the use of deceits in general, they often regarded them as praiseworthy or even holy if they served a good cause. On the basis of the lives of high medieval bishops and abbots this study examines deceits in political and religious contexts that are described as legitimate and sophisticated means of conflict management. The Vitae describe, for instance, that bishops and abbots pretended to eat, drank water instead of wine and wore their hairshirts under golden garments in order to conceal their ascetic lifestyle. They explain why holy men secretly gave alms, how they overcame shame with cunning, in which contexts they used ambiguous language and why they committed thefts without hesitation. This study also focusses on the question how such narratives were used to change the perception of specific flaws.