Journal or Book Title
Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft
This is a broad and deeply researched study, but also a carefully limited one. Bernadette Filotas wants to examine popular religion and culture across [End Page 206] five centuries, from roughly 500 to 1000, or, as she neatly puts it, from the episcopacy of Caesarius of Arles to that of Burchard of Worms. Caesarius, in her view, did much to “set the tone” for later Christian authorities’ encounters with popular culture (p. 1), while Burchard, in his Decretum, provided something of a capstone to a certain kind of cultural interaction. By the beginning of the eleventh century, most of the lands of western Europe had been Christianized or re-Christianized. That is, the cultural dominance of Roman Christianity had been reasserted after an influx of Germanic peoples. Filotas acknowledges that these dates, like so much else concerning the complex process of early medieval Christianization, could be the subject of fierce debate, but rather than defend her choice of periodization ad nauseam, she simply (and wisely) states her case and moves on.
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University of Pennsylvania Press
Bailey, Michael D., "Pagan Survivals, Superstitions and Popular Cultures in Early Medieval Pastoral Literature (review)" (2007). History Publications. 39.