Indulgences in Late Medieval England: Passports to Paradise?
by R N Swanson
Indulgences played a major role in medieval 'strategies for eternity', easing the journey through Purgatory to Heaven after death. However, ... Show synopsis Indulgences played a major role in medieval 'strategies for eternity', easing the journey through Purgatory to Heaven after death. However, theological attacks during the Reformation and the subsequent Protestant rejection of indulgences have given them a poor reputation, compounding the effect of the fourteenth-century satires by Chaucer and Langland of the pardoners who ensured their widespread distribution. This 2007 book examines indulgences in late medieval England and it offers an extensive and authoritative re-evaluation of their role in England's religious, social and economic life between 1300 and the Reformation. R. N. Swanson traces their importance to devotional life, their contribution to charitable and economic structures and the complex tale of their disappearance under Henry VIII. This is a major contribution to the religious history of late medieval England and will be essential reading for scholars of medieval history, religious studies and the Reformation.