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The Penitents’ Treasury

Indulgences in Latin Christendom, 1175 - 1375

The granting of indulgences by the Catholic Church has long been infamous as one of the grounds for Martin Luther’s revolt from Christianity in the sixteenth century. Modern scholars have usually characterized the medieval practice as a defective one. In The Penitents’ Treasury, historian Robert W. Shaffern debunks this argument through a reexamination of indulgences that shows how their alleged evils have been exaggerated throughout history. This provocative volume, a necessary read for anyone interested in medieval history and the history of religion, calls for much rethinking about the state of the church on the eve of the Reformation.


275 pages | 6 x 9

History: General History

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion


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