Providing an overall view of the medieval period of Western history, this book maintains a balanced approach to an age that has been romanticized as well as vilified. Written with an eye toward modern readers, who may be perplexed by the hazy Middle Ages, Medieval Civilization provides illuminating details that enable the reader to enjoy a fascinating overview of this stretch of a thousand years. Rather than maintaining a dismissive attitude toward this presumed dark and dank period of human failings, the author banters about and responds to some criticisms of the medieval world by modern critics alongside his telling of the medieval story. Religious presences loom large in this book written about an age of religion and things religious in a way largely foreign to the modern world. The medieval period breathes in this tale of peasants, priests, and kings rather than being autopsied as a museum piece. Terms like scholastic, gothic, mendicant, monk, stigmata, and others are put into medieval contexts for ease of understanding, while a huge slice of Western history, usually looked at suspiciously by modern people, is presented as preparation for understanding much of the modern world. ""For many reasons, contemporary history writers have tended to minimize the influential role faith has played in the development of human history and culture. Larry Harwood correctly makes no apologies for paying due attention to the implications of religious thought throughout millennia of history, but does so without neglecting the breadth of the diverse milieu of medieval life or sacrificing his interdisciplinary approach."" --Fabiano L. A. Fernandes, Director of the Portuguese Bible Institute, Lisbon, Portugal Larry D. Harwood is Professor of Humanities at Viterbo University in Wisconsin. He has authored Denuded Devotion to Christ: The Ascetic Piety of Protestant True Religion in the Reformation (2012), Struggle in a Secular Age (2013), and Putting Philosophy in Its Place: A Preface to the Life of Philosophy (2014). He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Lisbon in Portugal in 2008 and is presently writing a book on Bertrand Russell and religion.
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