- The formation of a persecuting society: power and deviance in Western Europe 950-1250 (review)
- Australian and New Zealand Association of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Inc.)
- Volume 9, Number 2, December 1991
- p. p. 181
- View Citation
Short Notices 181 Elizabeth Jeffreys Department of M o d e m Greek University of Sydney Le Goff, Jacques, Medieval civilization 400-1500, trans. J. Banow, rpt, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1990; paper; pp. xx, 393; 18 maps, 34 plates, 25 figures; R.R.P. AUS$39.95 [distributed in Australia by Allen and Unwin]. If one wished to set a stimulating critical analysis of the structures of medieval civdization, as opposed to a nanative history of the Middle Ages, as a text for undergraduate students, one could hardly do better than Le Goff s book. Based on a classic of French, Annaliste scholarship originally published in 1964, the cloth edition of the English translation (1988) was very favourably reviewed by Constant M e w s in Parergon, n.s. 8 (1990), 159-60. John H. Pryor Department of History University of Sydney Moore, R. I., The formation of a persecuting society: power and deviance in Western Europe 950-1250, rpt, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1990; pp. viii, 168; R.R.P. AUSS32.95 [distributed in Australia by Allen and Unwin]. All lecturers-in-charge of undergraduate courses will welcome the paperback publication of this important work whichfirstappeared in 1987. Intended as a thought-provoking overview for those not necessarily familiar with the tertiary study of history, this book does not attempt to break new ground, to discuss new issues based on original scholarship, nor to provide an extensive bibliography. For a comprehensive review, see Miri Runin in Speculum (vol. 65 (1990), 1025-7). Moore directs his attention to a re-assessment of the views of scholars as recent as S h Richard Southern and Bernard Hamilton that the seemingly cruel persecution of heretics stemmed basically from the medieval belief that persecution was 'normal'. Through discussion primarily of the treatment of heretics, Jews, and lepers, Moore points out that the inquisition constructed the image of marginalized but not truly dangerous members of society as the 'other', making them a danger to society as a whole and persecuting them not because of their real threat, which he asserts was almost non-existent, but because of then perceived threat to the social order. N o undergraduate course on medieval history can afford to ignore this work which in a masterful fashion demystifies an otherwise scarcely comprehensible dark side to the history of the Middle Ages. Anne Gilmour-Bryson Department of History University of Melbourne ...