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Faith, Fiction and Force in Medieval Baptismal Debates


Publication Year: 2014

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

This book has been in the making for several years, on and off, in between other projects, and I have received encouragement, constructive criticism, and support from a variety of groups and colleagues as the research has proceeded and as my ideas have taken shape. The Medieval Studies community...


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pp. xi-xiv

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pp. 1-10

Contemporary catechisms of the Christian churches often present their teachings as unequivocal and universally held features of the orthodox consensus throughout the ages. Catechetical treatments of the three aspects of baptismal theology considered in this study are typical cases in point...

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Chapter One. Baptism by Desire

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pp. 11-90

The doctrine of baptism by desire had a checkered career in the medieval west from the patristic period until its virtual disappearance from the scholastic agenda at the end of the thirteenth century. First proposed as a position defensible in its own right by Ambrose of Milan, it received fuller...

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Chapter Two. Fictive Baptism

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pp. 91-226

Fictive baptism, and the conditions thought to define, validate, or invalidate it, was a topic widely discussed by patristic and medieval thinkers. Beyond exegetes and theologians, it was addressed by authors of saints’ lives and chronicles, and commentators on drama. Even leaving aside gaps between...

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Chapter Three. Forced Baptism

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pp. 227-318

As we saw in chapter 2 of this book, some scholastics placed forced baptism under the same conceptual heading as fictive baptism, a practice which we will also encounter in chapter 3. At the same time, Christian attitudes toward these two baptismal issues have divergent medieval histories. Finding...

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pp. 319-326

This afterword will not attempt to write a full-scale, post-medieval history of the three baptismal questions treated in this book. But the early modern address to these debates is of no small interest, reflecting as it does how the history of Christian thought has continued to be reconceived, and...


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pp. 327-356

Index, Publisher Notes

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pp. 357-370

E-ISBN-13: 9780813226125
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813226118

Page Count: 384
Publication Year: 2014