Medieval Heresies

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

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Christine Caldwell Ames
Cambridge Medieval Textbooks
  • New York, NY: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , April
     368 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Coleman M. Ford forthcoming.


Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages were divided in many ways. But one thing they shared in common was the fear that God was offended by wrong belief. Medieval Heresies: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is the first comparative survey of heresy and its response throughout the medieval world. Spanning England to Persia, it examines heresy, error, and religious dissent - and efforts to end them through correction, persuasion, or punishment - among Latin Christians, Greek Christians, Jews, and Muslims. With a lively narrative that begins in the late fourth century and ends in the early sixteenth century, Medieval Heresies is an unprecedented history of how the three great monotheistic religions of the Middle Ages resembled, differed from, and even interrelated with each other in defining heresy and orthodoxy.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Christine Caldwell Ames received a BA in Russian Studies from Brown University, an MA in Church History from Yale Divinity School, and a PhD in Medieval History from the University of Notre Dame. Her training included coursework and examination fields in heresy and inquisition; medieval Iberia; Islam; medieval Judaism, and interreligious relations in the Middle Ages. Her teaching experience includes courses on medieval history, heresy and orthodoxy, Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Middle Ages, the Crusades, medieval violence, and the history of Christianity. At the University of South Carolina, where she is an associate professor of history, Ames has received the Mortar Board Society's award for teaching. Her first book, Righteous Persecution: Inquisition, Dominicans, and Christianity in the Middle Ages (2009) investigated how friars from the Order of Preachers, the religious order most closely involved with heresy inquisitions, understood that work within their foundational pastoral and apostolic mission. She has received support from the Fulbright Scholar Program (France), the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation. Her professional memberships include the Medieval Academy, the American Society of Church History, and the American Academy of Religion. She presently serves on the award committee for the American Historical Association's James Henry Breasted Prize, which is given to the best book of history in any area before the year 1000.


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