Chapter

Introduction

Carol Lansing

in Power & Purity

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780195149807
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849079 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149807.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of Catharism. It then sets out the focus of the book, namely the Cathar community in the town of Orvieto. This book aims to provide a vivid evocation of the Cathars in one important community, to compare them with the Cathars from other towns, and to draw on that understanding to open larger questions about Italian Cathar belief and popular attitudes. It discusses two ways to study Catharism. First, one can reconstruct the social and political roles, motivations, and beliefs of the Cathars themselves. Second, one can analyze their repression: the ways their opponents defined them as heretics who threatened the whole of Christian society and then used that threat to reshape their own authority.

Keywords: Catharism; Cathars; Orvieto; repression; heresy

Chapter.  6712 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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