Negotiating Violence examines the ways in which ordinary people used a transnational papal court of law for disputing their private local hostilities and for negotiating their social status and identities. Following the career and routine crossovers of runaway friars, the book offers vivid insights into the late medieval culture of violence, honour, emotions, learning and lay-clerical interactions. The story plays itself out in the large composite state of the Kingdom of Hungary and Croatia, which collapses under the Ottomans’ sword in front of the readers’ eyes. The bottom-up approach of the Christian-Muslim military conflict renders visible the rationalities of those commoners who voluntarily crossed the religious boundary, while the multi-tiered story convincingly drives home the argument that the motor of social and religious change was lay society rather than the clergy in this turbulent age.
Gabriella Erdélyi is Permanent Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has published
A Cloister on Trial. Religious Culture and Everyday Life in Late Medieval Hungary (Ashgate, 2015) and edited
Armed Memory. Agency and Peasant Revolts in Central and Southern Europe (1450–1700) (V&R, 2016).
“An introduction to a part of the world and its local scholarly literature seldom visited by western scholars, with well-chosen illustrations often reproduced in brilliant colour”.
Jus Gentium, Vol. 4, No. 2 (July 2019), pp. 756-757.
AcknowledgementsList of Maps and Illustrations1 Introduction Research Agenda The Uses of Papal Pardon
2 Negotiating Apostasy Apostates and Evangelicals Cloisters and Learning The Ambitious Common Man Storytelling Strategies Gaps in the Narrative Conclusion
3 The Gates of Upward Social Mobility The Social Origin of the Friars Choosing the Cloister Learning in the Cloister Schools Learning in the Parish Schools The Protean Literacy of the Lesser Clergy Conclusion
4 From Savage to Civilized: Village Schools and Student Life The Interactions of Students and Locals The Dense Network of Parish Schools in the Countryside The Presence of Literate and “Civilized” Men in Rural Communities Conclusion
5 Life Outside the Walls: Clergymen on the Road The Parish Church and Cloister in the Community Masses of Unbeneficed Clergy The Unbeneficed as Criminals Parish Incumbents and the Unbeneficed Ordained in Rome Conclusion
6 The Heyday of Popular Culture: The Shared Time and Space of Laity and Clergy Defending Male Honor Shared Spaces of Leisure Carnival Every Day Shared Practices Leisure and Crime in the Dark Festivities and Violence Shared Concepts of Magic Conclusion
7 Contested Coexistence: Lay-Clerical Disputes and Their Settlement Enmities and the Language of Emotions Clergymen as the Mediators of the Sacred Clergymen as Members of Local Communities Honor and Hatred: The Script of Lay-Clerical Conflicts The Communal Definition of Criminals Conclusion
8 Tales of a Peasant Revolt Two Competing Myths of Just War Representations of Violence: Private and Public Perspectives György Dózsa, the Martyr b>9 Shifting Identities in the Christian-Muslim Contact Zone “Apostate” Spouses Christian “Bigamists” Latin and Orthodox Christian Intermarriages Conclusion b>10 Conclusion
The book will prove useful to academics and students as well as to a more general reading public interested in the social, religious and cultural history of late medieval and reformation Europe, and especially of East-Central Europe.