The Transformation of the Laity in Bergamo, 1265-c.1400


This book examines the tension between social mores and religious activities among the laity in the Italian diocese of Bergamo during the later Middle Ages (1265-c.1400). Comparing the religious activities of lay men and women, both rich and poor, across a range of pious and ecclesiastical institutions, including confraternities, hospitals, parishes and the diocese, Roisin Cossar shows how the laity’s access to these institutions increasingly came to depend on their gender and social status during the fourteenth century. At the same time, she argues that all lay people, regardless of gender and social status, viewed themselves as equal members of a lay ordo. The book thus illuminates the complexity of late medieval religious culture, as it simultaneously reflected and challenged secular social values.

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Roisin Cossar, Ph.D. (1999) in History, University of Toronto, is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Manitoba. She has previously published articles on confraternities, gender and religious culture in medieval Bergamo.
Acknowledgments Currency, Names, and Translations Abbreviations Introduction PART ONE CONFRATERNITIES AND HOSPITALS Chapter One: Religious Solidarity and Civic Power:Confraternities in Bergamo Chapter Two: She Offers Herself and Her Belongings:Hospitals in Bergamo PART TWO CHARITY AND CHURCH Chapter Three: Alms for the Poor! Confraternal Charity and the Poor Chapter Four: You Do and Say Evil! Lay Men, Women, and the Clergy PART THREE WRITTEN RELIGION Chapter Five: Testaments, Gender, and Religious Culture Conclusion Works Cited Primary Sources Secondary Sources Index
All those interested in social history, the history of gender and the Christian church and medieval history, as well as scholars of medieval Italy, confraternities, and ecclesiastical history.