Medieval Christianity: A New History


Madigan K. Medieval Christianity: A New History. Yale University Press; 2015.
Medieval Christianity: A New History


Brief Reviews

"This will undoubtedly be the fundamental narrative account of medieval Christianity for the next generation, smartly and engagingly written."—John Van Engen, University of Notre Dame

“This impressive summary of the medieval church is comprehensive in coverage, rich in detail, and clear in presentation. It seamlessly combines the best of the received story of medieval Christianity with challenging insights from the newest historiography.”—Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago

“Madigan says that his intent was ‘to produce a volume that integrates the best of traditional scholarship with the rich and important developments that have occurred in the study of medieval Christianity over the past forty years or so.’ That he has succeeded in doing, and in admirable fashion. If this is, indeed, a “book for beginners” and the author is careful to avoid taking too much knowledge for granted in his putative readers, he does not condescend to them, and those of us in the business who know the story (or like to think, at least, that we know the story!) can still read his account not only with pleasure but also with profit.  Admirable . . .compelling . . . Madigan’s book can be said to convey a picture of medieval Christianity that is no less lively for being well-informed and carefully balanced. It can be recommended without reservation to any interested reader.”—Francis Oakley, Commonweal

“A masterful yet accessible introduction to the principal institutional, intellectual, and social developments of medieval Christianity, including the papacy and religious orders, particularly valuable for its attention to the place of Jews, Muslims, heretics, and women in these developments, as well as the problem of educating the laity.”—Rachel Fulton Brown, author of From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ and the Virgin Mary, 800-1200

“This much-needed book deftly combines the institutional, theological and intellectual history of medieval Christianity.  Madigan admirably includes important topics missing from earlier surveys, such as Christian attitudes towards Jews and Muslims, the roles of women, liturgy, popular devotion and the arts.”—E. Ann Matter, University of Pennsylvania

“Offering a new approach to the history of medieval Christianity, this ambitious book fully lives up to the expectations it sets. Throughout its subtle and supple narrative, it deepens readers' knowledge of this important period.”— Willemien Otten, University of Chicago

“This is a masterful survey spanning a thousand years of the history of Christianity in Europe.  Madigan shows an impressive command of recent scholarship as he brings to life the spiritual, institutional and intellectual struggles of individuals, be they popes or beguines, hermits or heresiarchs.”—John Tolan, Université de Nantes  

“Accessible and clear . . . an engaging narrative history that should please experts while whetting the appetites of beginners.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] crowning scholarly achievement . . . a landmark of popular history . . . probingly researched and well-written . . . Madigan captures the power of it all and also the multifaceted humanity of it all . . . page-turningly fascinating. If you want one rock-solid book on Church history, this is it.”—Steve Donoghue, Open Letters

“[A] compelling exposition of the evolution of the church”—Thomas Filbin, Arts Fuse

 ‘…outstanding works of church history that should be popular with the general reader as well as students… Madigan shows how developments in modern Christianity paved the way for the reformation.’—Paul Richardson, CofE Newspaper

“In Medieval Christianity, Harvard professor Kevin Madigan has produced a richly informative book that provides readers an excellent sense of the state of the scholarship on these long centuries. He is a scholar of the first class himself, and reading his lucid text gives a powerfulidea of what a splendid teacher he must be... In his coverage of each era, Madigan is at his best describing the lived realities of faith as experienced by ordinary people.”—Philip Jenkins, Christian Century

Buy Online


Google Preview

Press Page

Last updated on 11/06/2015