revenge and moderation article.pdf (2.24 MB)
Download file

Revenge and Moderation: The Church and Vengeance in Medieval Iceland

Download (2.24 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2007, 13:16 by David Clark
Although the New Testament clearly prohibits Christians from taking personal revenge, Christian societies—whether in first-century Palestine, medieval Europe, or contemporary North America—have always found this a difficult prohibition to observe, and, indeed, individuals and institutions have often cited other parts of the Bible to legitimise vengeful acts. This article considers the changing attitudes to clerical and secular vengeance in medieval Iceland. It adduces evidence from a range of legal, political, and ecclesiastical documents to contextualise a study of the representation of revenge in family and contemporary sagas in the light of ecclesiastical precepts. The analysis points to a growing perception that secular revenge must be tempered with moderation, and that clerics should not involve themselves in acts of vengeance. Within the sagas, religious figures are employed variously as the voice of the Church, and as those implicated in the turmoil of the Sturlunga old. [From introduction]

History

Citation

Leeds Studies in English, 2005, 36, pp.133-156

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Leeds Studies in English

Publisher

School of English, University of Leeds

issn

0075-8566

Available date

06/12/2007

Publisher version

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/lse/lse.html

Notes

The article is also freely available at http://www.leeds.ac.uk/lse/lse.html

Language

en

Usage metrics

Categories

Keywords

Exports