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A History of Medieval Christianity

Prophecy and Order

Jeffrey Burton Russell and Douglas W. Lumsden

This volume, a general history of the church in the Middle Ages, pays close attention to the spiritual, intellectual, and institutional aspects of medieval Christianity. From its beginnings, the church has existed in a state of tension between two forces: the spirit of order and the spirit of prophecy. The spirit of order attempts to reform humanity and human institutions; the spirit of prophecy attempts to transform them into the world of God. This tension created a balance within the church that kept it from forgetting the nature of basic religious experience while continuing to remain sensitive to the needs of society.