The Medieval Doctrine of Purgatory

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It would be nearly impossible to exaggerate the significance of purgatory in the life of the medieval church, especially in the way that life was lived by individual Christians. The antechamber of heaven where the good but not perfect souls suffer their temporary punishment had a fixed place in the beliefs of virtually all Christians in the Western Church and deeply affected their religious practices. Apart from heretics like the Waldensians and the Cathars and, later, John Wyclif, purgatory was believed in as firmly as the Eucharist, the divinity of Christ, the Trinity and other central beliegfs of the church and played a role almost as large as the Eucharist and the Virgin in the daily devotional lives of people. The one could assist one's deceased father and mother and other loved ones and shorten their stay in purgatory led to the development of a rich variety of religious devotions and practices, from which, it is safe to say, no parish in Christendom was exempt.

Cited from F. Donald Logan, A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. London & New York: Routledge, 2002. Pbk. ISBN: 0415132886. p.287. Logan's section on purgatory (pp.287-294) is excellent.

Primary Sources

Book or monograph Bede: Ecclesiastical History of the English PeopleBede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, D.H. Farmer, editor, Leo Sherley-Price, translator. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1955. Pbk. ISBN: 014044565X. Book 5, Chapter 12.
Book or monograph Michael J. Curley, Saint Patrick's Purgatory: A Poem by Marie De France. Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, No 94. Cornell Univ Press, 1993. Hbk. ISBN: 086698108X. pp.178.
Book or monograph Dante, The Divine Comedy, 3 Vols. Charles S. Singleton, translator. Princeton, 1070-75.
On-line Resource Dante: The Divine ComedyDante, The Divine Comedy, Canticle II: Purgatorio (Purgatory) [E-BOOK: ADOBE READER].
Book or monograph Gardiner: Visions of Heaven and Hell before DanteEileen Gardiner, Visions of Heaven and Hell Before Dante. New York: Italica Press, 1989. Pbk. ISBN: 0934977143. pp.318.
Book or monograph Joseph McGuinness, Lough Derg: St Patrick's Purgatory. Columba Press, 2003. Pbk. ISBN: 1856072959. pp.96.
Book or monograph Jean-Michel Picard, Saint Patrick's purgatory : a twelfth century tale of a journey to the other world. Four Courts Press, 1985. Pbk. ISBN: 0906127904. pp.78.
Book or monograph Saint Patrick's Purgatory: A Record from History and Literature, J.R.S. Leslie, trans. 1932. pp.195-215.

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Secondary Sources

Article in Journal or Book R.R. Atwell, "From Augustine to Gregory the Great: An Evaluation of the Emergence of the Doctrine of Purgatory," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 38.2 (1987): 173-186.
Article in Journal or Book David Brown, "No Heaven without Purgatory," Religious Studies 21.4 (1985): 427-456.
Article in Journal or Book C. Burgess, "'A Fond Thing Vainly Invented': An Essay on Purgatory and Pious Motive in Later Medieval England," Sarah Jane Wright, ed. Parish, Church and People: Local studies in lay religion 1350-1750. London: Harper Collins, 1988. Hbk. 0091731445. pp.56-84.
Book or monograph Robert Easting, ed., St Patrick's Purgatory. Early English Text Society, Original Series, No. 298. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952. Hbk. ISBN: 0197223001. pp.432.
Article in Journal or Book Graham Robert Edwards, "Purgatory: `Birth' or Evolution?" Journal of Ecclesiastical History 36.4 (1985): 634-646.
Book or monograph Fenn: The Persistence of PurgatoryRichard K. Fenn, The Persistence of Purgatory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Pbk. ISBN: 0521568552. pp.217.
Article in Journal or Book Sylvia Federico, "Transgressive Teaching and Censorship in a Fifteenth-Century Vision of Purgatory," Mystics Quarterly 21.2 (1995): 59-67.
Book or monograph Joseph Gill, The Council of Florence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959. Reprints AMS Press, 1982. Hbk. ISBN: 0404170161. pp.452.
Book or monograph Jacques LeGoff, The Birth of Purgatory, new edn. Arthur Goldhammer, translator. Scolar Press, 1991. Pbk. ISBN: 0859678652. pp.440. Should be read in conjunction with the article by Gurevich (below).
Article in Journal or Book Aron J. Gurevich, "Popular and Scholarly Medieval Traditions: Notes in the Margins of Jacques Le Goff's Book," Journal of Medieval History 9 (1983): 71-90.
Book or monograph M. Haren & Y. de Pontfarey, eds. The Medieval Pilgrimage to St. Patrick's Purgatory: Lough Derg and the European Tradition. Clogher Historical Society. Enniskillen, 1988. ISBN: 094901205X. pp.242.
Book or monograph Heaney: Station IslandSeamus Heaney, Station Island. London & Boston: Noonday Press, 1986. Pbk. ISBN: 0374519358. pp.124.
Article in Journal or Book James Jorgenson, "The Debate over the Patristic Texts on Purgatory at the Council of Ferrara-Florence, 1438," St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 30.4 (1986): 309-334.
Book or monograph Shane Leslie, Saint Patrick's Purgatory: a record from history and literature. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1932. pp.xlvii + 215.
Book or monograph Logan: A History of the Church in the Middle AgesF. Donald Logan, A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. London & New York: Routledge, 2002. Pbk. ISBN: 0415132894. pp.287-294.
Book or monograph J.R. McNally, Patrick's Purgatory. Lion and Lamb Press, 2001. Hbk. ISBN: 0967828627. pp.340.
Book or monograph Matsuda: Death and Purgatory in Middle English Didactic PoetryTakami Matsuda, Death and Purgatory in Middle English Didactic Poetry. Woodbridge, Suffolk / Rochester, NY: D.S. Brewer, 1997. Hbk. ISBN: 0859915077. pp.288.
Article in Journal or Book Gerhard Ludwig Muller, "Purgatory," Theology Digest 33.4 (1986): 31-36.
Article in Journal or Book Barbara Newman, ."Hildegard of Bingen and the Birth of Purgatory," Mystics Quarterly 19.3 (1993): 90-97.
Book or monograph Robert Ombres, OP, The Theology of Purgatory. Theology Today, 24. Dublin: Mercier Press, 1978. ISBN: 0853426139.
Article in Journal or Book Robert Ombres, OP, "The Doctrine of Purgatory According to St. Thomas Aquinas," Downside Review 99 (1981): 279-87.
Article in Journal or Book Robert Ombres, "The Latins and Greek in Debate Over Purgatory, 1230 - 1439," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 35.1 (1984): 1-14.
Book or monograph Petrisko: Inside PurgatoryThomas W. Petrisko, Inside Purgatory: What History Theology and the Mystics Tell Us About Purgatory. St. Andrew's Productions, 2000. Pbk. ISBN: 1891903241. pp.108.

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