Suicide In The Middle Ages, Volume 2: The Curse On Self-murder

Paperback | April 3, 2011

byAlexander Murray

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A group of men dig a tunnel under the threshold of a house. Then they go and fetch a heavy, sagging object from inside the house, pull it out through the tunnel, and put it on a cow-hide to be dragged off and thrown into the offal-pit. Why should the corpse of a suicide - for that is what itis - have earned this unusual treatment? In The Curse on Self-Murder, Alexander Murray explores the origin of the condemnation of suicide, in a quest which leads along the most unexpected byways of medieval theology, law, mythology, and folklore - and, indeed, in some instances beyond them. At an epoch when there might be plenty ofostensible reasons for not wanting to live, the ways used to block the suicidal escape route give a unique perspective on medieval religion.

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A group of men dig a tunnel under the threshold of a house. Then they go and fetch a heavy, sagging object from inside the house, pull it out through the tunnel, and put it on a cow-hide to be dragged off and thrown into the offal-pit. Why should the corpse of a suicide - for that is what itis - have earned this unusual treatment? In T...

Alexander Murray is at University College, London.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:662 pagesPublished:April 3, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199553181

ISBN - 13:9780199553181

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Table of Contents

Practice1. The Body2. The PropertyTheory: the Written Inheritance3. Religion4. Philosophy5. LawTheory: The Medieval Contribution6. Theology: The Age of Reticence7. Theology: Suicide Discovered8. Canonists and Jurists9. Occasional Theology10. Judas11. The Sin of DespairThe Roots of Taboo: Pollution and the Community12. Intention without Act13. Act without Intention14. The Community as JudgeThe Roots of Taboo: The Unwritten Inheritance15. The Curse in Antiquity16. The Curse in Other Cultures

Editorial Reviews

"Book of the year chosen by Eric Christiansen" The Spectator