The unorthodox imagination in late medieval Britain explores how medieval people responded to images, stories, beliefs and practices which were at odds with the normative world view, from the heretical and subversive to the marvellous and exotic. The chapter by Jean-Claude Schmitt examines why some unorthodox images were viewed as provocative and threatening and explores how successfully ecclesiastical authorities contained their impact.
The power of unorthodoxy to provoke wonder, scepticism or disapproval provides an opportunity to view medieval culture from fresh perspectives.
The essays in this volume show that unorthodoxy was embedded in mainstream medieval culture, from stories of fairies and witches which promoted orthodox moral values to the social conformity of practitioners of ritual magic. This book provides a guide to understanding medieval unorthodoxy and the roles played by experience and imagination in medieval encounters with the unorthodox.
It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the exotic, provocative and deviant in medieval culture. -- .