Murdering Souls and Killing Bodies: Understanding Spiritual and Physical Sin in Late-Medieval English Devotional Works

  • Philippa MaddernEmail author
Part of the Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind book series (SHPM, volume 15)


This chapter argues that writers of late-medieval English vernacular literature—medical, scientific, theological, homiletic, dramatic, devotional and didactic—maintained and developed a subtle and complex understanding of the body and the soul as essentially and radically unlike in characteristics and nature, yet simultaneously bound together in indissoluble relationship to create individual human identities. Yet this relationship itself was not seen as unchanging; writers introduced intriguing inversions and anomalies into their accounts of soul-body identities and relationships by posing them in the context of the long and changing histories of individual and human-wide salvation or damnation.


Corporeal Spiritual Intellect Flesh Resurrection 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARC Centre for the History of Emotions 1100-1800The University of Western Australia (M208)PerthAustralia

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