Paperback ISBN: 9780687096718$37.99 Show Buy
E-Book ISBN: 9781426730078$37.99 Show Buy
Published December 2001
This volume provides an anthology of about 40 primary source documents that describe the work of religious communities that took care of pilgrims and the sick in the late antique and early medieval world. The project identifies letters, diary accounts, instructions, sermons, travelogues, and community records and rules that give us a window into a world of early communities that saw it as their duty and their privilege to care for the sick, to safeguard the pilgrim, and to host the stranger. Each document is placed in historical, geographical, and social context as it contributes to an emerging picture of these communities. The volume addresses the motivations and practices of communities that risked extending hospitality. Why did these communities take great risks for the socially vulnerable? What stake did they have in pilgrims and the sick? What communal experiences supported and sustained both the communities and their audiences? How was hospitality cultivated?