ISBN : 9780198797609
Visions of Kinship in Medieval Europe offers a new and wide-ranging examination of kinship in medieval Europe. It explores the origins of kinship studies in the nineteenth century, the ancient philosophical traditions that influenced the social thought of pre-modern Europe, and how kinship was perceived and experienced in early Europe between the late Roman Empire and the twelfth century. It critiques the modern Western biogenetic assumptions underpinning kinship studies since the nineteenth century, and charts an innovative ethnographic approach inspired by recent anthropological work that privileges indigenous expressions of kinship. When seen from the perspective of natives, kinship in the Middle Ages was never an elementary or primitive form of social organization rooted in biology; rather, it flowed from convictions about the divine source of all things and the love that bound humanity together in common purpose. This study should appeal to people interested in the history of
Part I: Unwinding
1 The Modernity of Kinship
2 Germanist Scholarship and the Kinship Enterprise
3 Disambiguation in the Twentieth Century
Part II: Rewinding
4 The Made and the Given, the Carnal and the Spiritual
5 Kinship in the City
Part III: Revealing
6 The Sanctity of Kinship
7 'More Noble by Sanctity'
8 The Nature of Things
9 Families in Trust
10 'The Genealogical Unity of Mankind'
Conclusion: The Magic of Kinship