Personal Memory, Collective Testimony and Masculinity in the Late Medieval Church Court of York
Marginalia, Vol. 5 (2007)
For churchmen and the Christian laity alike, time pertained not merely to daily life but provided the framework within which events transpired in concurrence with God’s will. The Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 increased the importance of introspection in the lives of many medieval parishioners for whom internal contemplation did not cease once confession had been made. Individuals questioned in the Church court experienced a similar process of introspection when called to account on their memory of past events. However, spiritual concerns were often forgotten by witnesses, who in fact produced their testimony in accordance with a communal narrative.