Book Review: Medieval Christianity by Kevin Madigan

It’s a little awkward to give this book a star rating, because it’s kind of more like a textbook than a book one normally reads for pleasure or even to learn from in a casual historical context. But all that said, I got a lot out of Medieval Christianity.

My greatest interest  as it relates to Christianity is in the very earliest church, the origins, beginning with Peter, Paul, James and the others. But what really struck me about Madigan’s history  was the way it filled in the gap between Constantine and Martin Luther. By reflecting on a variety of movements – including the Franciscans, the Dominicans and the Benedectines, as well as numerous other movements during the period from about 300 CE to 1500 CE – Madigan gave me insights about both the origins of Christianity and the nature of the movement today.

Yes, this is a bit of a text book, but the writing is very clear and accessible. One needn’t be a scholar to appreciate it, and indeed a lay person like myself can get a very thorough picture of the full nature of Christianity. I couldn’t recommend it for casual reading, but if you truly want to understand Christianity, this book can be a great help.