Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Philip Daileader

Committee Members

Lu Ann Homza

Barbara Watkinson


My work reconsiders the division between "elite" and "popular" religion in the high Middle Ages. Against earlier scholars who stressed a deep cultural divide, I argue that the clergy and laity shared much in common in respect to beliefs and practices that illustrate a basic shared worldview, using the texts of thirteenth-century exempla and the Dialogus Miraculorum of Caesarius of Heisterbach in particular. Chapter one gives an overview of the historical context of religion in the thirteenth century, and argues for the lower clergy's role as intermediaries between the institutional Church and the people. Chapter two argues for a unity in belief and perception between the clergy and laity by analyzing stories of demons and saints in the exempla. Chapter three looks at common religious practices inherited from the ancient world and argues that they too suggest a shared worldview.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only