For all the proud accomplishments of its last decades, the study of premodern Christianity continues to bruise its shins against the problem of "belief." New categorical explanations of religious belief repeatedly and inadvertently prove identical with old explanations; more oddly, so do categorical refusals to explain it. The fallacy lies in thinking that belief can be categorically identified in the first place. But recognition of the fallacy does not leave us stymied. A short theoretical discussion of St. Thomas Aquinas and a longer reading of the Life of Christina of Markyate suggest how belief may be historically discussed without being unhistorically cartooned.
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