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Then, in the 12th century, the elaboration of the theology of penance helped create a notion of purgatory as a place to complete penances unfinished in this life. By the 12th century, the process of purification had acquired the Latin name, " purgatorium ", from the verb purgare : to purge. Medievalist Jacques Le Goff defines the "birth of purgatory", i.

What is purgatory

Augustine and Gregory the Great, to have contributed significantly to the birth of purgatory in the sense of a physical place. While the idea of purgatory as a process of cleansing thus dated back to early Christianity, the 12th century was the heyday of medieval otherworld-journey narratives such as the Irish Visio Tnugdali , and of pilgrims' tales about St. Patrick's Purgatory , a cavelike entrance to purgatory on a remote island in Ireland.

Other legends localized the entrance to Purgatory in places such as a cave on the volcanic Mount Etna in Sicily. What has been called the classic formulation of the doctrine of purgatory, namely the means by which any unforgiven guilt of venial sins is expiated and punishment for any kind of sins is borne, is attributed to Thomas Aquinas [6] although he ceased work on his Summa Theologica before reaching the part in which he would have dealt with Purgatory, which is treated in the "Supplement" added after his death. According to Aquinas and the other scholastics, the dead in purgatory are at peace because they are sure of salvation, and may be helped by the prayers of the faithful and especially the offering of the Eucharist , because they are still part of the Communion of Saints , from which only those in hell or limbo are excluded.

Dogmatic definition of purgatory was given in the First Council of Lyon declared that, on Scriptural grounds and because the Greeks too "are said to believe and to affirm that the souls of those who after a penance has been received yet not performed, or who, without mortal sin yet die with venial and slight sin, can be cleansed after death and can be helped by the suffrages of the Church, we, since they say a place of purgation of this kind has not been indicated to them with a certain and proper name by their teachers, we indeed, calling it purgatory according to the traditions and authority of the Holy Fathers , wish that in the future it be called by that name in their area.

For in that transitory fire certainly sins, though not criminal or capital, which before have not been remitted through penance but were small and minor sins, are cleansed, and these weigh heavily even after death, if they have been forgiven in this life. Through theology, literature, and indulgences, purgatory became central to late medieval religion [6] and became associated with indulgences and other penitential practices, such as fasting. This was another step in the development of this doctrine. See also: Anima sola , Gertrude the Great , Sabbatine privilege.

The Eastern Orthodox Church holds that "there is a state beyond death where believers continue to be perfected and led to full divinization". The decrees of the Council, which contained no reference to fire and, without using the word "purgatory" "purgatorium" , spoke only of "pains of cleansing" "poenis purgatoriis" , [46] were rejected at the time by the Eastern churches but formed the basis on which certain Eastern communities were later received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

In effecting full communion between the Roman Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church by the Union of Brest , the two agreed, "We shall not debate about purgatory, but we entrust ourselves to the teaching of the Holy Church. During the Protestant Reformation , certain Protestant theologians developed a view of salvation soteriology that excluded purgatory.

This was in part a result from a doctrinal change concerning justification and sanctification on the part of the reformers. In Catholic theology, one is made righteous by a progressive infusion of divine grace accepted through faith and cooperated with through good works; however, in Martin Luther 's doctrine, justification rather meant "the declaring of one to be righteous", where God imputes the merits of Christ upon one who remains without inherent merit.

Thus, Protestant soteriology developed the view that each one of the elect saved experienced instantaneous glorification upon death. As such, there was little reason to pray for the dead. Luther wrote in Question No. Likewise, John Calvin , central theologian of Reformed Protestantism , considered purgatory a superstition, writing in his Institutes 5. Not supported by ancient writers, by Scripture, or solid argument. Introduced by custom and a zeal not duly regulated by the word of God… we must hold by the word of God, which rejects this fiction.

In response to Protestant Reformation critics, the Council of Trent reaffirmed purgatory as already taught by the First Council of Lyon, confining itself to the concepts of purification after death and the efficacy of prayers for the dead.

Le Goff Jacques the Birth of Purgatory

Anglican apologist C. Lewis gave as an example of this speculation, which he interpreted as what the Church of England 's Thirty-Nine Articles , XXII meant by "the Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory", [54] the depiction of the state of purgatory as just a temporary hell with horrible devils tormenting souls. The etymology of the word "purgatory", he remarked, indicates cleansing, not simply retributive punishment. Lewis declared his personal belief in purgatory, a process of after-death purification.

Later speculations include the idea advocated by Saints Robert Bellarmine and Alphonsus Liguori of asking for the prayers of the souls in purgatory, [6] a notion not accepted by all theologians. Saint Francis de Sales argued that, in the mention in Philippians of every knee bowing at the name of Jesus "in heaven, on earth, and under the earth", "under the earth" was a reference to those in purgatory, since it could not apply to those in hell.


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The Birth of Purgatory - Jacques Le Goff - Google книги

See also: Early Christianity. Main article: Interim state. Pastor I, iii. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5. Adolph Harnack, History of Dogma vol. Colgrave, chapter 26 see also Colgrave's introduction p. Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica 4.

History of purgatory

Vision of Fursa 8. Watkins, "Sin, penance and purgatory in the Anglo-Norman realm: the evidence of visions and ghost stories", in Past and Present May pp. Koslofsky, Reformation of the Dead pp. Koslofsky, Reformation of the Dead p. Retrieved 23 February Cllive Staples Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Baltimore and New York: John Murphy. The Fathers of Purgatory 3. The Fire of Purgatory 5. Purgatory between Sicily and Ireland 7.

The Scholastic Systematization 9. Social Victory: Purgatory and the Cure of Souls Appendix 1. Bibliography of Purgatory Appendix 2.


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