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Sanctuary and Crime in the Middle Ages, 400-1500


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About the Author

Karl Shoemaker is Associate Professor of History and Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


"Shoemaker's excellent study elucidates the origins and successive transformations of sanctuary as a central institution of premodern criminal justice. A work of great sweep and acuity, Sanctuary and Crime effectively bridges the history of values, ideas and practices--legal, political, religious and social. Focusing first on early Continental developments and then on the Anglo-Saxon implementation and later English domestication and eventual abolition of sanctuary, Shoemaker has fashioned an intelligent analysis of the institution itself and an original and challenging argument regarding the evolution of criminal justice across a millennium and more." -- -Thomas A. Green University of Michigan "Shoemaker's manuscript provides an impressive reconsideration of a long neglected but very important topic in medieval history, the sanctuary given to criminals (and debtors) in churches." -- Thomas Hughes University of Miami "This excellent monograph provides a long-needed reinterpretation of sanctuary laws. Shoemaker's study shows remarkable range, covering over 1000 years and a variety of legal traditions. His work dovetails with other recent scholarship that explores the political logic of non-centralized governments." -- -Martha Newman University of Texas

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