Middle Ages: The Time Before Happiness

  • Luka ZevnikEmail author


The cardinal aim of this chapter is to argue that within the dominant medieval Christian experience ranging from the fourth to the sixteenth centuries in the strict sense, we cannot speak of happiness. To that end, it analyzes how Christianity established the truth about the ideal of human existence that was marked by the problematization of salvation and why, within the concomitant Christian experience of sin, this ideal wasn’t achievable in the present life. More specifically, the chapter examines the tightly connected issues of original sin and free will, with the help of which it identifies the main inhibitions precluding the ideal of human existence in the Middle Ages to be envisioned in this world.


Original sin Free will Heaven Paradise Experience of sin Christian salvation Pelagianism Glorification of suffering Happiness in the middle ages Happiness and pastoral power Happiness and medieval theology 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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