Item Type Digital Resource

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, indulgence is a ‘feature of the penitential system of the Western medieval and the Roman Catholic Church that grants full or partial remission of the punishment of sin’ (Duggan 2020). It is a buy-out-of-sin option that secures the preferential treatment from God and eventually a place in Paradise.

The Catholics believe is that only a few people are sinful enough to descent to hell or virtuous enough to ascent to heaven immediately. The majority find themselves in a grey zone, an ‘intermediate place’, the Purgatory. The Church developed the idea for indulgence in the 12th century, during a period of emergence of cities and a solvent bourgeois class (Duggan 2020). It is based on the power and ‘righteousness of God’ not to leave a sin unpunished. Man must atone or face the punishment – in this world or thereafter but the punishment for sins in the afterlife is decided in Purgatory, upon the balance of sins and good deeds. With a letter of indulgence, the time spent in Purgatory can be shortened. This letter may be acquired for (a) sins already committed, (b) sins only planned in the future, or (c) the deceased.

Authors Denisova-Schmidt, Elena & Krause, Sibylle
Language English
Subjects cultural studies
Date 5 October 2020
Publisher The Global Informality Project
Place of Publication UCL
Official URL
Depositing User Dr. Elena Denisova-Schmidt
Date Deposited 20 Oct 2020 10:56
Last Modified 20 Oct 2020 10:56


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Denisova-Schmidt, Elena & Krause, Sibylle: Indulgence [Blog]. URL: . The Global Informality Project (5 October 2020).

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