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Winner of the John Nicholas Brown Prize

19th March 2015

The Medieval Academy of America has announced that Sanctuary and Crime in the Middle Ages, 400-1500, by Karl Shoemaker is the winner of the 2015 John Nicholas Brown Prize!

Sanctuary and Crime in the Middle Ages, 400-1500 traces convincingly, with nuance and acuity, the institution of sanctuary for well over a thousand years—from late pagan Rome to Henry VIII. He successfully challenges the prevailing assumption that sanctuary was primarily a necessary societal response to weak political order, as well as the erroneous impression that its demise in early modern England reflected the era’s anti-papism. Shoemaker’s sweeping overview is richly embellished with engaging narrative detail and provides an original, compelling, and above all convincing account of the evolution of criminal justice in the Western legal tradition over the entire medieval period.