Western European civilization evolved during the medieval centuries when the whole area was converted to Christianity in its Latin Catholic form. This account is an introduction to the religious life of this formative period - but concerned less with history of the institutional Church than with the interaction between the Church and lay society. Christianity and life in the West in the Middle Ages are indissolubly linked - one cannot separate one out from the other. Yet very few people coming to the study of the medieval era bring with them much knowledge of the more fundamental beliefs and practices of the Christian church; fewer still are familiar with the particular forms of Latin Catholicism. Religion in the Medieval West is a key to this largely unfamiliar world, unlocking mysteries of belief and conduct - both orthodox and unorthodox - and providing that additional dimension to our knowledge without which the Middle Ages cannot begin to be understood. This new edition has been updated throughout, and thoroughly reorganized, making it easier to approach and use. New visual evidence has been provided and a glossary of technical terms is included.