Runaway religious were monks, canons and friars who had taken vows of religion and who, with benefit of neither permission nor dispensation and for myriad reasons, fled their monasteries and returned to a life in the world, usually replacing the religious habit with lay clothes. Not only the normal tugs of the world drew them away: other less obvious yet equally human motives, such as boredom, led to a return to the world. The church pursued them with her severest penalty, excommunication, in the express hope that penalties would lead to the return of the straying sheep. This book is the first to tell their story.
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