Search results for: studies-in-the-transmission-of-wyclifs-writings

Studies in the Transmission of Wyclif s Writings

Author : Anne Hudson
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Wyclif's ideas caused a major upheaval both in the country of his birth and in the Bohemian area of central Europe; that upheaval affected theological, ecclesiastical and political developments from the late 14th to the early 16th centuries. Some of those ideas were transmitted orally through Wyclif's university teaching in Oxford, and in his preaching in London and Lutterworth, but the main medium through which his message was disseminated was the written word, using the universal western language of Latin. The papers in this collection look at aspects of that dissemination, from the organization and revision of Wyclif's works to form a summa of his ideas, the techniques devised to identify and make accessible his multifarious writings, the attempts of the orthodox clerical establishment to destroy them, through to the fortunes of his texts in the Reformation period; manuscripts written in England and those copied abroad, mostly in Bohemia, are considered. Although most of the papers have been published previously, a new edition of the important Hussite catalogue of Wyclif's writings is provided, and three lengthy sections contribute new material and additions and corrections to previous listings of Wyclif manuscripts.

John Wyclif

Author : Sean A. Otto
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John Wyclif has been a controversial figure since his own time, often dividing opinion between devoted followers and intransigent opponents. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there was already a developing mythos about him, and he was variously used as a symbol of heretical depravity or of valorous defense of the gospel. The Reformation calcified opinions, and the two subsequent centuries did not see much development. The nineteenth century marked the beginning of important changes in scholarly opinion, with confessional approaches weakening and giving way to greater objectivity. This trend was strengthened by the emergence of a professional class of historians around the turn of the twentieth century, but the established confessional biases were not quickly done away with until the postwar period. Today, confessional mythmaking is gone and the goal is no longer to show why one particular branch of Christianity is correct, but to present as accurate a picture as possible of the past. As the concerns of the twentieth century give way to those of the twenty-first, it is encouraging that there are still new things to be learned about the past, new ways of seeing and engaging, even with figures so well studied as Wyclif.

The Middle English Bible

Author : Henry Ansgar Kelly
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In the last quarter of the fourteenth century, the complete Old and New Testaments were translated from Latin into English, first very literally, and then revised into a more fluent, less Latinate style. This outstanding achievement, the Middle English Bible, is known by most modern scholars as the "Wycliffite" or "Lollard" Bible, attributing it to followers of the heretic John Wyclif. Prevailing scholarly opinion also holds that this Bible was condemned and banned by the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel, at the Council of Oxford in 1407, even though it continued to be copied at a great rate. Indeed, Henry Ansgar Kelly notes, it was the most popular work in English of the Middle Ages and was frequently consulted for help in understanding Scripture readings at Sunday Mass. In The Middle English Bible: A Reassessment, Kelly finds the bases for the Wycliffite origins of the Middle English Bible to be mostly illusory. While there were attempts by the Lollard movement to appropriate or coopt it after the fact, the translation project, which appears to have originated at the University of Oxford, was wholly orthodox. Further, the 1407 Council did not ban translations but instead mandated that they be approved by a local bishop. It was only in the early sixteenth century, in the years before the Reformation, that English translations of the Bible would be banned.

Lollards in the English Reformation

Author : Susan Royal
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This book examines the afterlife of the lollard movement, demonstrating how it was shaped and used by evangelicals and seventeenth-century Protestants. It focuses on the work of John Foxe, whose influential Acts and Monuments (1563) reoriented the lollards from heretics and traitors to martyrs and model subjects, portraying them as Protestants’ ideological forebears. It is a scholarly mainstay that Foxe edited radical lollard views to bring them in line with a mainstream monarchical church. But this book offers a strong corrective to the argument, revealing that the subversive material present in Foxe’s text allowed seventeenth-century religious radicals to appropriate the lollards as historical validation of their own theological and political positions. The book argues that the same lollards who were used to strengthen the English church in the sixteenth century would play a role in its fragmentation in the seventeenth.

The Wycliffite Bible Origin History and Interpretation

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The Wycliffite Bible: Origin, History and Interpretation offers new perspectives and research by leading scholars on the first complete translation of the Bible into English produced at the end of the 14th century by the followers of John Wyclif.

Feeling Like Saints

Author : Fiona Somerset
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"Lollard" is the name given to followers of John Wyclif, the English dissident theologian who was dismissed from Oxford University in 1381 for his arguments regarding the eucharist. A forceful and influential critic of the ecclesiastical status quo in the late fourteenth century, Wyclif’s thought was condemned at the Council of Constance in 1415. While lollardy has attracted much attention in recent years, much of what we think we know about this English religious movement is based on records of heresy trials and anti-lollard chroniclers. In Feeling Like Saints, Fiona Somerset demonstrates that this approach has limitations. A better basis is the five hundred or so manuscript books from the period (1375–1530) containing materials translated, composed, or adapted by lollard writers themselves. These writings provide rich evidence for how lollard writers collaborated with one another and with their readers to produce a distinctive religious identity based around structures of feeling. Lollards wanted to feel like saints. From Wyclif they drew an extraordinarily rigorous ethic of mutual responsibility that disregarded both social status and personal risk. They recalled their commitment to this ethic by reading narratives of physical suffering and vindication, metaphorically martyring themselves by inviting scorn for their zeal, and enclosing themselves in the virtues rather than the religious cloister. Yet in many ways they were not that different from their contemporaries, especially those with similar impulses to exceptional holiness.

A Companion to Lollardy

Author : Mishtooni Bose
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In A Companion to Lollardy, Patrick Hornbeck sums up what we know about lollardy, describes, its fortunes in the hands of its most recent chroniclers, explores the many individuals, practices, texts, and beliefs that have been called lollard.

Middle English Texts in Transition

Author : Simon Horobin
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Fresh contributions to the study of medieval manuscripts, texts, and their creators.

The Gawain Poet and the Fourteenth Century English Anticlerical Tradition

Author : Ethan Campbell
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Ethan Campbell argues that a central feature of the Gawain-poet's Middle English works' moral rhetoric is anticlerical critique. Written in an era when clerical corruption was a key concern for polemicists such as Richard FitzRalph and John Wyclif, as well as satirical poets such as John Gower, William Langland, and Geoffrey Chaucer, the Gawain poems feature an explicit attack on hypocritical priests in the opening lines of Cleanness as well as more subtle critiques embedded within depictions of flawed priest-like characters.

Jerome of Prague and the Foundations of the Hussite Movement

Author : Thomas A. Fudge
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The life and work of Jerome of Prague have been overlooked outside Czech historiography, but represent an important chapter in the understanding of late medieval European history. Thomas A. Fudge makes a case for the central importance of Jerome, peer of Jan Hus, by reconstructing his biography using the original Latin and Czech sources and drawing significantly upon German, French, English, and Czech scholarship. The book traces the development of Jerome's life, paying special attention to the controversies he caused at the universities of Paris, Cologne, Heidelberg, Vienna, and Prague. Of particular note are the two heresy trials in which he was a defendant (Vienna 1410-12 and Constance 1415-16). Fudge situates Jerome within the philosophical conflicts of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. He argues that Jerome is not only an important component in the intellectual history of the Middle Ages, and a leading personality in the church's war on heresy, but is also an essential influence on the development of the Hussite movement in Bohemia. As the Italian humanist Poggio Bracciolini remarked, after hearing Jerome speak at the Council of Constance in 1416, "this was a man to remember." Jerome of Prague and the Foundations of the Hussite Movement brings to life a little known but indisputably significant figure of the late Middle Ages.

The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain

Author : Sian Echard
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Bringing together scholarship on multilingual and intercultural medieval Britain like never before, The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain comprises over 600 authoritative entries spanning key figures, contexts and influences in the literatures of Britain from the fifth to the sixteenth centuries. A uniquely multilingual and intercultural approach reflecting the latest scholarship, covering the entire medieval period and the full tapestry of literary languages comprises over 600 authoritative yet accessible entries on key figures, texts, critical debates, methodologies, cultural and isitroical contexts, and related terminology Represents all the literatures of the British Isles including Old and Middle English, Early Scots, Anglo-Norman, the Norse, Latin and French of Britain, and the Celtic Literatures of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Cornwall Boasts an impressive chronological scope, covering the period from the Saxon invasions to the fifth century to the transition to the Early Modern Period in the sixteenth Covers the material remains of Medieval British literature, including manuscripts and early prints, literary sites and contexts of production, performance and reception as well as highlighting narrative transformations and intertextual links during the period

Essays on Medieval Rhetoric

Author : Martin Camargo
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Originally published between 1981 and 2003, the thirteen essays collected here cover topics in medieval rhetoric from its origins in late antiquity through the end of the Middle Ages. Most of the essays are concerned with the teaching of prose composition, especially the art of letter writing known as the ars dictaminis, and many of them focus on specific textbooks that were used for such instruction, in particular those composed in England from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries. Individual essays are devoted to works by major figures such as Saint Augustine, Peter of Blois, and Geoffrey of Vinsauf; to teaching programmes at important academic centres such as Oxford and Bologna; and to such topics as the relationship between the art of letter writing and the art of poetry, the oral dimension of medieval epistolography, the manuscript traditions of influential textbooks, medieval genre terminology, and the position of medieval rhetoric within a continuous disciplinary history rooted in classical rhetoric.

Jan Hus

Author : Pavel Soukup
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Jan Hus was a late medieval Czech university master and popular preacher who was condemned at the Council of Constance and burned at the stake as a heretic in 1415. Thanks to his contemporary influence and his posthumous fame in the Hussite movement and beyond, Hus has become one of the best known figures of the Czech past and one of the most prominent reformers of medieval Europe as a whole. This definitive biography now available in English opposes the view of Hus that saw his importance primarily as a martyr, subsequently invoked by a variety of religious, national, and political groups eager to appropriate his legacy. Looking for Hus’s significance in his own time, this treatment tells a story of a late medieval intellectual who—through his dedicated pursuit of what he understood as his mission—generated conflict and eventually brought execution upon himself. By investigating the life and death of Jan Hus, one learns not only about the man, but about the church, state, and society in late medieval Europe. The story told in this book is original in structure and purpose. Each chapter takes a major event in Hus’s life as a starting point for a broader discussion of crucial problems connected to his career and the controversies he generated. How did these specific events contribute to Hus’s own convictions? By suggesting parallels to and departures from other late medieval figures and events in Europe, the book liberates Hus from a narrow and nationalist Czech historiography and places him squarely in a broader European context, showing a significance that transcended Czech borders. From a number of different vantage points, it raises a central question critical to understanding the later Middle Ages: why was a sincere ecclesiastical reformer condemned by a church council committed to reform itself?

Against the Friars

Author : Tim Rayborn
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The friars represented a remarkable innovation in medieval religious life. Founded in the early 13th century, the Franciscans and Dominicans seemed a perfect solution to the Church's troubles in confronting rapid changes in society. They attracted enthusiastic support, especially from the papacy, to which they answered directly. In their first 200 years, membership grew at an astonishing rate, and they became counsellors to princes and kings, receiving an endless stream of donations and gifts. Yet there were those who believed the adulation was misguided or even dangerous, and who saw in the friars' actions only hypocrisy, deceit, greed and even signs of the end of the world. From the mid-13th century, writings appeared denouncing and mocking the friars and calling for their abolition. Their French and English opponents were among the most vocal. From harsh theological criticism and outrage at the Inquisition to vulgar tales and bathroom humor, this thoroughly documented work is suitable for the newcomer, as well as for readers who are familiar with the subject but might like to investigate specific topics in more detail.

Learning to Die in London 1380 1540

Author : Amy Appleford
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Taking as her focus a body of writings in poetic, didactic, and legal modes that circulated in England's capital between the 1380s—just a generation after the Black Death—and the first decade of the English reformation in the 1530s, Amy Appleford offers the first full-length study of the Middle English "art of dying" (ars moriendi). An educated awareness of death and mortality was a vital aspect of medieval civic culture, she contends, critical not only to the shaping of single lives and the management of families and households but also to the practices of cultural memory, the building of institutions, and the good government of the city itself. In fifteenth-century London in particular, where an increasingly laicized reformist religiosity coexisted with an ambitious program of urban renewal, cultivating a sophisticated attitude toward death was understood as essential to good living in the widest sense. The virtuous ordering of self, household, and city rested on a proper attitude toward mortality on the part both of the ruled and of their secular and religious rulers. The intricacies of keeping death constantly in mind informed not only the religious prose of the period, but also literary and visual arts. In London's version of the famous image-text known as the Dance of Death, Thomas Hoccleve's poetic collection The Series, and the early sixteenth-century prose treatises of Tudor writers Richard Whitford, Thomas Lupset, and Thomas More, death is understood as an explicitly generative force, one capable (if properly managed) of providing vital personal, social, and literary opportunities.

Pages from the Past

Author : M.B. Parkes
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In the present collection of articles by Malcolm Parkes two overarching concerns emerge: the palaeography of manuscript books in relation to what Parkes has previously called the 'grammar of legibility'; and the importance of considering the circumstances in which medieval books were produced, copied and read. The individual studies discuss the handwriting of individual scribes, and the evidence script can provide of the circumstances of a book's production, the effect of punctuation and layout of text on the reader's interpretation of a work, and the provision and production of books for communities of readers, both clerical and academic. From a discussion of the scribe of the Hereford Mappa Mundi to a comprehensive study of book provision in the medieval University of Oxford, a wealth of information is conveyed in these articles, now conveniently accessible in one volume, about books and their histories by one of the most knowledgeable of manuscript scholars today.

English Poets in the Late Middle Ages

Author : John A. Burrow
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This volume brings together a selection of lectures and essays in which J.A. Burrow discusses the work of English poets of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries: Chaucer, Gower, Langland, and Hoccleve, as well as the anonymous authors of Pearl, Saint Erkenwald, and a pair of metrical romances. Six of the pieces address general issues, with some reference to French and Italian writings ('Autobiographical Poetry in the Middle Ages', for example, or 'The Poet and the Book'); but most of them concentrate on particular English poems, such as Chaucer's Envoy to Scogan, Gower's Confessio Amantis, Langland's Piers Plowman, and Hoccleve's Series. Although some of the essays take account of the poet's life and times ('Chaucer as Petitioner', 'Hoccleve and the 'Court''), most are mainly concerned with the meaning and structure of the poems. What, for example, does the hero of Ipomadon hope to achieve by fighting, as he always does, incognito? Why do the stories in Piers Plowman all peter out so inconclusively? And how can it be that the narrator in Chaucer's Book of the Duchess so persistently fails to understand what he is told?

Preachers Partisans and Rebellious Religion

Author : Marcela K. Perett
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In early fifteenth-century Prague, disagreements about religion came to be shouted in the streets and taught to the laity in the vernacular, giving rise to a new kind of public engagement that would persist into the early modern era and beyond. The reforming followers of Jan Hus brought theological learning to the people through a variety of genres, including songs, poems, tractates, letters, manifestos, and sermons. At the same time, university masters provided the laity with an education that enabled them to discuss contentious issues and arrive at their own conclusions, emphasizing that they held the freedom to make up their own minds about important theological issues. This marketplace of competing religious ideas in the vernacular emerged in Bohemia a full hundred years before the Reformation. In Preachers, Partisans, and Rebellious Religion, Marcela K. Perett examines the early phases of the so-called Hussite revolution, between 1412, when Jan Hus first radicalized his followers, and 1436, the year of the agreement at the Council of Basel granting papal permission for the ritual practice of the Utraquist, or moderate Hussite, faction to continue. These were years during which the leaders of competing reform movements needed to garner the laity's support and employed the vernacular for that purpose, translating and simplifying basic theological arguments about the Bible, the church's ritual practice, and authority in the church. Perett illustrates that the vernacular discourse, even if it revolved around the same topics, was nothing like the Latin debates on the issues, often appealing to emotion rather than doctrinal positions. In the end, as Preachers, Partisans, and Rebellious Religion demonstrates, the process of vernacularization increased rather than decreased religious factionalism and radicalism as agreement about theological issues became impossible.

Medieval St Andrews

Author : Michael Brown
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First extended treatment of the city of St Andrews during the middle ages.

From England to Bohemia

Author : Michael Van Dussen
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This is the first book-length study of the influential cultural and religious exchanges which took place between England and Bohemia following Richard II's marriage to Anne of Bohemia in 1382. The ensuing growth in communication between the two kingdoms initially enabled new ideas of religion to flourish in both countries but eventually led the English authorities to suppress heresy. This exciting project has been made possible by the discovery of new manuscripts after the opening up of Czech archives over the past twenty years. It is the only study to analyze the Lollard-Hussite exchange with an eye to the new opportunities for international travel and correspondence to which the Great Schism gave rise, and examines how the use of propaganda and The Council of Constance brought an end to this communication by securing the condemnation of heretics such as John Wyclif.