A History of Medieval Heresy and Inquisition by Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane

By Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane

In this concise and balanced survey of heresy and inquisition within the center a while, Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane explores the more and more sour encounters among piety, reform, dissent, and the institutional Church among 1100 and 1500. even supposing the loaded phrases of ''heresy'' and ''orthodoxy'' hired through ecclesiastical officers recommend a transparent department among correct and flawed, that department used to be in reality vigorously contested by way of medieval humans in any respect degrees of society. Deane investigates key matters that sparked confrontations among Christians, together with entry to scripture, apostolic versions of poverty and preaching, the Eucharist and sacramental energy, and clerical corruption and wealth. She strains the skill in which Church elites built an more and more complicated set of inquisitorial approaches and assets to spot, label, and repress ''heresy,'' examines many of the neighborhood eruptions of such confrontations throughout medieval Europe, and considers the judicial approaches that introduced many to the stake. The booklet levels from the ''Good Christians'' of Languedoc and Lombardy and the pan-European ''Poor,'' to religious Franciscans, lay spiritual ladies, anticlerical and vernacular pursuits in England and Bohemia, mysticism, magical practices, and witchcraft. all through, Deane considers how the hot inquisitorial bureaucracies not just fueled nervousness over heresy, yet truly generated fictional ''heresies'' via their very own texts and strategies. Incorporating fresh learn and debates within the box, her research brings to existence a compelling factor that profoundly stimulated the medieval world.

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In his letter to Bernard, Prior Eberwin described a group of local people whose unusual religious opinions had brought them to the attention of the greater community. With equal parts dismay and disgust, Eberwin described their behaviors and beliefs. “This is the heresy of those people,” he began: They say that theirs alone is the Church, inasmuch as only they follow in the footsteps of Christ. They continue to be the true imitators of the apostolic life, seeking not those things which are of the world, possessing no house, or lands, or anything of their own, even as Christ had no property nor allowed his disciples the right of possession.

And all of them . . ”21 Female Elect played a variety of roles within Languedocian communities, and it can be difficult (perhaps impossible) to distinguish between personal or family engagements and religious purposes. Good Women traveled for the birth of children, family gatherings, and social visits, but also to preach or provide (or receive) training. Dulcie Faure of Villeneuve-la-Comtal, for example, left her husband to stay with the Good Woman of her own village and later moved to Castelnaudary to a house directed by Blanche of Laurac;22 after another year, she entered formal training at yet another community founded by Blanche in the village of Laurac.

Curving along the Mediterranean coast and pushing inland to the Dordogne River, Languedoc extended west to the Pyrenees and east past Avignon, with a diverse geography ranging from the lush plains of lower Languedoc to the mountainous terrain of Provence between the Pyrenees and Alps. In Languedoc, social and political factors were so deeply interconnected with religious influences as to be virtually inextricable; as bishops, popes, and inquisitors would later discover, rural nobility provided protection for the Good Christians and their followers, support nourished by local solidarity.

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