Religious Education in Thirteenth-Century England

The Creed and Articles of Faith


Author: Andrew Reeves
In Religious Education in Thirteenth-Century England, Andrew Reeves examines how laypeople in a largely illiterate and oral culture learned the basic doctrines of the Christian religion. Although lay religious life is often assumed to have been a tissue of ignorance and superstition, this study shows basic religious training to have been broadly available to laity and clergy alike.
Reeves examines the nature, availability and circulation of sermon manuscripts as well as guidebooks to Christian teachings written for both clergy and literate laypeople. He shows that under the direction of a vigorous and reforming episcopate and aided by the preaching of the friars, clergy had a readily available toolkit to instruct their lay flocks.

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Andrew Reeves, Ph.D. (2009), University of Toronto, is a history professor at Middle Georgia State College. He has published several articles dealing with religious life in medieval England.
"This is a pleasing monograph that teems with valuable information about the Church’s pastoral strategy and its desire to communicate a wholesome message to parishioners throughout the country. It will be useful for anyone who wishes to know more about pastoral aids that proliferated in the thirteenth century."
- Michael Robson in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 68, issue 1 (2017).
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
1 Theological and Historical Background 1
2 Bishops, Synods, and Diocesan Clergy 27
An Episcopal Program of (Moral and Dogmatic) Reform 27
The Synod 31
The Statutes—Circulation 37
The Statutes—Content 39
Treatises Issued by Bishops 46
Comparison to French Statutes 53
Synodalia and the literature of Preaching 56
3 Preaching: Parish Priests and Canons Regular 57
The Parish Priest and His Preaching 59
Richard of Wetheringsett’s Qui bene praesunt 67
The Sermons of Maurice de Sully 74
Circulation—Maurice’s Sermons and Qui bene praesunt 78
The Canons Regular and the Circulation of Maurice’s Sermons
and Qui bene praesunt 82
Conclusions 87
4 Preaching: The Friars 89
The Dominicans 92
William Peraldus—Circulation of His Writings 97
Peraldus on Faith and the Doctrinal Content of his Sermons 100
The Franciscans 110
Circulation of the Sermons and De articulis fidei of John of la
Rochelle 115
Conclusions on Mendicant Teaching and Preaching 128
5 Vernacular Religious Literature 130
The Mirour de Seinte Egylse 136
The Château d’amour 141
The Manuel des Pechez 147
Cultural Context and Reception of the Mirour, Château,
and Manuel 150
Conclusions 158
6 Beyond Verbal Instruction: Liturgy, Art, and Architecture 160
The Liturgy in Its Context 165
Art and Liturgy in the Parish Church 170
Conclusions 177
Appendix: The Creed and Articles of Faith as Set out by Various
Authors 182
Bibliography 185
Index of Authors and Titles 207
Index of Manuscripts 208
Index of Subjects 209
Readers interested in the medieval Church, to include scholars of Church history (particularly sermon studies), undergraduates, and educated laypeople; research university libraries; anyone interested in medieval England.