Scholarship has recognized fifteenth-century speculative thinker Nicholas of Cusa for his early contributions to conciliar theory, but not his later ecclesiastical career as cardinal, residential bishop, preacher, and reformer. Richard Serina shows that, as bishop in the Tyrolese diocese of Brixen from 1452 to 1458, and later as resident cardinal in Rome, Nicolas of Cusa left a testament to his view of reform in the sermons he preached to monks, clergy, and laity. These 171 sermons, in addition to his Reformatio generalis of 1459, reflect an intellectual coming to terms with the challenge of reform in the late medieval church, and in response creatively incorporating metaphysics, mystical theology, ecclesiology, and personal renewal into his preaching of reform.
Inquisition, Theology, and Papal Policy in the Time of Jacques Fournier
In Defining Heresy, Irene Bueno investigates the theories and practices of anti-heretical repression in the first half of the fourteenth century, focusing on the figure of Jacques Fournier/Benedict XII (c.1284-1342). Throughout his career as a bishop-inquisitor in Languedoc, theologian, and, eventually, pope at Avignon, Fournier made a multi-faceted contribution to the fight against religious dissent. Making use of judicial, theological, and diplomatic sources, the book sheds light on the multiplicity of methods, discourses, and textual practices mobilized to define the bounds of heresy at the end of the Middle Ages. The integration of these commonly unrelated areas of evidence reveals the intellectual and political pressures that inflected the repression of heretics and dissidents in the peculiar context of the Avignon papacy.
Six kalām texts by ‘Abd Allāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī
Edited by Wilferd Madelung and Abdulrahman Al-Salimi
Early Ibāḍī Theology presents the critical edition of six Arabic theological texts recently discovered in two manuscripts in Mzāb in Algeria dating from the middle of the 8th century. The texts were sent by their author, the prominent Kūfan Ibāḍī kalām theologian ‘Abd Allāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī to North Africa where he had a large following in the Ibāḍī community later known as the Nukkār. They constitute the earliest extant body of Muslim kalām theology and are vital for the study of the initial development of rational theology in Islam. The sophisticated treatment of the divine attributes in these texts indicates that this subject developed considerably earlier in Islamic theology than previously accepted in modern scholarship.