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The Opus arduum valde is a Latin commentary on the Book of Revelation, written in England by an unknown scholarly author in the years 1389–1390. The book originated from the early Wycliffite movement and reflects its experience of persecution in apocalyptic terms. In England it soon fell into oblivion, but was adopted by radical exponents of the fifteenth-century Bohemian Hussites. In the sixteenth century Luther obtained a copy of the Opus arduum valde which he had printed in Wittenberg with his own preface in 1528. This remarkable document of religious dissent in late medieval Europe, highly regarded in Lollard and Hussite studies, is now for the first time made available in a critical edition.
In this 3-volume set of primary sources, Lionel Laborie and Ariel Hessayon bring together a wide range of vital sources for the study of prophecy in the early modern world. This meticulously edited collection includes rare material and fascinating manuscripts published in English for the first time. Volumes are organised geographically, each with its own introduction by a specialist. Together with their respective contributors, they show how prophecies circulated widely throughout this period at all levels of society. Indeed, they often emerged in times of crisis and were delivered as warnings as well as signals of hope. Moreover, they were constantly adapted and translated to suit ever changing contexts – including those for which they had not been originally intended.

Contributors include: Viktoria Franke, Monika Frohnapfel, William Gibson, Mayte Green, Marios Hatzopoulos, Jacqueline Hermann, Ariel Hessayon, Warren Johnston, Lionel Laborie, Adelisa Malena, Andreas Pečar, Martin Pjecha, Michael Riordan, Luís Filipe Silvério Lima, Damien Tricoire, Leslie Tuttle, and Kristine Wirts.
This bilingual edition of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625) provides English readers access to an influential textbook of Reformed Orthodoxy. Composed by four professors at the University of Leiden (Johannes Polyander, Andreas Rivetus, Antonius Walaeus, and Anthonius Thysius), it offers a presentation of Reformed theology as it was conceived in the first decades of the seventeenth century. From a decidedly Reformed perspective, the Christian doctrine is defined in contrast with alternative or diverging views, such as those of Roman Catholics, Arminians, and Socinians. The Synopsis responds to challenges coming from the immediate theological, social, and philosophical contexts. The disputations in this the third volume cover such topics as the sacraments, church discipline, the role of civil authorities, and eschatology. This volume also presents a thorough historical and theological introduction to the whole of the Synopsis.
Author: Harry Vredeveld
As the University of Erfurt collapsed in the early 1520s, Hessus faced losing his livelihood. To cope, he imagined himself a shape-changing Proteus. Transforming first into a lawyer, then a physician, he finally became a teacher at the Nuremberg academy organized by Philip Melanchthon. Volume 5 traces this story via Hessus's poems of 1524-1528: "Some Rules for Preserving Good Health" (1524; 1531), with attached "Praise of Medicine" and two sets of epigrams; "Three Elegies" (1526), two praising the Nuremberg school and one attacking a criticaster; "Venus Triumphant" (1527), with poems on Joachim Camerarius’s wedding; "Against the Hypocrisy of the Monastic Habit" (1527), with four Psalm paraphrases; and "Seventeen Bucolic Idyls" (1528), updating the "Bucolicon" of 1509 and adding five idyls.
This volume in the ASD series (VIII, 1) publishes texts by Erasmus related to the Fathers of the Church. Erasmus himself considered these among his major contributions to Christianity and the Church. He edited many Fathers and wrote Vitae of three theologians: John Chrysostom, Origen and – his most important one – Jerome. He provides portraits of the theologians and his views on them, but also a kind of self-portrait. He even forged a text himself: ‘Cyprian’s De duplici martyrio’. His many editions of the Church Fathers and other theologians contain prefaces which provide us with information about the theologians, and with remarks on Erasmus’ views on them. Thus, we get a clearer understanding of Erasmus and his theology.
Exploration, trade and conquest expanded and upset traditional worldviews of early modern Europeans. Christians saw themselves confronted with a largely heathen world. In the wake of Iberian colonization, Jesuits successfully christianized heathen populations overseas. In his De conversione Indorum et gentilium, Johannes Hoornbeeck presents a systematic overview of every aspect of the missionary imperative from a Reformed Protestant perspective. The most attractive part of his book may be the global survey it offers of the various types of heathens, an early example of comparative religion. Of equal interest, however, is his critical approach to mission. Hoornbeeck rejects ecclesiastical hierarchy and top-down imposition of Christianity. In this he is perfectly orthodox, and at the same time startlingly original and a harbinger of modern missions. His practical recommendations offer a flexible framework for missionaries, to fit a wide variety of circumstances.
Editor: Moshe Sluhovsky
Translator: Patricia M. Ranum
The French mystic Jean-Joseph Surin (1600–65) was the chief exorcist during the infamous demonic possession in Loudun in 1634–37. During the exorcism, a demon entered Surin’s own soul, and the exorcist became demoniac. He spent the following eighteen years of his life mute and paralyzed. All the while his troubled mind conversed with God, and he composed hymns and poems that tried to comprehend his agony. Surin left detailed descriptions of the dramatic events that shaped his life and fascinated his fellow Jesuits. But Surin was also an author of spiritual texts, a spiritual director of souls, a poet, and a prolific correspondent. This volume is the first to offer English readers a comprehensive selection of Surin’s mystical writings.
The Short Discovery (1612) and The Trial of Witchcraft (1616) 
This volume presents, for the first time, a critical edition of the works of the early modern English physician John Cotta. No mere country doctor, Cotta spoke out eloquently and courageously against what he saw as abuses in medicine and injustices in the prosecution of witchcraft. Read by important thinkers such as Robert Burton in England, and by colonial administrators in New England, Cotta helped shape two of the most important debates of his time. Included are the full texts of Cotta’s Short Discovery and The Trial of Witchcraft, both books painstakingly edited and annotated. Also included is a detailed introduction dealing with Cotta’s medical and religious contexts, his extensive learning and much more.
Johann Michael Wansleben’s Travels in the Levant, 1671–1674 is a hitherto unpublished version of a remarkable description of Egypt and the Levant by the German scholar traveller Wansleben, or Vansleb (as he was known in France). He set out for the East in 1671 to collect
manuscripts and antiquities for the French king and also produced the best study of the Copts to have appeared to date. This book recounts his travels in Syria, Turkey and Egypt, his everyday life in Cairo, and his anthropological and archeological discoveries which include the Graeco-Roman Ǧabbārī cemetery in Alexandria, the Roman city of Antinopolis on the Nile, the Coptic monastery of St Anthony on the Red Sea and the Red and White monasteries in Upper Egypt.
Introduction, Translation and Commentary
Author: Paul G. Gwynne
In 1583, five Jesuit brothers set out with the intention of founding a new church and mission in India. Their dream was almost immediately, and brutally, terminated by local opposition. When their massacre was announced in Rome, it was treated as martyrdom. Francesco Benci, professor of rhetoric at the Collegium Romanum, immediately set about celebrating their deaths in a new type of epic, distinct from, yet dependent upon, the classical tradition: Quinque martyres e Societate Iesu in India.
This is the first critical edition and translation of this important text. The commentary highlights both the classical sources and the historical and religious context of the mission. The introduction outlines Benci’s career and stresses his role as the founder of this vibrant new genre.

This volume is the first one for a new subseries in the 'Jesuit Studies' series: 'Jesuit Neo-Latin Library'.