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Joachim of Fiore (c.1135-1202) remains one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures of medieval Christianity. In his own time, he was an influential advisor to the mighty and powerful, widely respected for his prophetic exegesis and decoding of the apocalypse. In modern times, many thinkers, from Thomas Müntzer to Friedrich Engels, have hailed him as a prophet of progress and revolution. Even present-day theologians, philosophers and novelists were inspired by Joachim’s vision of a Third Age of the Holy Spirit.

However, at no time was Joachim an uncontroversial figure. Soon after his death, the church authorities became suspicious about the explosive potential of his theology, while more recently historians held him accountable for the fateful progressivism of Western Civilization.

Contributors are: Frances Andrews, Valeria De Fraja, Alfredo Gatto, Peter Gemeinhardt, Sven Grosse, Massimo Iiritano, Bernard McGinn, Matthias Riedl, and Brett Edward Whalen.

The last twenty-five years have seen an explosion of scholarly studies on lollardy, the late medieval religious phenomenon that has often been credited with inspiring the English Reformation. In A Companion to Lollardy, Patrick Hornbeck sums up what we know about lollardy and what have been its fortunes in the hands of its most recent chroniclers. This volume describes trends in the study of lollardy and explores the many individuals, practices, texts, and beliefs that have been called lollard.

Joined by Mishtooni Bose and Fiona Somerset, Hornbeck assesses how scholars and polemicists, literary critics and ecclesiastics have defined lollardy and evaluated its significance, showing how lollardy has served as a window on religion, culture, and society in late medieval England.
Editor: Christian Rode
This volume collects twelve chapters that present the multifaceted responses to the works of the William of Ockham in Oxford, Paris, Italy, and at the papal court in Avignon in the 14th century, and it assembles contributions on philosophers and theologians who all have criticized Ockham’s works at different points. In individual case studies it gives an exemplary overview over the reactions the Venerable Inceptor has provoked and also serves to better understand Ockham’s thought in its historical context. The topics range from ontology, psychology, theory of cognition, epistemology, and natural science to ethics and political philosophy. This volume demonstrates that the reactions to Ockham’s philosophy and theology were manifold, but one particular kind of reception is missing: unanimous approval.

Contributors include Fabrizio Amerini, Stephen F. Brown, Nathaniel Bulthuis, Stefano Caroti, Laurent Cesalli, Alessandro D. Conti, Thomas Dewender, Isabel Iribarren, Isabelle Mandrella, Aurélien Robert, Christian Rode, and Sonja Schierbaum
Discourses and Strategies of Observance and Pastoral Engagement
This volume deals with the transformative force of Observant reforms during the long fifteenth century, and with the massive literary output by Observant religious, a token of a profound pastoral professionalization that provided religious and lay people alike with encompassing models of religious perfection, as well as with new tools to shape their religious identity. The essays in this work contend that these models and tools had an ongoing effect far into the sixteenth century (on all sides of the emerging confessional divide). At the same time, the controversies surrounding Observant reforms resulted in new sensibilities with regard to religious practices and religious nomenclature, which would fuel many of the early sixteenth-century controversies.
Contributors are Michele Camaioni, Anna Campbell, Fabrizio Conti, Anna Dlabačová, Sylvie Duval, Koen Goudriaan, Emily Michelson, Alison More, Bert Roest, Anne Thayer, Johanneke Uphoff, Alessandro Vanoli, Ludovic Viallet, and Martina Wehrli-Johns.
In: Religious Orders and Religious Identity Formation, ca. 1420-1620
In A Companion to Priesthood and Holy Orders in the Middle Ages, a select group of scholars explain the rise and function of priests and deacons in the Middle Ages. Though priests were sometimes viewed through the lens of function, the medieval priesthood was also defined ontologically–those marked by God who performed the sacraments and confected the Eucharist.

While their role grew in importance, medieval priests continued to fulfil the role of preacher, confessor and provider of pastoral care. As the concept of ordination changed theologically the practices and status of bishops, priests and deacons continued to be refined, with many of these medieval discussions continuing to the present day.
In: Religious Orders and Religious Identity Formation, ca. 1420-1620