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Richard J. Serina

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.

Defining Heresy

Inquisition, Theology, and Papal Policy in the Time of Jacques Fournier

Series:

Irene Bueno

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.

Religious Education in Thirteenth-Century England

The Creed and Articles of Faith

Series:

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.

Series:

Edited by Philipp W. Rosemann

The work published in this third, and final, volume of Brill’s handbook on the tradition of the Book of Sentences breaks new ground in three ways. First, several chapters contribute to the debate concerning the meaning of medieval authority and authorship. For some of the most influential literature on the Sentences consisted of study aids and compilations that were derivative or circulated anonymously. Consequently, the volume also sheds light on theological education “on the ground”—the kind of teaching that was dispensed by the average master and received by the average student. Finally, the contributors show that Peter Lombard’s textbook played a much more dynamic role in later medieval theology than hitherto assumed. The work remained a force to be reckoned with until at least the sixteenth century, especially in the Iberian Peninsula.
Contributors are Claire Angotti, Monica Brinzei, Franklin T. Harkins, Severin V. Kitanov, Lidia Lanza, Philipp W. Rosemann, Chris Schabel, John T. Slotemaker, Marco Toste, Jeffrey C. Witt, and Ueli Zahnd.