Christian dualism originated in the reign of Constans II (641-68). It was a popular religion, which shared with orthodoxy an acceptance of scriptual authority and apostolic tradition and held a sacramental doctrine of salvation, but understood all these in a radically different way to the Orthodox Church. One of the differences was the strong part demonology played in the belief system. This text traces, through original sources, the origins of dualist Christianity throughout the Byzantine Empire, focusing on the Paulician movement in Armenia and Bogomilism in Bulgaria. It presents not only the theological texts, but puts the movements into their social and political context.
As the very foundation of the medieval Church's attitude to the Jews was Scripture, it is proper to begin with some of the texts which particularly influenced the teaching given to Catholics. This chapter includes some verses from the Gospels and from one of Paul's epistles. The extract from John's gospel purports to be part of a dialogue between Jesus and Jewish religious leaders, in which Jesus appears to link Jews in general with the devil, an idea which was to gain great popularity and influence in later periods. In contrast, the passage from Paul's epistle to the Romans gives a much more positive view of the relationship between Jews and non-Jewish Christians, though one which has only recently come to prominence in the teaching of the Churches.
The purpose of this chapter is twofold: to indicate the type of complaint being made against contemporary clerics, and to provide some documents about the hunt for heretics which may help towards an assessment of 'Lollardy'. Given Tenterden's reputation as a hotbed of Lollardy, the charges of absence from church might also be taken as evidence of heretical inclinations. The complaints offered are mainly connected with services and their provision; some of the accusations also relate to claims for tithes. The disruption at Kennington certainly shows some inhabitants at loggerheads with their vicar; but it may be that the parishioners by their complaints against their disruptive fellows are here actually coming to his defence. The authorities were actively responding to the complaints, and where appropriate sought to offer a remedy.
Walter Hilton's Epistle appears a more intense piece, certainly more directly addressed to the reader, and also more advanced in its demands. Hilton's tract on The Mixed Life, probably written even before he entered Thurgarton, shares some of the devotional and spiritual characteristics of the Scale, but operates as an 'eminently practical manual'. Both The Abbey of the Holy Ghost and The Book of the Craft of Dying share other characteristics. The Book of the Craft of Dying ties in a whole range of authorities, ranging from the Bible, through Augustine and Gregory, to Jean Gerson, the chancellor of the University of Paris at the anniversary of fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The Abbey of the Holy Ghost operates at a very general level of analogy, providing essentially moralistic advice which at times may seem platitudinous.
Instruction in the details of the faith was chiefly received from priests, either through a detailed syllabus of points, or through discussion of particular aspects via sermons. John Mirk's Festial was a lengthy collection of sermons which remained extremely popular throughout the period. It has been suggested that the Festial was conceived as part of the attempt to counter Lollard activity. The second sermon is from one of the major Lollard texts, the sermon cycle. The third sermon is the longest of the triad. These three sermons show the differences in treatment between preachers and sermon compilers, giving differing layers of penetration of the meaning of the text. Despite the links with Lollardy which are well attested for one, and have been suggested for another, there is little in the texts which can actually be considered heretical.
This chapter focuses on three testators: Thomas Kebell, Jane Strangweys, and Sir John Port. The requirements of Kebell's will are most obviously notable for the moralistic requirements laid upon his son. Like Kebell, Sir John Port was a lawyer, who rose to high office. The recollections of Sir John Port's earlier years clearly are important in his will, or at least in the first version of it. The responsibility for souls is a major concern, affecting many of Jane Strangweys's dispositions, with the key concern being to secure prayers for herself. The change in the preamble of the will, the dedication of the soul, is a feature. Much has been made of such changes in an attempt to chart the progress of the Reformation and the changing of minds, although that is an approach which has been questioned as much as it has been affirmed.
The theme of this chapter is what appears to be called, in the 'modern' world, 'ethnic cleansing'. These documents describe some of the actions which were taken, in various European states, and particularly in the Iberian peninsula, as well as Bohemia and Italy, to remove the Jewish presence from their communities. The chapter then focuses on Portugal. In Portugal, 'New Christians' had to suffer a massacre in Lisbon in 1506. The chapter concludes with examples of expulsion decrees from other parts of Europe, where such measures had local rather than national effect. As Jews and converts found themselves wandering around Europe, and in particular the Mediterranean, the rabbis outside the Iberian peninsula were faced with the problem of deciding whether those who avowed their intention of returning to Judaism could be treated as Jews.
Jews as Europeans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
The chapter provides an historical background to the Jews in Europe in teh fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It discusses the Jewish contribution to European history, Jewish settlement and expulsion, the Church and the Jews and the New Testament and the Jews. It also presents an overview of the sources translated in the book.
Janet Hamilton, Bernard Hamilton, and Yuri Stoyanov
This introduction provides an overview of the origins of Christian dualism, the Paulicians, the Bogomils and the translated sources. Christian dualism formed a very important dissenting tradition in the Orthodox world of Byzantium for 800 years, and in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was to spread to western Europe, where its adherents were known as Cathars. All the sources for the study of Paulicianism were written by their religious opponents, apart from some extracts from the letters of their leader Sergius-Tychicus, which are quoted by Peter of Sicily, and some statements made by Paulicians which are recorded in other Orthodox sources.
This introduction provides a discussion of the varieties of spirituality in later medieval England and the ways in which they received expression, through participation in church services, actions like pilgrimages, charitable foundations, devotional reading and instruction. Opposition to prevailing spirituality, expressed through 'Lollardy', is also considered. Pre-Reformation Catholicism was a 'demand-led' religion. The problem of pre-Reformation 'anticlericalism' has been one of the foci of interest in searching for the roots of the Reformation itself. With the literary material taken on as well, there is a great deal of written evidence for both the theory and the practice of late medieval English religion and spirituality. For most people in England the main access to the Bible, and indeed to instruction in the faith, would be through hearing priests from their pulpits. 'Sermons' were a fundamental instructional medium. Preaching as a means of communication is one of the most problematic areas of the discussion of late medieval spirituality. Evidence of a search for an alternative Christianity in late medieval England becomes increasingly widespread from 1380, in association with the development of the doctrines of John Wyclif and the energetic opposition which they faced from the ecclesiastical establishment.