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Selected Latin works in translation

John Wyclif (d. 1384) was among the leading schoolmen of fourteenth-century Europe. He was an outspoken controversialist and critic of the church, and, in his last days at Oxford, the author of the greatest heresy that England had known. This volume offers translations of a representative selection of his Latin writings on theology, the church and the Christian life. It offers a comprehensive view of the life of this charismatic but irascible medieval theologian, and of the development of the most prominent dissenting mind in pre-Reformation England. This collection will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students of medieval history, historical theology and religious heresy, as well as scholars in the field.

Mind, soul and intellectual disability

, in which they can make right use of reason. Wherefore, if then they express a desire for Baptism, they can be baptized though they be actually in a state of madness. And in this case the sacrament should be bestowed on them if there be fear of danger otherwise it is better to wait until the time when they are sane, so that they may receive the sacrament more devoutly. But if during the interval of lucidity they manifest no desire to receive Baptism, they should not be baptized while in a state of insanity. Lastly there are others who, though not altogether sane

in Fools and idiots?

type of rhetoric, of course, was scarcely an innovation in the late tenth and eleventh centuries, although, as will be seen, both its prevalence and vehemence was revolutionary. As any historian of the late antique and medieval Church can testify, ecclesiastical sources are full of references to concerns about ritual purity and fears of contamination from an early date. For instance, Irish texts such as the mid-sixth-century Vinnian and mid-seventh-century Cummean penitentials repeatedly display anxiety about the purity of the sacraments and those who handled them

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century

fact Hincmar of Laon probably targeted Folembray as revenge for Hincmar of Rheims’s intervention at Attolae curtis . 12 These were not affairs without repercussion. Each bishop placed the church whose status he doubted under interdict, prohibiting the sacraments from being dispensed there. Hincmar of Rheims could name two men, Erleher and Gislehard, who had as a result died without communion at Folembray, while Hincmar of Laon claimed to have compiled a similar list for Attolae curtis . 13 Where Bishop Hincmar of Laon treated the

in Hincmar of Rheims

from the lifetime of Alberto. This was a time of far-reaching changes in religious practice and attitudes, the start of something that in certain ways culminated some two-and-a-half centuries later in the Protestant Reformation. Such fundamentals of Christian worship as prayer and the sacrament of the Eucharist, or Communion, were being transformed. To go back only as far as the ninth-to-twelfth centuries, religion in the Latin West of that time was largely about the observance of forms; was largely a matter that concerned a caste of full

in Indispensable immigrants
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The case of Hincmar of Laon in the Annals of St-Bertin

preparation for Verberie, Hincmar of Laon had rounded up his clergy, instructed them about the power of binding and loosing, and announced that he would impose the severest form of interdict over his diocese in the case of his arrest. 36 The interdict meant that any church service and even the administering of sacraments would be forbidden in the diocese of Laon. Hincmar was not arrested at Verberie, but he was arrested shortly afterwards in May 869. The interdict then entered into force. A delegation of the clergy of the diocese of Laon appeared before Hincmar of Rheims

in Hincmar of Rheims

, woman may be man’s inferior but she is also his respected companion, not a serf or slave to be held in base subjection. 100 Similarly, whilst misogamous writers might condemn marriage as a form of purgatory, others, such as Robert Mannyng, pointed out that marriage was a perfectly respectable institution: it was a sacrament which had been ordained by God in paradise and it was at a marriage (that at

in Chaucer in context
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contrast, there is comparatively little to suggest that aliens residing in England brought very obviously different forms of religious observance to their adopted country. There is no evidence, for example, that the small number of ‘Greeks’ in the capital, discussed in chapter 5 , had access to the services of Eastern Orthodox priests, even supposing that they would have been allowed to perform the sacraments in their own tradition. Significantly, George Vranas, an Athenian who rose to become bishop successively of Dromore and Elphin in Ireland, and also spent a limited

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550

assaulted by abductors who wished to gain their backing for their marriage to be recognised (though marriage could of course take place without the presence of a cleric, and was not considered a sacrament at this time). The authors of the De raptu associated these attacks with an attack on the corporate Church (and on the body that was the Christian people), since the abductor denied the unity of the Church by taking communion in one place while he was excommunicated in another. 54 This challenge to the Church and to the social order was expressed in terms of the

in Hincmar of Rheims

privileges Hormisdas is said to have accorded to Remigius. 23 This letter sums up in a theoretical way what a bishop’s mission must be: it is not Christianisation, nor the spiritual life, the correct celebration of the sacraments or the defence of the faith against heresy; it is the observance of rules. More precisely, preaching the faith and constructing the Church may be summarised in a single expression, that is, keeping the tradition expressed in canon law and confirmed by papal authority. In his letter, Pope Hormisdas begins by rejoicing in the election of Remigius

in Hincmar of Rheims