Wyclif, Hus, and the Impact of Reform
Sponsors: Lollard Society, CMS Prague, OEAW Vienna
The general theme of the 2015 International Medieval Congress in Leeds is “Reform and Renewal”, and we believe that this theme cannot be realized without an important number of papers in Wycliffite and Hussite studies. We envisage a series of sessions, each of three papers and a response by the chair, which would bring together scholars working on Wycliffism and Hussitism. The sessions will be co-sponsored by the Lollard Society, the Centre for Medieval Studies in Prague and the OVERMODE project in Vienna.
The Wycliffite and Hussite projects of Church reform represent the most thorough attempts in late-medieval Europe to reshape religious and political ideologies and practices. In both cases, an academic controversy was immediately followed by a long-lasting ecclesiastical-political conflict. Despite the achievements of research into the Bohemian reception of Wyclif’s writings, new comparative approaches need to be adopted in order to better understand the preconditions, realities and developments in England and Bohemia, as well as the Hussites’ bold experiment aimed at implementing some of the most radical Wycliffite ideas. The set of four sessions brings together specialists from Wycliffite and Hussite studies who will discuss their research into these late-medieval religious and political reform programs.
Wyclif, Hus, and the Impact of Reform (I): The Puzzle of Transmission
Wyclif, Hus, and the Impact of Reform (II): The Pitfalls of Learned Debate
Wyclif, Hus, and the Impact of Reform (III): The Struggle for Simple Minds?
Wyclif, Hus, and the Impact of Reform (IV): Battle of Words – Battle of Swords
Please send an abstract of no more than 150 words to Mishtooni Bose (mishtooni [dot] bose [at] chch [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk) no later than 5 Sept. 2014.
The Lollard Society hopes to sponsor two sessions at the 50th Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (to be held 14-17 May 2015):
1. Another Kind of Saint: Wycliffite Hagiographies: A panel in honor of Christina von Nolcken
In honor of her retirement in 2015, the Lollard Society would like to propose one sponsored session in honor of Christina von Nolcken’s work and legacy with a special focus on John Wyclif and late-medieval religious controversy. As 2015 also marks the 600th anniversary of John Wyclif’s posthumous condemnation at the Council of Constance, the organizers are specifically interested in papers that address the figure of Wyclif and certain of his prominent followers as objects of posthumous reverence, whether during the fifteenth century or later. Presenters might also reassess Wycliffite attitudes toward saints, saints’ cults, relics, or hagiographical elements in Wycliffite texts (all topics on which important recent work has emerged). Proposals that address the posthumous trial and condemnation of Wyclif at Constance, or the cremation of Wyclif’s exhumed bones in 1428, are also welcome. This session is being organized in tandem with a Special Session in honor of Prof. von Nolcken by Sharon Rowley.
2. Lollards, Getting Formal
Conventionally, scholars have described Wycliffites as disinterested in, or even hostile to, poetic forms of discourse. Yet in Feeling Like Saints (2014), Fiona Somerset asserts that “lollard writings vary widely in style and tone, employ a range of genres, and are often self-consciously well crafted” (7). In response to Somerset’s new work and the wider formalist turn in literary studies, the organizers of this panel seek to explore not just the polemical and theological substance of Wycliffite texts but the manner in which writers express such ideas. To reconsider prominent assumptions about Wycliffite form and style, we invite papers on their employment (or critiques) of generic forms like narrative or dialogue, as well as on styles of poetics and prose.
Please send 150-200 word abstracts to Michael Van Dussen (michael [dot] vandussen [at] mcgill [dot] ca) no later than 31 August 2014.
This list features some recent secondary sources and especially focuses on the essays published in the recent volume edited by Mishtooni Bose and J. Patrick Hornbeck: Wycliffite Controversies. Please contact Mary Raschko with any changes to the material below or with any items you would like to ensure I include in the next update.
Barr, Helen. “The Deafening Silence of Lollardy in the Digby Lyric.” Bose and Hornbeck 243-260. [Barr examines the noteworthy absence of references to Lollardy in an early fifteenth-century series of lyric poems extant in Bodleian Library MS Digby 102. She argues that rather than directly condemn Lollards, as much contemporary Benedictine poetry did, these lyrics appropriated and adapted Lollard critiques to promote an orthodox agenda for church reform.]
Bose, Mishtooni, and J. Patrick Hornbeck II, eds. Wycliffite Controversies. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2011.
—. “Reversing the Life of Christ: Dissent, Orthodoxy, and Affectivity in Late Medieval England.” Johnson and Westphall 55-77. [Bose investigates how Wycliffite and other reformist writers used the life of Christ to “anchor, define, and legitimize” their positions, describing Christ’s vita as common discursive ground for scholastic theologians. In addition to Wycliffite sermons, the essay analyzes works by Reginald Pecock and Nicholas Love’s Mirror.]
Campi, Luigi. “‘But and Alle Thingus in Mesure, and Noumbre, and Peis Thou Disposedist’: Some Notes on the Role of Wisdom 11, 21 in Wyclif’s Writings.” Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales 80.1 (2013): 109-143. [The essay discusses Wyclif’s use of Wisdom 11:21, a passage of scripture that, according to Campi, Wyclif regarded as “the most difficult verse in the whole of scripture…due to the theoretical content it conveys, which relates to the issue of the creative, legislative and redemptive order imposed by God.”]
Craun, Edwin. “Discarding Traditional Pastoral Ethics: Wycliffism and Slander.” Bose and Hornbeck 227-242. [Craun demonstrates how Lollards adapted a pastoral discourse on fraternal correction to validate their criticisms of the contemporary church, especially those directed at friars. Among other texts, the essay features analysis of Pierce the Plowman’s Crede, Hou Sathanas & his Prestis & his Feined Religious, and Of Pseudo-Friars.]
Dove, Mary. “The Lollards’ Threefold Biblical Agenda.” Bose and Hornbeck 211-226. [Based on comments in the Prologue to the Wycliffite Bible, Dove describes the Lollards’ biblical agenda as threefold: “to enable simple people to have the Bible (or access to it), to understand it, and to live in accordance with it.” This essay primarily discusses the issue of understanding scripture, comparing statements on literal and figurative interpretation in the Prologue to the Wycliffite Bible with other Middle English treatises on biblical translation, including The Holi Prophete Dauid.]
Forrest, Ian. “Lollardy and Late Medieval History.” Bose and Hornbeck 121-134. [In response to the increasingly interdisciplinary study of Lollardy, Forrest explores how “lollard studies” have diverged from the disciplinary study of medieval history. Considering trends in scholarship on religious orthodoxy, the history of late medieval England, and the history of late medieval Europe, he proposes directions for future research.]
Gayk, Shannon. “Lollard Writings, Literary Criticism, and the Meaningfulness of Form.” Bose and Hornbeck 135-152. [Observing that scholarship on Lollard texts – even from literary scholars – focuses almost exclusively on cultural and theological content rather than aesthetics, Gayk argues for more attention to the form of Lollard writings. With reference to select sermons, the Lanterne of Liȝt, and the trial of John Falks, the essay explores the potential for “new formalism” to complement and enrich the historical study of Lollardy.]
Ghosh, Kantik. “Wycliffite ‘Affiliations’: Some Intellectual-Historical Perspectives.” Bose and Hornbeck 13-32. [Ghosh analyzes the combination of scholastic discourse and anti-academic polemic in a Wycliffite treatise on the Eucharist (De oblacione iugis sacrifcii), placing the treatise in the context a larger fifteenth-century debate over the appropriate method and style for theological writing, given its widening audience.]
Hornbeck, J. Patrick. “Wycklyffes Wycket and Eucharistic Theology: Cases from Sixteenth-Century Winchester.” Bose and Hornbeck 279-294. [Hornbeck examines records from two early sixteenth-century heresy trials in Kingston upon Thames and Farnham, asking what they can tell us about dissenters’ use of vernacular texts and how those texts may have influenced dissenting views on the Eucharist.]
Hudson, Anne. “ ‘Who Is My Neighbor?’ Some Problems of Definition on the Borders of Orthodoxy and Heresy.” Bose and Hornbeck 79-96. [With three vignettes, Hudson argues that there was considerably less division between “orthodox” and “heterodox” texts in late medieval England than the writings of Archbishop Arundel or William Thorpe would suggest. The vignettes feature the Rolle Psalter commentary in Oxford Bodleian Library MS Bodley 953, contrary assessments of the orthodoxy of Dives and Pauper, and Oriel College’s commissioning of Wyclif’s De civili dominio and De blasfemia in 1454.]
Johnson, Ian and Allan F. Westphall, eds. The Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ: Exploring the Middle English Tradition. Medieval Church Studies 24. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2013.
Jurkowski, Maureen. “Henry V’s Suppression of the Oldcastle Revolt.” Henry V: New Interpretations. Ed. Gwilym Dodd. York: York Medieval Press, 2013. 103-129. [Jurkowski reevaluates Henry V’s reputation as a ruler who effectively administered justice in light of his handling of the 1414 rebellion lead by the Lollard-sympathizer John Oldcastle. Focusing on the diverse fates of rebels and the strategies employed to pursue the elusive Oldcastle, she points to frequent disregard for common law and suggests that the ability to purchase pardon significantly affected an accused rebel or heretic’s fate.]
—. “Lollard Networks.” Bose and Hornbeck 261-278. [Jurkowski asks whether Lollard networks extended nationally or just regionally, examining evidence regarding where Lollards preached, from whom they received support, and what professions they populated. She concludes that while we lack sufficient information to answer the question conclusively, Lollards felt that their networks extended beyond local communities.]
—. “La Noblesse anglaise de la fin du Moyen Age: Pour ou contre la défense de l’orthodoxie religieuse?” Le Salut par les armes. Noblesse et defense de l’orthodoxie (XIIIe-XVIIe siècles). Ed. Franck Mercier, Ariane Boltanski, and Jean-Phillippe Genet. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2011. 227-38.
—. “Who Was Walter Brut?” English Historical Review 127 (2012): 285-302. [Going beyond study of Walter Brut’s trial records, Jurkowski mines other documentary evidence for information regarding Brut’s Welsh heritage and eventual involvement in Welsh rebellion, his potential education at a cathedral school and at Oxford, and his role as a landowner in Hereford, offering a more diverse portrait of this famous early Lollard.]
Kuczynski, Michael P. “An Important Lollard Psalter in Trinity College Library.” Studies 99 (2010): 181-187. [Describing features of Dublin, Trinity College MS 70, Kuczynksi argues why the manuscript, with its psalter, glosses, and works of religious instruction, may have suited the interests of its seventeenth-century Irish owner as well as fifteenth-century Lollards.]
Lahey, Stephen. “Late Medieval Eucharistic Theology.” Levy, Macy, and Van Ausdall 499-540.
Levy, Ian Christopher. “The Literal Sense of Scripture and the Search for Truth in the Late Middle Ages.” Revue D’histoire Ecclésiastique 104.3-4 (2009): 783-827. [Levy studies the expanding notion of the literal sense of scripture in the later Middle Ages, especially its identification with the sense intended by its divine author, in the writings of five fourteenth- and fifteenth-century theologians: Richard FitzRalph, John Wyclif, Henry Totting de Oyta, Jean Gerson, and Paul of Burgos.]
—. “A Contextualized Wyclif: Magister Sacrae Paginae.” Bose and Hornbeck 121-134. [Levy describes Wyclif’s views on the authority of scripture, the nature of the literal sense, and the relationship between personal piety and exegesis as typical of late medieval theologians. He argues that because Netter and others distort Wyclif’s beliefs, scholars too often read Wyclif’s works through “the lens of heresy” and disregard his more conventional theology.]
Levy, Ian Christopher, Gary Macy, and Kristen Van Ausdall, eds. A Companion to the Eucharist in the Middle Ages. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV, 2012.
Lutton, Rob. “Lollardy, Orthodoxy, and Cognitive Psychology.” Bose and Hornbeck 97-120. [In an effort to “develop frameworks for studying Lollardy and orthodoxy side by side,” Lutton describes anthropologist Harvey Whithouse’s model of religiosity and suggests how Lollardy may align with it. Lutton argues that Lollardy included both “doctrinal” and “imagistic” modes of religiosity and proposes that dissent may have been a psychological reaction that attempted to “re-enliven religious experience.”]
Malo, Robyn. “Behaving Paradoxically? Wycliffites, Shrines, and Relics.” Bose and Hornbeck 193-210. [Malo challenges the idea that it would be unlikely for a Wycliffite to value a relic, arguing that Wycliffite treatises more often object to elaborate enshrinement than to relics themselves. Characterizing this criticism of enshrinement as a reformist critique, the essay features analysis of writings by Wyclif (and his opponents), Wycliffites, and Reginald Pecock.]
Marshall, Peter. “Lollards and Protestants Revisited.” Bose and Hornbeck 295-318. [In this historiographical essay, Marshall reviews descriptions of the relationship between Lollardy and the English Reformation in scholarship from the end of the Victorian era to the present. He aims to place modern discussions of Lollardy in a larger history and argues that political and ideological concerns often affect scholars’ assessment of its role in the Reformation.]
Minnis, Alastair. “Wyclif’s Eden: Sex, Death, and Dominion.” Bose and Hornbeck 59-78. [This essay analyzes De statu innocencie, a speculative treatise Wyclif wrote about the condition of humanity in Eden. Minnis characterizes its subject matter as a typical subject of inquiry for scholastic theologians and often compares Wyclif’s views on bodily pleasure, death, and dominion to Aquinas’ writings.]
Peikola, Matti. “The Sanctorale, Thomas of Woodstock’s English Bible, and the Orthodox Appropriation of Wycliffite Tables of Lessons.” Bose and Hornbeck 153-174. [In this essay, Peikola describes different styles of the sanctorale (lists of lessons for the feasts of saints) in Wycliffite Bibles and argues that changes over time point to an increasingly orthodox readership. In addition to outlining this broader phenomenon, he analyzes polemical comments in the Bible thought to be owned by Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester (London, British Library, MS Egerton 618) that challenge the sainthood of many canonized by the church.]
Raschko, Mary. “‘To þe worschipe of God and profite of his peple’: Lollard Sermons on the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard.” Bose and Hornbeck 175-192. [This essay analyzes Middle English sermons on the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard, pointing out common interpretations in Lollard and mainstream sermons, including Mirk’s Festial and Wimbledon’s Sermon, that encourage workers to remain within a three-estates model. Raschko examines how the Lollard writers direct this conventional social model to reformist ends.]
—. “Oon of Foure: Harmonizing Wycliffite and Pseudo-Bonaventuran Approaches to the Life of Christ.” Johnson and Westphall 341-373. [Raschko demonstrates that the Middle English gospel harmony Oon of Foure shares features with both Wycliffite translation and the Pseudo-Bonaventuran tradition. Examining the rearrangement of gospel sources and the varied manuscript contexts of Oon of Foure, she suggests that those who translated and copied this version of the gospels aimed to facilitate Christian devotion and conduct.]
The Lollard Society is sponsoring two sessions at the 49th Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (to be held 8-11 May 2014):
1. What Is a Wycliffite Book?
In recent years scholars have been expanding and complicating definitions of what constitutes heresy, orthodoxy, and heterodoxy, investigating how so-called Wycliffite practices intersect with mainstream forms of devotion, theology, literature, etc. This expansion is characterized in part by textual analysis. Yet increasingly sophisticated ways of studying individual texts (as abstracted compositions) do not necessarily help us when we examine other levels of text such as the codex and its material forms. While many studies offer nuanced analyses of what makes a Wycliffite text, then, this panel seeks to develop a more sophisticated typology of what constitutes a Wycliffite book in its socio-material contexts. Possible questions to consider include several that have become familiar in manuscript studies, but which take on special resonance in the context of Wycliffite controversy. How does the material form of the codex shape how we understand the reception and circulation of its contents? What do we mean when we call a book or manuscript “Wycliffite”? What characteristics must a miscellany have in order to be considered Wycliffite? How might the contents of a miscellany illuminate its Wycliffite text(s)? Contributors to this panel are invited to consider the distinctions between material (and unique) codicological evidence and more abstracted levels of text.
2. (co-sponsored by the White Hart Society): After McFarlane’s Lancastrian Kings and Lollard Knights
Together with Margaret Aston and Anne Hudson’s work, K. B. McFarlane’s Lancastrian Kings and Lollard Knights situated lollardy as a field of study perhaps uniquely simultaneously historical and literary. Scholarship on the topic bloomed, especially in literature departments, and has gone well beyond McFarlane’s footnotes. Today, scholars are reconsidering approaches to lollardy, and its place both in vernacular religion and politics. This session seeks to pursue that revisionism, and re-explore those Lancastrian kings, as well as the so-called “lollard knights,” and the possibilities of their political and religious dissent.
Please send 150-200 word abstracts to Michael Van Dussen (michael [dot] vandussen [at] mcgill [dot] ca) no later than 1 September 2013 (preferably earlier).
“Transforming Scripture: Biblical Translations and Adaptations in Old and Middle English” will be held at St. Anne’s College, Oxford on 29-31 May 2014.
Confirmed plenary speakers include Anne Hudson, Bella Millett, Andy Orchard, Elizabeth Solopova, and Jane Toswell.
Oxford’s John Fell Fund has enabled the organizers to offer six graduate bursaries to cover the registration fee. If you are a graduate student and wish to apply for a bursary then please email transforming-scripture [at] ell [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk with a supporting statement (not exceeding 500 words) outlining how the conference will be of benefit to you.
For further information on the conference, or to submit a paper proposal (an abstract of 200 words), please email the organizing committee at transforming-scripture [at] ell [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk. The submission deadline is 30 September, 2013.
The program for the EBS Conference on 4-7 July in St. Andrews has now been published; two (fascinating!) sessions will be devoted to Wycliffism.
Wycliffites and Their Texts I (Chair: Daniel Wakelin, University of Oxford)
Wycliffites and Their Texts II (Chair: Michael P. Kuczynski, Tulane University)
We are offering two sessions at Kalamazoo this May. The first will be on Friday afternoon at 3:30 in Valley I; the second will be on Saturday morning in Schneider. We look forward to seeing you there!
48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo (May 9-12, 2013).
This post is an appendix to two earlier posts: Recent Publications of Primary Sources, and also What’s a Good Introduction to Wycliffism?. Both of these provide new avenues to enter into the study of Wyclif and Wycliffite writings for a wide range of audiences.
The first is Stephen Lahey’s translation, published by Cambridge, of Wyclif’s Trialogus, one of his last works, a dialogue whose content summarizes his theological views shortly before his death, and whose invective captures his frustration.
The second is the soon-to-be-released Wycliffite Spirituality, an edition in the Classics of Western Spirituality series. This volume contains a wide range of texts; it is “a collection of modern English translations of Wycliffite texts and heresy trial records which disclose that, far from practicing a wholly negative Christianity, Wycliffites were as keenly interested in the spiritual life as many of their contemporaries.”
From June 4-6, 2014, Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies, in association with the Lollard Society and our partners at McGill University in Montreal, will be hosting a three-day conference entitled “Europe after Wyclif.” The aim of the conference is to broaden in both chronological and geographical terms the scope of the study of religious controversy in the later Middle Ages. There will be three plenary speakers: Vincent Gillespie (University of Oxford), Fiona Somerset (University of Connecticut), and John Van Engen (University of Notre Dame).
Conference organizers are J. Patrick Hornbeck II and Michael van Dussen. Proposals are due no later than 15 March 2013 to Michael van Dussen. For more, including contact information, please see the Call for Papers, via this link: https://www.mcgill.ca/english/sites/mcgill.ca.english/files/channels/attach/cfp.pdf.
Updated post! Please get in touch with if you know of anything else that should be added. These have been added to the Bibliography of Primary Sources.
Dove, Mary, ed. The Earliest Advocates of the English Bible: The Texts of the Medieval Debate. Exeter: Univ. of Exeter Press, 2010. [New editions of the texts from the Oxford translation debates and other lollard texts concerning translation, including several prologues to Biblical texts. This volume complements her 2007 study The First English Bible.]
Fudge, Thomas A., ed. Crusade Against Heretics in Bohemia, 1418-1437: Sources and Documents for the Hussite Crusades. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002. [English translations of over 200 texts about the repression of the Hussites after the Council of Constance.]
Hanna, Ralph. “‘Documentum Robert Grosehede’: An Unpublished Early Lollard Text.” Journal of the Early Book Society 13 (2010): 265-74. [An edition of a polemical text that "enjoins priests not to harass poor parishioners for their tithes" on fols. 73v-74v in Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.1.29; a partial copy also exists in Bodley MS 647. This is available here.]
Kuczynski, Michael P. “An Unpublished Lollard Psalms Catena in Huntington Library MS HM 501.” Journal of the Early Book Society 13 (2010): 95-138. ["In this essay I discuss Lollard attitudes towards an especially important Old Testament book, the Psalms, in connection with an unpublished and apparently unique abridgement of the Wycliffite Psalter (later version) that survives in Huntington Library MS HM 501 [which is] presented by its anonymous compiler as a catena. . . . My discussion falls into three parts: an introduction to Lollard regard for the Psalms as a preeminent biblical book, a description of the catena as an underappreciated literary form, and . . . an analysis of the Huntington psalms catena. I then offer a critical edition of the Huntington catena” (96).]
Somerset, Fiona. Four Wycliffite Dialogues. EETS o.s. 333. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2009. [Includes editions of the unique copies of four dialogues: "Dialogue between Jon and Richard," from Cambridge, Trinity Coll. MS B 14 50; "Dialogue between a Friar and a Secular" from Dublin, Trinity Coll. MS 244; "Dialogue between Reson and Gabbyng" from Dublin, Trinity Coll. MS 245; and "Dialogue between a Clerk and a Knight" from Durham, Univ. Library MS Cosin V.III.6.]
van Dussen, Michael, ed. “Three Verse Eulogies of Anne of Bohemia.” Medium Aevum 78.2 (2009): 231-60. [Van Dussen edits, translates, and comments on three previously unknown elegies on Richard II's queen, uncovered in two manuscripts in Prague. One, he posits, is by the Carmelite Richard Maidstone. According to the introduction, the eulogies "are valuable indications of the ways in which Anne’s piety was construed and then used to advance royalist devotional and political agendas."]