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Recent Publications: Secondary Sources

This installment features essays from After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth-Century England, edited by Vincent Gillespie and Kantik Ghosh, as well as other recently published articles and book chapters. Please contact Mary Raschko regarding any changes that should be made to the material below or to request inclusion of a secondary source in the next update.


Barr, Helen. “‘This Holy Tyme’: Present Sense in the Digby Lyrics.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 307-323. [Barr argues that the poet’s use of the present tense in the Digby Lyrics projects a unified, ethical kingdom that contrasts with “the divisions, factions, and unrest following the deposition of Richard II and the threats to the institutional church posed by the challenges of the Lollards.”]

Bradley, Christopher G. “Censorship and Cultural Continuity: Love’s Mirror, The Pore Caitif, and Religious Experience Before and After Arundel.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 115-132. [Bradley argues for more attention to religious experience in the study of vernacular theology and models such study with his comparative reading of Love’s Mirror and the Pore Caitif. He emphasizes continuities in the two works’ pastoral aims, countering Nicholas Watson’s assertion that the two works address lay readers in contrasting ways.]

—. “The Letter of Richard Wyche: An Interrogation Narrative.” PMLA 127.3 (2012): 626-642. [Bradley translates the only surviving copy of the Letter of Richard Wyche from Latin into modern English. This edition includes a brief introduction describing the Wycliffite heresy as well as the context of Wyche’s imprisonment and interrogation that he recounts in the letter.]

Catto, Jeremy. “After Arundel: The Closing or the Opening of the English Mind?” Gillespie and Ghosh, 43-54.
[Refuting the claim that Arundel’s Constitutions muted England’s intellectual culture in the fifteenth century, Catto argues that “there is abundant evidence of vitality on the part of the educated laity and their largely monastic suppliers of spiritual instruction.” He considers the shift away from speculative theology in light of a larger continental tradition and discusses Parisian influences on Lancastrian literature.]

Cole, Andrew. “Staging Advice in Oxford, New College, MS 288: On Thomas Chaundler and Thomas Bekynton.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 245-263. [The essay describes a shift in the fifteenth century from the pastoral to the secular in the advice offered to bishops, creating “what might be called in some instances a ‘mirror for bishops’ tradition.” Cole addresses Wycliffite advice literature, claiming that it combines pastoral and secular advice traditions. More broadly, however, he argues that study of ecclesiastical humanism raises questions about the relevance of “the Wycliffite paradigm” in the latter half of the fifteenth century.]

Gillespie, Vincent. “Chichele’s Church: Vernacular Theology in England after Thomas Arundel.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 3-42. [Gillespie argues that the recent focus on Arundel’s Constitutions has obscured the influence of the Council of Konstanz on the fifteenth-century English church. In describing that influence, he asserts that intellectuals after Arundel’s time shared an interest in reform with the earlier followers of Wyclif at Oxford, although the two groups disagreed on the means for that reform. He explains that vernacular religious literature had continental influences and contends that, while it was often interested in liturgy and orthodox reform, it was still “imaginative and inventive.”]

Hill, Bracy V. “Apocalyptic Lollards? The Conservative Use of the Book of Daniel in English Wycliffite Sermons.” Church History and Religious Culture 90.1 (2010): 1-23. [From the article abstract: “This study asserts that the Middle English Wycliffite sermons’ focus upon the Old Testament prophetic literature as a source of figures fulfilled in the New Testament, the reluctance of the politically conservative Wycliffite movement to embrace a radical apocalyptic vision, and the overriding concern of Lollard hermeneuts to acquire certitude resulted in the limited use of the book of Daniel in Wycliffite sermonic literature.”]

Hornbeck, J. Patrick. “‘A Prophane or Hethyn Thing’: English Lollards on Baptism and Confirmation.” Mediaeval Studies 74 (2012): 283-306. [This article surveys Wyclif’s writings about sacraments of initiation, especially focusing on the Trialogus, as well as trial court records of lollards that addressed baptism and, more rarely, confirmation. Hornbeck concludes that critiques of these sacraments were complex and diverse, with lollard positions varying considerably from those articulated by Wyclif.]

Hudson, Anne. “So Far and Yet So Near.” Preaching the Word in Manuscript and in Print in Late Medieval England: Essays in Honour of Susan Powell. Ed. Martha W. Driver and Veronica O’Mara. Turnhout: Brepols, 2013. 49-62. [Demonstrating that a geographically remote manuscript may contain a superior text to those remaining in England, Hudson explains why two Bohemian copies of Wyclif’s sermons provide a more accurate witness than the Cambridge, Trinity College manuscript that is the basis for the Wyclif Society’s late nineteenth century edition. The relevant manuscripts are Cambridge, Trinity College, MS B.16.2 and Wolfenbüttel Herzog August Bibliothek MSS Helmstedt 306 and 565.]

Johnson, Ian. “Vernacular Theology/Theological Vernacular: A Game of Two Halves?” Gillespie and Ghosh, 73-88.
[The essay begins by considering the limitations of the terms “vernacular theology” and proposing that a rearrangement of these terms to the “theological vernacular” may better account for the fluidity and performative nature of this discourse. Johnson then presents evidence of “complexity, latitude, possibility, discretion, spiritual ambition, and choice” in select fifteenth-century manuscripts with English translations of the Meditationes vitae Christi, in an effort to show that vernacular theology persisted after Arundel.]

Karáth, Tamás. “Vernacular Authority and the Rhetoric of Sciences in Pecock’s The Folewer to the Donet and in The Court of Sapience.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 285-303. [With the aim to explore continuities in a genre before and after Arundel’s Constitutions, Karáth analyzes how Pecock and an anonymous author draw on previous discourses pertaining to the classifications of the sciences and highlights how each author describes the limitations or dangers of composing such works in English.]

Kuczynski, Michael. “An Unpublished Lollard Psalms Catena in Huntington Library MS HM 501.” Journal of the Early Book Society 13 (2010): 95-138.
[The essay discusses Lollard interest in the Psalter, the medieval genre known as the catena, and the particular thematic emphases of this abbreviated Psalter that rearranges excerpts from 23 Psalms. Kuczynski includes a critical edition of the Lollard catena that highlights “the rhetorical structures and argumentative patterns implicit in the text.”]

Lahey, Stephen. “Richard FitzRalph and John Wyclif: Untangling Armachanus from the Wycliffites.” Richard FitzRalph: His Life, Times and Thought. Ed. Michael W. Dunne and Simon Nolan. 204-213. [Lahey aims to show that FitzRalph’s and Wyclif’s antifraternalism was a point of contrast for the two, not something they held in common. He grounds this argument in each theologian’s views on the authority of scripture and then analyzes their arguments against the friars, describing FitzRalph as opposed to particular practices and Wyclif as fundamentally antisectarian. Lahey also emphasizes, however, how much Wyclif had in common with friars.]

Lawton, David. “Voice after Arundel.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 133-151. [In this essay, Lawton asks “what are the private consequences of major public change?” and argues that studying voice can reveal nuanced responses to phenomena like Arundel’s Constitutions. He draws attention to how authors play with Boethian, Psalmic, and Pauline voices in early fifteenth-century literature.]

Lepine, David. “‘Let Them Praise Him in Church’: Orthodox Reform at Salisbury Cathedral in the First Half of the Fifteenth-Century.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 167-185. [Lepine describes reform efforts at Salisbury Cathedral in the late fourteenth century and connects those developments to national reform efforts in the fifteenth century. Changes in personnel lead to more emphasis on learning and preaching, with figures like Ullerston and Chichele becoming closely connected to the cathedral in the fifteenth century. Lepine describes the promotion of the Sarum Use as an effort to counter heresy and cites Lollard criticisms of it.]

Lewis, Anna. “Rethinking the Lollardy of the Lucidarie: The Middle English Version of the Elucidarium and Religious Thought in Late Medieval England.” Florilegium 27 (2011): 209-236. [Lewis argues that the Middle English adaptation of Honorius Augustodunensis’ Elucidarium should not be considered Lollard. Rather, it reflects “theological mobility” as it engages with multiple points of view. The article discusses passages related to the Eucharist, the papacy, and antichrist as well as evidence from the two relevant manuscripts (Cambridge, St. John’s College, G.25 and Cambridge University Library Ii.vi.26). An appendix gives a partial transcription from the St. John’s manuscript.]

Lindenbaum, Sheila. “London after Arundel: Learned Rectors and the Strategies of Orthodox Reform.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 187-208. [Lindenbaum describes the pastoral theology of a cohort of university graduates who became rectors in London during the 1430s. She characterizes their work as an effort to reform the London clergy and thereby stem the spread of heresy and anticlericalism. The essay highlights three books owned by Robert Whyte, Walter Crome, and Robert Rooke. Ultimately, Lindebaum argues that “far from disengaging from the challenges of theology, the London rectors were bravely redefining what theology should be.”]

Russell, Alexander. “Conciliarism and Heresy in England.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 155-165. [To understand Gascoigne’s pessimism about reform, Russell asks whether “the English ever placed their hopes in the efficacy of the general council as a reforming body.” Focusing primarily on Netter’s Doctrinale, Russell claims that conciliarism too closely paralleled Wyclif’s (and Wycliffite’s) critiques of the papacy to have taken hold in England.]

Sargent, Michael G. “Censorship or Cultural Change? Reformation and Renaissance in the Spirituality of Late Medieval England.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 55-72.
[With reference to Stephen J. Gould’s theory of biological evolution, as well as to the work of queer theorists Glenn Burger and Steven Kruger, Sargent applies a “preposterous” theory of history to late medieval spirituality, drawing attention to the complexity and diversity that defies binaristic descriptions of orthodoxy and heterodoxy.]

Simpson, James. “Orthodoxy’s Image Trouble: Images In and After Arundel’s Constitutions.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 91-113. [Simpson introduces a critique of images in Capgrave’s Life of St. Katherine as an occasion to investigate overlapping sentiments about images in orthodox and heterodox texts. With reference to Lollard writings and trial records as well as Dives and Pauper, Lydgate’s Pilgrimage of the Life of Man, and Pecock’s Repressor, he argues that “orthodoxy shares with heterodoxy a distrust of illiterate reception of images.”]

Thompson, John J. “Bagpipes and Patterns of Conformity in Late Medieval England.” Everyday Objects: Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture and its Meanings. Ed. Tara Hamling and Catherin Richardson. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010. 221-230. [This essay features analysis of an image in the royal presentation copy of Roger Dymok’s Liber contra duodecim errors et hereses Lollardorum that, according to Thompson, portrays Lollards as a threat to royal power. The author also briefly discusses William Thorpe’s references to bagpipes in his criticism of pilgrimage.]

Voaden, Rosalynn. “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Margery Kempe as Underground Preacher.” Romance and Rhetoric: Essays in Honour of Dhira B. Mahoney. Ed. Georgiana Donavin and Anita Obermeier. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010. 109-121. [Voaden describes Margery Kempe’s travels around England as an “underground preaching tour.” In the midst of making her argument, she discusses the association of female preaching with Lollardy as well as Thomas Netter’s disapproval of Kempe.]

Wakelin, Daniel. “Religion, Humanism, and Humanity: Chaundler’s Dialogues and the Winchester Secretum.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 225-244. [Wakelin explores the relationship between studia humanitatis and pastoral and theological thought in fifteenth century England. Although many associate humanism with the Reformation in the sixteenth century, Wakelin notes that some who read classical texts in the fifteenth centuries also “managed to combine humanist interests with attacks on heresy.”]

Westphall, Allan F. “Reconstructing the Mixed Life in Reginald Pecock’s Reule of Crysten Religioun.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 267-284. [Westphall characterizes Pecock’s criticisms of Lollardy in The Repressor as “just one part, and possibly a minor part, of a coherent and determined attempt to re-imagine a Christian community founded on ideas of critical intellectualism and lay-clerical exchange. Turning to the lesser-studied Reule of Crysten Religioun, he describes how Pecock’s concept of the “hool lijf” extends yet differs from the “mixed life” concept promoted by Walter Hilton.]

Willoughby, James. “Common Libraries in Fifteenth-Century England: An Episcopal Benefaction.” Gillespie and Ghosh, 209-222. [Willoughby discusses the rare “public” library in late medieval England, describing their foundation in London, Worcester, Bristol, and Norwich. He suggests their roots may stretch back to a cluster of scholars at Oriel College and characterizes the libraries as “institutions of reform, with a concern for right teaching at their core.”]

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