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Recent Publications in Lollard Studies

The following studies (a few, actually not so recent) have been added to the Bibliography of Secondary Sources over the past year or so. Please get in touch with to let us know of anything else which should be added.

Aziz, Jeffrey H. “Of grace and gross bodies: Falstaff, Oldcastle, and the fires of reform.” Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ. of Pittsburgh, 2007. [According to the abstract, “this dissertation recovers Shakespeare’s Sir John Falstaff as a politically radical character, linked to Jack Cade and the plebian revolutionaries of 2 Henry VI , and to 16th-century radical-egalitarian movements including Anabaptism and the “Family of Love.” Working from the earliest texts dealing with Sir John Oldcastle, Falstaff’s historical precedent, this work explores the radical potential of reform beginning with the work of the late-14th-century Oxford theologian John Wyclif. . . . Working from Slavoj Zizek’s claim that political identity is often founded on the fetishistic disavowal of a shared guilt, this work argues that the two parts of Henry IV, in their insistent metadramatic reminders of Oldcastle’s treason and execution, function to disturb the audience’s interpellation as subjects of Tudor-Protestant power.”]

Jennifer Bryan, Looking Inward

Bryan, Jennifer. Looking Inward: Devotional Reading and the Private Self in Late Medieval England. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. [Bryan creatively yokes together a range of under-examined vernacular devotional texts (the Chastizing of God’s Children, The Pricking of Love, A Talking of the Love of God, the Myroure of Oure Lady and Nicholas Love’s Mirror), some better-known mystical texts (Julian of Norwich’s Showings–which gets a chapter–and The Cloud of Unknowing) and texts by more literary writers (Hoccleve–who also gets a chapter–and Lydgate) to examine the ways in which readers learn to understand how readers transformed “individual spiritual experience into cultural practice” (4), that is, how readers negotiate between these inward visions and their public, social selves.]

Coley, David. “Baptism as Eucharist: Orthodoxy, Wycliffism, and the Sacramental Utterance in ‘Saint Erkenwald.’” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 107.3 (July 2008): 327-347. [“The article focuses on the poem “Saint Erkenwald” . . . It explores the sacrament of baptism and its association to orthodoxy, Wycliffism and sacramental utterance. Additionally, it presents the discovery of a sarcophagus containing an inexplicably preserved corpse. It also demonstrates its allegiance to orthodox eucharistic theology and the terms of its account of the judge’s conversion. Moreover, it suggests how its orthodoxy is constructed through its baptismal aspects.”]

Cooper, Lisa. “‘Markys . . . off the Workman’: Heresy, Hagiography, and the Heavens in The Pilgrimage of the Life of Man. Lydgate Matters: Poetry and Material Culture in the Fifteenth Century. Ed. Lisa Cooper and Andrea Denny-Brown. New York: Palgrave, 2008. 89-111. [Cooper reads the Pilgrimage as an anti-Lollard critique by showing how artisans and Lollards were seen as reflections of each other.]

William Wykeham

Copeland, Rita. “Lollard Writings.” The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Literature 1100-1500. Ed. Larry Scanlon. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. 111-123.

Davis, Virginia. William Wykeham: A Life. London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007. [“Wykeham’s administrative talents ensured that he became bishop of Winchester, holder of one of the richest sees in Christendom and Chancellor of England under Edward III and Richard II. ‘Everything was done by him and nothing was done without him’ wrote the contemporary chronicler, Jean Froissart. . . . Virginia Davis highlights Wykeham’s extraordinarily commitment to good governance and his extensive involvement in English politics between c. 1360 – 1402.”]

Dotterweich, Martin Holt. “A Book for Lollands and Protestants: Murdoch Nisbet’s New Testament.” Literature and the Scottish Reformation. Ed. Crawford Gribben and David G. Mullan. Surrey, England; Ashgate; 2009. 233-245. [Nisbet’s glosses show how a lay reader in the early to mid-sixteenth century negotiated between different versions of the New Testament.]

Forrest, Ian. “William Swinderby and the Wycliffite Attitude to Excommunication.” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 60.2 (Apr. 2009): 246-269. [According to the abstract, “The early Wycliffite William Swinderby expressed some strong criticisms of excommunication. He was alarmed that churchman thought that it was their power, rather than God’s power, that consigned a soul to hell. The rhetoric of sentences of excommunication in this period was indeed intended to frighten offenders into compliance with ecclesiastical judgements, but the theory and practice of excommunication was in fact far less simple that the Wycliffite criticism of it allowed. This article examines Swinderby’s attitude towards ecclesiastical sanctions in light of Wyclif’s own ideas, and the theory and practice of excommunication in the late medieval Church. Swinderby’s links with early Wycliffism are elucidated and the relationship between Wycliffism and the Church is looked at in a new light.”]

Hornbeck, Patrick. “Antifraternalism and the Upland Series: Evidence from a Fifteenth-Century Ballad.” Notes & Queries 56.1 (Mar. 2009): 24-26. [“The article discusses antifraternalism in the 15th century ballad “Friar and Boy” about the characters Jack, the Friar Tobias, and Jack’s Stepmother. According to the article, English antifraternal authors wrote about death and its aftermath, diabolical influence, and the fulfilment of biblical prophecy. The ballad also doesn’t seem to come from the lollardy or Wycliffism literary movements, where lollard writers abstained from fiction and favored ecclesiastical history. An overview of the ballad is given. The article discusses if the anonymously written “Upland Series” of three texts about the fraternal orders with its characters Jack and Tobias.”]

Levy, Ian C. “Holy Scripture and the Quest for Authority among Three Late Medieval Masters.” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 61.1 (Jan. 2010): 40-68. [Levy discusses Gerson, Wyclif, and Netter. According to the abstract, “What separated them was not the recognition of authority as such, but rather the correct application of that authority. Wyclif exercised his rights as a university master to dissent from ecclesiastical determinations that ran contrary to the truth as revealed in Scripture. Netter and Gerson set out to curb this sort of magisterial excess which they believed would inevitably lead to the destruction of all proper norms of authority within the Church. Rather than being a simple tale of heresy and orthodoxy, therefore, this late medieval conflict turned on the question of professional expertise, rights and responsibilities.”]

Lewis, Anna. “Textual Borrowings, Theological Mobility, and the Lollard Pater Noster Commentary.” Philological Quarterly 88 (Winter/Spring 2009): 1-23. [Lollards adapted the content of some orthodox works, including commentaries on the basics of the faith. Of the three so-called “Lollard” commentaries on the Pater Noster, one–the longer of the two in Arnold–“combines radically Lollard complaints,” but “a close look at the text reveals its strong connection to the existing commentary tradition, not only in terms of its ideas, but also in terms of its vocabulary and phrasing. If the ‘lexical minutiae’ found here are sometimes clearly Lollard in character, they are at other times clearly indebted to the orthodox tradition” (2).]

—. “Exegesis of the End: Limitations of Lollard Apocalypticism as Revealed in a Commentary on Matthew 24.” Literature & Theology: An International Journal of Religion, Theory, and Culture 23.4 (Dec., 2009): 375-387. [Abstract: “Lollard writing is characterised by a preoccupation with the end times, but the kind of eschatological mindset the texts reflect has become a matter of some debate. This article seeks to shed some light on this issue through an analysis of the text “Of Mynystris in the Chirche,” a commentary on Matthew 24 and one of the longest Lollard discussions of the Bible’s eschatological prophecies. Specifically, this article points to a correspondence between a tension at the heart of Lollard attitudes to the theory and practice of scriptural exegesis and a tension at the heart of Lollard perspectives on end times events. It therefore demonstrates how this text reveals the way in which Lollard hermeneutics helped to determine the limits of Lollard apocalypticism.”]

Lundin, Rebecca Wilson. “Rhetorical Iconoclasm: The Heresy of Lollard Plain Style.” Rhetoric Review 27.2 (2008): 131-46. [According to Lundin, “In this essay I analyze the plain stule as conceived of and used by the Lollards. . . . I argue that the same practices that et Lollard reading and writing apart from orthodox discourse were foundational to the Lollards’ departures from orthodox belief, theorizing language and style in such a way that meaning was free from priestly mediation. This demonstrates the importance of Lollard plain style as both a marker of herersy and a precursor to subsequent notions of plainness.”]

Lutton, Robert. “Geographies and Materialities of Piety: Reconciling Competing Narratives of Religious Change in Pre-Reformation and Reformation England.” Pieties in Transition: Religious Practices and Experiences, c.1400-1640. Ed. Robert Lutton and Elisabeth Salter. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007. 11-39. [Lutton examines practices of popular piety, including the tolerance of Lollardy, in the Weald in Kent, notable Cranbrook and Tenterden.]

Orme, Nicholas. “John Wycliffe and the Prebend of Aust.” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 61.1 (Jan. 2010): 144-152. [Abstract: “The article discusses the tenure of 14th-century English theologian and church reformer John Wycliffe as the prebend of Aust in the collegiate church of Westbury-on-Trym in Gloucestershire, England. The prebendary, one of four benefices held by Wycliffe in his life, is controversial because the economic benefit he derived from it seems to conflict with Wycliffe’s reputation as a critic of the Catholic Church. Therefore, the article re-examines documents pertaining to the dates of the prebendary and the payments Wycliffe received for it.” On a parallel topic see H.J. Wilkins, Was John Wyclif a Negligent Pluralist?, included on the Bibliography.]

Raschko, Mary. “Common Ground for Contrasting Ideologies: The Texts and Contexts of A Short Reule of Lif.” Viator 40 (2009): 387-410. [Abstract:” This article examines the contents and manuscript contexts of the Lollard treatise ‘A Schort Reule of Lif’ to show how Lollards participated in mainstream religious trends and more orthodox Christians utilized a Lollard text that appealed to their common interests. 1 By providing regular times and subjects for prayer, along with advice for Christian living according to a three-estates model, ‘A Schort Reule of Lif’ appealed to a growing lay desire for more structured forms of devotion. The text survives in seven fifteenthcentury religious miscellanies, ranging from predominantly Lollard collections to those with primarily mainstream texts. Analysis of scribal revision, along with a new critical edition that records variation across all seven manuscripts, shows that most scribes copied the text without concern over its Lollard affiliation. Rather than reflect cautious attention to boundaries of “orthodox” belief, ‘A Schort Reule of Lif’ shows that common devotional interests could transcend matters of ideology.”]

Reid, W. Stanford. “The Lollards in Pre-Reformation Scotland.” Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 11.4 (Dec. 1942): 269-283. [Abstract: “The influence of the Lollard movement on the Scottish Reformation was pointed out by John Knox in the sixteenth century; and in the latter part of the nineteenth century the same point was stressed by the Historiographer Royal for Scotland, P. Hume Brown. Yet in spite of such illustrious advocacy, with one or two minor exceptions, little attention has been paid to the Wycliffite tradition in fifteenth century Scotland. It has generally been taken for granted that the Lollards were unimportant and possessed little or no influence. When all the information on the movement which we possess, however, is brought together, one cannot but feel that they had a greater influence on their own time than has heretofore been allowed: Not only did the early reformers consider them very important, but today also, in spite of predilections for economic interpretations of history, they must be regarded as one of the important sources of the Scottish Reformation.”]

Nicole Rice, Religious Discipline in Middle English Literature

Rice, Nicole. Lay Piety and Religious Discipline in Middle English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008. [Rice examines a series of texts for religious guidance which were adapted for life outside of the cloister. She notes that at the time that these models were being developed in the later fourteenth century Wyclif was critiquing the traditional orders and “advocated a radical form of identity between lay and priestly practice” (xii). Texts she examines most closely include the Abbey of the Holy Ghost; Fervor Amoris, an adaptation of Rolle’s Form of Living; The Life of Soul; Book to a Mother; and Walter Hilton’s Mixed Life. Her conclusion considers several fifteenth-century manuscripts containing these works to show how later compilers envisioned the use of these texts in the wake of Arundel.]

Schirmer, Elizabeth. “William Thorpe’s Narrative Theology.” Studies in the Age of Chaucer 31 (2009): 267-299. [“Thorpe’s Testimony, I shall argue, sidesteps the textual strategies that had come to define both sides of the Lollard controversy. . . . In particular, Thorpe turns to narrative . . . in order to enact his intertwined theological and political projects.”]

—.  “‘Trewe Men’: Pastoral Masculinity in Lollard Polemic.” Masculinities and Femininities in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. Fred Kiefer. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009.  117-130. [This essay argues that the Lollards engaged in a sustained retroping of marriage and sexual sin that sought to replace traditional models of clerical masculinity, grounded in ordination and signified by celibacy, with a new model of pastoral masculinity, grounded in the Word and signified by marriage.]

—.  “Canon Wars and Outlier Manuscripts: Gospel Harmony in the Lollard Controversy.” Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010): 1-36. [This essay reads the Lollard controversy as a canon war, that is, a contest between highly standardized textual programs, designed to enact opposing models of the church. It analyzes two outlier manuscripts of texts central to this canon war: Huntington Library MSS HM 501, containing Oon of Foure, and HM 149, of Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ. Lollard and anti-Lollard scriptural canons provided materials for innovative vernacular projects such as these, which exceed the totalizing ambitions of the controversy’s central players.]

Smith, Paul. “Could the Gospel Harmony Oon of Foure Represent an Intermediate Version of the Wycliffite Bible?” Studia Neophilologica 80.2 (Dec. 2008): 160-176. [“The similarity between EV translations and OF [Oon of Foure] places the question of the harmony translator’s familiarity with the gospel versions beyond doubt; existing Bible texts must have been consulted in the making of OF. But sufficient unique characteristics of the text can be found which suggest that the work was a fresh piece of translation. . . . In order to establish the independence of the OF from existing texts it is necessary to concentrate on instances of vocabulary in OF not obviously copied from EV or LV and on aspects of the harmony in which the text is even more idiomatic than that in LV.” From an analysis of this, Smith concludes that “Oon of Foure represents an important and unique biblical version intermediate between the literalisms of EV and the modernisms of LV.”]

Watson, Nicholas. “Lollardy: The Anglo-Norman Heresy?” Language and Culture in Medieval Britain: The French of England, c.1100-c.1500. Ed. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne. Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer, 2009. 334-46. [Watson deliberately echoes Hudson’s article “Lollardy: the English Heresy” in his title to provoke consideration of how many popular vernacular English religious treatises are indebted to Anglo-Norman origins, as the descendants into popular religious culture of, for instance, the Somme le Roi can attest–one among many devotional, literary, and biblical texts Watson cites. Given all of this, Watson asks for further consideration of how later medieval English religious controversies descend from the translation of Anglo-Norman texts and practices.]

Winstead, Karen A. “Chaucer’s Parson’s Tale and the Contours of Orthodoxy.” Chaucer Review 43.3 (2009): 239-59. [Winstead argues that “departing from the practices of contemporary penitential texts, Chaucer reduces radically both the presence of the priest in the text and the importance of oral confession in the penitential process. . . . Chaucer uses a genre whose orthodoxy would have been taken for granted by many to offer a richer, more liberal, definition of orthodoxy, recovering a tradition of penitential thought that had been elided in vernacular tracts” (240-41).  In the article Winstead shows this by illustrating changes between Chaucer’s tract and several contemporary works (the Way to Paradise, the Book of Penance, and the Cleansing of Man’s Soul) and to his source in Pennaforte’s Summa do poenitentia.  She also shows how the tale’s notion of penance becomes close to several other contemporary works, Julian of Norwich’s Showings, Eleanor Hull’s commentary on the seven penitential psalms, and the Book of Margery Kempe.]

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