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Recent Publications: Two New Primary Sources

TrialogusWycliffiteSpiritualityThis 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.”

CFP: Europe After Wyclif

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:

Recent Publications: Primary Sources

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.”]

Recent Publications: Secondary Sources

The following is a list of over 60 recent publications. All have been added to the Bibliography of Secondary Sources. Please get in touch with with any emendations to what’s below, or if you know of anything else that should be included.

This is not all new work from the past two years. Two major recent publications–the essay collections After Arundel and Wycliffite Controversies–will receive separate posts.

AlbanAlban, Kevin J. “The Treatment of Mary in the Doctrinale of Thomas Netter as a Resource for Contemporary Theology.” Thomas Netter of Walden: Carmelite, Diplomat, and Theologian (c. 1372-1430). Ed. Johan Bergström-Allen and Richard Copsey. Faversham, Kent: St. Albert’s Press, 2009. 335-361. [“This chapter examines three episodes from the life of the Blessed Virgin which Thomas Netter uses to illustrate various points in his arguments with the Lollards” (335).]

—. The Teaching and Impact of the “Doctrinale” of Thomas Netter of Walden (c. 1374-1430). Medieval Church Studies 7. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010. [Alban shows that Netter was more than just an opponent to Wyclif by placing him and his Doctrinale within his larger European context. According to the abstract, “from his death in 1430 until the middle of the eighteenth century, Netter was a much-quoted and copied author whose exposition of Catholic teaching on subjects such as the Church, religious life, and the sacraments proved useful to many Counter-Reformation polemicists and apologists. This book is the first survey of the whole of the Doctrinale and it argues that there is more to Netter than anti-Lollard polemic. The author examines the principal topics in Netter’s work-God, humanity, Christ, the Church, religious life, prayer, the sacraments-and he makes the case that there is a definite plan which links the various parts of the Doctrinale into a whole giving it a certain theological unity.”]

Betteridge, Thomas. “William Tyndale and Religious Debate.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 40.3 (2010): 439-61. [Disagreeing with Rex’s view of lollards as “backward-looking, embattled survivors of a defeated movement” (440), Betteridge argues that their thought did influence later writers: “Tyndale was not a Lollard and yet his work displays a clear an unambiguous engagement with many of Lollardy’s central concerns, above all the aspiration that individual Christians study scripture and debate its meaning with fellow believers” (442). Betteridge considers several lollard sermons and the Testimony of William Thorpe in his discussion.]

Bose, Mishtooni. “Religious Authority and Dissent.” In A Companion to Medieval English Literature and Culture, c. 1350-c. 1500. Ed. Peter Brown. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture 42. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007. 40-55. [“I will begin by offering an overview of some of the topics of debate in the Wycliffite controversies, before discussing some of the characteristics of controversial writing, the necessity of distinguishing between reforming and dissenting discourses, the importance of literature in preserving arenas in which relationships between religious authority and dissent could continue to be negotiated, and the limitations of censorship legislation in helping us to imagine the intellectual and religious climate of late medieval England” (41).]

—. “Netter as Critic and Practitioner of Rhetoric: The Doctrinale as Disputation.” Thomas Netter of Walden: Carmelite, Diplomat, and Theologian (c. 1372-1430). Ed. Johan Bergström-Allen and Richard Copsey. Faversham, Kent: St. Albert’s Press, 2009. 233-448. [Noting that Netter follows a “pioneering approach” to commentary that relies on contextualizing patristic authorities, Bose also says that Netter “implicitly invites readers to check and appraise, rather than merely to simply endorse, his use of sources,” and thereby lays “the foundations of a more radical critical inquiry” (234). The article, then, concentrates “on examining more fully the methodological implications of Netter’s commitment to a fully contextualized reading of his patristic authorities” (234). Specifically, she outlines “some of the fundamental questions about method raised by Netter’s use of St. Augustine” (236).]

—. “Writing, Heresy, and the Anticlerical Muse.” In The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English. Ed. Elaine Treharne and Greg Walker. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2010. 276-96.

Brungs, Alexander. “On Biblical Logicism: Wyclif, ‘Virtus Sermons,’ and Equivocation.” Recherches de théologie et philosophie médiévales 76 (2009): 199-244.

CampbellCampbell, Kirsty. The Call to Read: Reginald Pecock’s Books and Textual Communities. Notre Dame: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2010. [Abstract: “Campbell argues that Pecock’s fascinating attempt to educate the laity is . . . an attempt to establish and unite a community of readers around his books, to influence and thus change the ways they understand their faith, the world, and their place in it. The aim of Pecock’s educational project is to harness the power of texts to effect religious change. Combining traditional approaches with innovative thinking on moral philosophy, devotional exercises, and theological doctrine, Pecock’s works of religious instruction are his attempt to reform a Christian community threatened by heresy through reshaping meaningful Christian practices and forms of belief. Campbell’s book will be of interest to scholars and students of medieval literature and culture, especially those interested in fifteenth-century religious history and culture.”]

Campi, Luigi. “Yet Another ‘Lost’ Chapter of Wyclif’s Summa de Ente: Notes on Some Puzzling References to Tractatus 131.” Vivarium 49 (2011): 353-67. Abstract: “This paper deals with three references found in John Wyclif’s unpublished De scientia Dei to a certain Tractatus 13, whose title relates to the position it holds in the first book of Wyclif’s Summa de Ente. They are puzzling references, since the first book of the Summa is made up barely of seven tracts. In this paper I argue that the three references are actually linking devices to the final section of the De ente praedicamentali (ch. 19-22). Moreover, I maintain that, at the time of the compilation of his De scientia Dei, Wyclif conceived the first book of his Summa as containing thirteen tracts, the last seven of which later collected under a single item (viz. the De ente praedicamen- tali). This allows for a broader and more consistent account of the order and dating of the De scientia Dei (1372) and other Wyclif’s writings.”]

Cesalli, Laurent. “Wyclif on the Felicity (Conditions) of Marriage.” Vivarium 49 (2011): 258-74. [Abstract: ” Regarding marriage, John Wyclif defends the following position: strictly speaking, no words or any kind of sensory signs would be needed, since the consensus of the spouses together with God’s approbation would suffice for the accomplishment of marriage. But if words do have to be pronounced, then the appropriate formula should not be in the present, but in the future. In the following, I shall discuss Wyclif’s arguments by comparing them with some other medieval positions, as well as with some elements of contemporary theories of speech acts. It will appear that in his analysis of the only sacrament which is a “social act“ in the literal sense of the expression, Wyclif (i) clearly acknowledges the central role of individual intentions behind (linguistic) conventions, and (ii) carefully distinguishes between the different, chronologically disparate acts involved in marriage and their respective (semantic, psychological and factual) felicity conditions.”]

Cole, Andrew. “Heresy and Humanism.” In Middle English. Ed. Paul Strohm. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2007. 421-37. [Cole connects Wycliffism with the early humanists, using the term “ecclesiastical humanism” to “account for some of the institutional settings within which humanist activity flourished after new classical texts from the continent began to circulate in England in the first quarter of the fifteenth century” (426). Cole connects ecclesiastical interest in early humanism to changes in theological discourse during the fifteenth century, and hence to the bishops’ perception of Wycliffism.]

Condict, Ellen Marie. “Truth, Craft, and the Real in Chaucer’s House Of Fame.” Ph.D. Diss., Baylor University, 2010. [From the abstract: “This dissertation studies the House of Fame in light of its intellectual context and its social and literary milieu. . . . At the foundation of this unwieldy poem lies distinct philosophical assumptions that hearken back to orthodox, realist sources and positions, expressed most relevantly to Chaucer’s interests and time period in Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy and Wyclif’s defense of realism, in On Universals in particular. Standing on the firm ground of Augustinian realism, Wyclif disputes the modern logicians, who refute the existence of universals and thus chip away at the foundations of the Christian faith. In Boethius’s and Wyclif’s defense of universals, the themes and concerns of their work align closely with those of Chaucer, in particular in his emphasis on the connection that exists between word and deed, between language and reality. Chaucer is concerned with language and its ability to convey meaning, both as a poet and as a thinker grappling with the philosophical and intellectual currents of his day.”]

Conti, Alessandro. “Categories and Universals in the Later Middle Ages.” In Medieval Commentaries on Aristotle’s Categories. Ed. Lloyd A. Newton. Leiden: Brill, 2008. 369-409.

—. “Alcune note su idee divine, creazione ed impossibilità della riduzione al nulla in John Wyclif.” In Discussioni sul nulla tra Medioevo ed Età Moderna. Ed. Massimiliano Lenzi and Alfonso Maierù. Firenze: Olschik, 2009. 105-117.

Copeland, Rita. “Lollard Instruction.” In Medieval Christianity in Practice. Ed. Miri Rubin. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2009. 27-34. [Uses the Prologue to the Glossed Gospel prologue to the short exposition on Matthew to illustrate the emphasis lollards placed on educating the laity to read and interpret scripture.]

Crassons, Kate. The Claims Of Poverty: Literature, Culture, and Ideology in Late Medieval England. Notre Dame: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2010. [Crassons focuses on the period after the plague, when theological and social conceptions shifted to consider poverty as “a symptom of idleness and other sins” rather than a sign of virtue, as had been the case in the thirteenth-century wake of the fraternal orders (5). Among chapters on the C-Text of Piers Plowman, Margery Kempe, and the York Corpus Christi plays, Crassons’ Chapter 2 considers the lollard polemic Pierce the Plowman’s Crede, and her Chapter 3 focuses on “Poverty and Wycliffite Reform,” considering Fitzralph’s Defensio Curatorum, the Sermon of William Taylor, the sermon Omnis plantacio, and the tract De blasphemia contra fratres.]

Catto, Jeremy. “1349-1412: Culture and History.” In The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism. Ed. Samuel Fanous and Vincent Gillespie. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011. 113-132.

Damon, John. “Enacting Liturgy: Estote Fortes in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament.” Romance and Rhetoric: Essays in Honour of Dhira B. Mahoney. Ed. Georgiana Donavin and Anita Obermeier. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010. 171-189. [Discusses ways that the Croxton Play conflates Jews and lollards through the antiphon Estote fortes in bello.]

Deane, Jennifer Kolpacoff. A History of Medieval Heresy and Inquisition. Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. [The final two chapters concern Wycliffites in England and Hussites in Bohemia.]

Flood, John. “‘Known Men”? The Identification of Lollards and Their Works.” In Heresy and Orthodoxy in Early English Literature, 1350-1680. Ed. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and John Flood. Dublin: Four Courts, 2010. 23-38. [Compares the difficulty of ascertaining lollardy to the difficulty of ascertaining homosexuality in the later middle ages, notably in the case of Clanvowe. Asks, then, whether “the methods employed when enquiring about medieval sexualities suggest some analogous strategies for identifying Lollards?” (36).]

GaykGayk, Shannon. Image, Text, and Reform in Fifteenth Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010. [According to the abstract, Gayk “examines how a set of fifteenth-century writers, including Lollard authors, John Lydgate, Thomas Hoccleve, John Capgrave, and Reginald Pecock, translated complex clerical debates about the pedagogical and spiritual efficacy of images and texts into vernacular settings and literary forms. These authors found vernacular discourse to be a powerful medium for explaining and reforming contemporary understandings of visual experience. In its survey of the function of literary images and imagination, the epistemology of vision, the semiotics of idols, and the authority of written texts, this study reveals a fifteenth century that was as much an age of religious and literary exploration, experimentation, and reform as it was an age of regulation.”]

Ghosh, Kantik. “Wycliffism and Lollardy.” The Cambridge History of Christianity, 4: Christianity in Western Europe c. 1100 – c. 1500. Ed. Miri Rubin and Walter Simons. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009. 433-445. [“A governing argument of this chapter will be that the spheres of academic speculation and extra-mural religiosity across a range of social classes affected each other in ways that disable” a traditional polarity between what have been term an academic “Wycliffism” and a popular “lollardy” outside of the university. “The very shape of what emerged as ‘Lollardy,’ as well as ‘orthodoxy,’ was determined by the very rich . .. interplay between the two” (435).]

Gillespie, Vincent. “Vernacular Theology.” In Middle English. Ed. Paul Strohm. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2007. 401-20. [“Vernacular theology is ultimately more about the pragmatic and devotional literacies of different target audiences than about the status or cultural worth of different languages it is performed” (402). After an initial discussion of its various forms around the turn to the fifteenth century, Gillespie turns his focus to the Oxford debates over translation to articulate the stakes the advent of these texts during the period.]

Goldberg, P.J.P. “Coventry’s ‘Lollard’ Programme of 1492 and the Making of Utopia.” In Pragmatic Utopias: Ideals and Communities, 1200-1630. Ed. Rosemary Horrox and Sarah Rees Jones. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001. 97-116. [“At the Michaelmas session of the 1492 leet court of the city of Coventry a series of ordinances were enacted which culminated in the provision that no ‘senglewoman’ below the age of fifty and capable of work should live by herself, but rather should ‘go to the seruice till they be married.’ . . . It is our contention that the Michelmas 1492 program . . . represents a radical reform manifesto associated with one particular faction characterised by marked Lollard sympathies” (97).]

Green, Richard F. “Textual Production and Textual Communities.” The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Literature 1000-1500. Ed. Larry Scanlon. 25-35.

Hanna, Ralph. “Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 647 and its Use, c.1410-2010.” In Textual Cultures: Cultural Texts. Ed. Orietta Da Rold and Elaine Treharne. Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 2010. 141-161. [Along with Cambridge, Corpus Christi Coll. 296 and Dublin, Trinity Coll. 244 (discussed by Hanna in “Two Lollard Codices”), Bodley 647 shows “access to a common Lollard copying centre or ‘library.” Hanna describes the history of the volume’s early use and interpretation, and concludes with an argument for its thematic coherence “devoted to a discussion of proper priesthood.” An appendix provides a full collation.]

HornbeckHornbeck, J. Patrick II. What is a Lollard? Dissent and Belief in Late Medieval England. Oxford Theological Monographs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. [“This is a book not only about lollards but also about the terms and categories that have been used to describe them: through the process of documenting and analysing the dissenting beliefs preserved in lollard texts and the records of heresy trials, what becomes apparent is that there is no static essence that we can call lollardy. Rather than a narrowly defined theological category, lollardy is and has been a capacious term, under which all manner of religious outliers await closer examination. Hornbeck explores the wide range of lollard beliefs on some of the key issues in late medieval Christianity: how one is saved; what truly happens in the sacrament of the eucharist; who can get married, and why; whether there should exist discrete orders of clergy, or even the pope. He argues that the beliefs of individual dissenters were conditioned by a number of social, textual, and cultural factors, including the ideas they discussed with other members of their local communities, the texts to which they had access, and the influence of mainstream religion and spirituality.”]

Hudson, Anne. “Thomas Netter’s Doctrinale and the Lollards.” Thomas Netter of Walden: Carmelite, Diplomat, and Theologian (c. 1372-1430). Ed. Johan Bergström-Allen and Richard Copsey. Faversham, Kent: St. Albert’s Press, 2009. 179-197. [Asking “how much did Netter know of either Wyclif or Lollardy?,” Hudson discusses the evidence left in the Doctrinale for Netter’s knowledge of individual Wycliffites and Wycliffite texts.]

—. “Books and their Survival: The Case of English Manuscripts of Wyclif’s Latin Works.” Viator: Medieval And Renaissance Studies (2011): 225-244.

—. “Five Problems in Wycliffite Texts and a Suggestion.” Medium Ævum 80.2 (2011): 301- 324. [Examines problems with the five major Wycliffite textual productions-the Bible, the Floretum/Rosarium, the Glossed Gospels, the Revision of Rolle’s Psalter Commentary, and the sermon cycle. Hudson posits that similarities in physical and textual production found among them probably indicate a relatively unified program of compilation. Given these, and similar productions among Oxford Franciscans, Hudson suggests that the Oxford Greyfriars provides a possible location for their production, and considers arguments for and against this hypothesis.]

—. “Aspects of Tradition in English Wycliffism.” In Confession and Nation in the Era of Reformations. Central Europe in Comparative Perspective. Ed. Eva Doležalová and Jaroslav Pánek. Praha (Prague): Historický ústav, 2011. 53-62.

James, Sarah. “‘Langagis, whose reules ben not written’: Pecock and the Uses of the Vernacular.” In Vernacularity in England and Wales, c. 1300-1550. Ed. Elizabeth Salter and Helen Wicker. Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011. 101-117. “I will argue that for Pecock, what is at stake is not simply the question of language itself; rather, language is a . . . shorthand for a whole array of . . . pressing issues, including lay education, access to texts, and the social and religious structures which determine the distribution of power and authority” (102).

Larsen, School of Heretics—. “A Previously Unnoticed Extract of Suso’s Horologium Sapientiae in English.” Notes And Queries 59 (257).1 (2012): 28-30. [The extract is found in Cambridge, St. John’s MS G.25. It is a version of ch. 6 of Seven Poyntes, on the nature of the Eucharist, which here does not appear as a dialogue. It occupies fols. 85r-93r, immediately following the Oon of Foure. It is followed by three blank leaves, after which appears the lollard sermon Vae Octuplex.]

Larsen, Andrew. The School of Heretics: Academic Condemnation at the University of Oxford, 1277-1411. Leiden: Brill, 2011. [“This . . . is the first book-length study of academic condemnations at Oxford. It explores every known case in detail, including several never examined before, and then considers the practice of condemnation as a whole. As such, it provides a context to see John Wyclif and the Oxford Lollards not as unique figures, but as targets of a practice a century old by 1377. It argues that condemnation did not happen purely for reasons of theological purity, but reflected social and institutional pressures within the university.”]

Lavinsky, David W. “After Wyclif: Lollard Biblical Scholarship and the English Vernacular, C.1380-C. 1450.” Ph.D. Diss., Univ. of Michigan, 2009. [From the abstract: “This dissertation investigates the changing meanings of biblical writing and scriptural truth in the work of John Wyclif and his successors, English heretics known as the Lollards. . . . I demonstrate . . . that Wyclif’s scriptural agenda fostered deeply ambivalent theorizations of the Bible’s material and historical status at precisely the moment when Lollards were most invested in constructing a canon of vernacular religious writing. This becomes apparent when Wyclif’s Latin theological works are juxtaposed with the English translations and commentaries of Lollardy’s adherents, and when both archives are placed in dialogue with a broad range of hermeneutic theory.”]

—. “‘Knowynge Cristes Speche’: Gender and Interpretive Authority in the Wycliffite Sermon Cycle.” Journal Of Medieval Religious Cultures 38.1 (2012): 60-83. [From the abstract: “[T]his article argues that certain Wycliffite biblical commentaries-primarily the long English sermon cycle-address and authorize women in various ways. Prompted by a need to model its own exegetical practices, the sermon cycle invokes women as an internal audience invested with the hermeneutic authority to point readers toward the proper register of Christ’s speech and thus to the meaning of enigmatic gospel texts. This mode, it is finally argued, makes sense in relation to Wyclif’s own hermeneutic theorizations in the De Veritate Sacrae Scripturae.”]

LevyLevy, Ian. “Thomas Netter on the Eucharist.” Thomas Netter of Walden: Carmelite, Diplomat, and Theologian (c. 1372-1430). Ed. Johan Bergström-Allen and Richard Copsey. Faversham, Kent: St. Albert’s Press, 2009. 273-314. [Levy focuses on the discussion of the Eucharist in Book Five. Netter’s dispute with Wyclif is modeled on the eleventh-century debate between Lanfranc and Berengar, likening Wyclif to Berengar, the “cunning manipulator of terms” (274). Though Netter’s argument is certainly polemical, “one is still struck by the affective piety that courses through the entire section” (274). Discussing a number of theologically contentious points, Levy shows that “much of the battle over the Eucharist turned on [their differing interpretations of the] nature of Church tradition” (306).]

—. Holy Scripture and the Quest for Authority and the End of the Middle Ages. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 2012. [Levy’s book describes ways in which Scripture was argued to be the foundation for ecclesiastical authority between about 1370 to 1430. The book describes a progression through chapters on Wyclif, Woodford, Netter, Hussite controversies, and Gerson.]

Marshall, Peter. “The Reformation, Lollardy, and Catholicism.” In The Blackwell Companion to Tudor Literature. Ed. Kent Cartwright. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 15-30. [A short discussion that places lollardy in the context of the early reformation.]

McCormack, Frances. Chaucer and the Culture of Dissent. Dublin: Four Courts, 2007. [McCormack makes the claim, unusual since the middle of the twentieth century, that Chaucer depicts his Parson as a lollard, and claims as well that “Chaucer may well have been a lollard” (15).]

—. “Chaucer and Lollardy.” In Chaucer and Religion. Ed. Helen Phillips. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2010. 35-40. [McCormack discusses passages in which lollardy is mentioned or alluded to in Chaucer’s works, and reviews critical commentary on these passages.]

—. “‘Why sholde I sowen draf out of my fest?’: Chaucer and the False Prophet Motif.” In Heresy and Orthodoxy in Early English Literature . Ed. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and John Flood. Dublin: Four Courts, 2010. 39-48. [Compares ways that Chaucer depicts the Pardoner as a “false prophet” with ways that he studiously avoids letting the Parson be labeled as one; both depictions are haunted by the shadow of lollardy.]

Melia, Richard. “The perfect ‘sumtyme,’ the ‘nowe’ time and the ‘ende’ time: The Driving Force Behind Lollard Reformism?” Ph.D. Thesis, University of Lancaster, 2004.

Minnis, Alastair. “Tobit’s Dog and the Dangers of Literalism: William Woodford O.F.M. as Critic of Wycliffite Exegesis.” Defenders and Critics of Franciscan Life: Essays in Honour of John V. Fleming. Ed. Michael F. Cusato and Guy Geltner. Leiden: Brill, 2009. 41-52. [Focuses on Woodforde’s critique, in his Quattuor determinationes, of Wyclif’s belief that “present-day religion is full of human institutions and traditions which have no Biblical precedent-and therefore they should be removed” (45), which argued that religious orders should also be removed. Minnis focuses on the second determination, which “offers a reductio ad absurdum of Wyclif’s view that every truth which is conducive to salvation is to be found in the Bible” (45). Minnis describes several responses by Woodforde to this. One of them is to say, with a reductive literalism, that “Tobit had a dog” is not conducive to salvation (48).]

—. “‘Oonly consent of love is sufficient for matrimonie’: Translating John Wyclif’s Word of the Mind.” In Lost in Translation?, ed. Denis Renevey and Christina Whitehead. The Medieval Translator 12. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010. 189-203. [“One of the most striking [of Wyclif’s ideas about the sacraments] is that ‘consent of love’ alone is sufficient for matrimony. . . . There is no need for the saying of banns, the presence of a priest, or, indeed, for the expression of vows by the couple who are joining together in holy matrimony. Speech of any kind is unnecessary. . . . In tracking the translatio . . . of such doctrine from Wyclif’s Latin works to the vernacular records of fifteenth-century heresy trials, we may perhaps gain a little insight into how certain men and women, from East Anglia and Kent, sought to theorize the business of love and marriage in light of a version of Christianity which combined a strong predestinarian impulse with a strict puritanism in sexual matters” (190). Minnis considers Sir Lewis Clifford, William White, Wyclif (the Trialogus), Netter, and Pecock in his discussion.]

—. “Looking for a Sign: The Quest for Nominalism in Ricardian Poetry.” In Essays on Ricardian Literature in Honour of J.A. Burrow. Ed. Alastair Minnis, C.C. Morse, and T. Turville-Petre. Oxford: Clarendon, 1997. 142-78. Rpt. in Translations of Authority in Medieval English Literature: Valuing the Vernacular. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2009. 38-67. [Minnis finds insufficient influence of Nominalism (defined as modern critics have used the term) on Chaucer. Langland’s consideration of Nominalism, especially concerning baptism and Trajan, is more ambiguous, though Minnis believes that Langland “avoided both Neopelagianism and Wycliffite predestinarianism by constructing a Trajan who is given full credit for his ‘truthe’ yet needs some help from a saint” (64). To “locate Langland more precisely on the intellectual map of his day,” Minnis compares his use of Trajan to John Wyclif’s, especially “in relation to Wyclif’s unusual version of the baptismus flaminis episode” (59).]

—. “Making Bodies: Confection and Conception in Walter Brut’s ‘Vernacular Theology.’” In The Theory and Practice of Translation in the Middle Ages. Ed. R. Voaden, R. Tixier, T. Sanchez Roura, and J.R. Rytting. The Medieval Translator 8. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. 1-16. Rpt. in Translations of Authority in Medieval English Literature: Valuing the Vernacular. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2009. 90-111. [Considers two questions asked of Brut, “whether women are suitable ministers to confect the sacrament of the Eucharist,” and “whether women confect or can confect as true priests the sacrament of the Eucharist” (92). Minnis uses these to consider “the formulation of one issue which arose in the course of the debate: the proposed connection between two ways in which Christ’s body was made, through conception and through confection” (94). The question is deeply connected to whether women can preach, and therefore to the status of languages in which the Word might be preached.]

Netter EssaysMullins, Patrick. “Netter’s Defence of Extreme Unction Against Wyclif.” Thomas Netter of Walden: Carmelite, Diplomat, and Theologian (c. 1372-1430). Ed. Johan Bergström-Allen and Richard Copsey. Faversham, Kent: St. Albert’s Press, 2009. 251-70. [Mullins focuses on ch. 25 of Book Four of the Doctrinale. Wyclif and lollards (according to the 1394 “Twelve Conclusions”) rejected Extreme Unction. Mullins outlines Netter’s case against Wyclif and notes later references.]

Ocker, Christopher. “The Bible in the Fifteenth Century.” The Cambridge History of Christianity, 4: Christianity in Western Europe c. 1100 – c. 1500. Ed. Miri Rubin and Walter Simons. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009. 472-93. [A detailed discussion that starts with Biblical scholarship, and moves to ways in which biblical knowledge was disseminated to the laity during the century, including the Wycliffite translation along with private devotions and sermons. According to Ocker, “This was a conservative century for the church, marked by reactions to Hussites and Wycliffites and by attempts to restore the papal monarchy and adapt to the encroaching impossibility of papal temporal influence outside Italy” (488).]

O’Donnell, Christopher. “A Controversy on Confirmation: Thomas Netter of Walden and Wyclif.” Thomas Netter of Walden: Carmelite, Diplomat, and Theologian (c. 1372-1430). Ed. Johan Bergström-Allen and Richard Copsey. Faversham, Kent: St. Albert’s Press, 2009. 317-332. [O’Donnell outlines Wyclif’s argument against Confirmation in the Trialogus, Netter’s extensive reply, and puts them into context, noting that both were rehearsing earlier arguments, but that differences occur in methodology, especially in Netter’s disagreement with Wyclif’s scriptura sola principle.]

Peikola, Matti. “Aspects of Mise-En-Page in Manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible.” In Medieval Texts in Context. Ed. Graham D. Caie and Denis Renevey. London: Routledge, 2008. 28-67. [Peikola argues that “the layout of the page . . . ‘silently guides the reader towards a certain reception'” (5). Investigating 127 manuscripts of the Bible, he attends to running headers, initials, and especially ruling patterns to “establish whether any such groupings of manuscripts emerge which could provide a starting point for further and more detailed case studies of book productions involving the Wycliffite Bible” (51).]

Rex, Richard. “Not a Lollard Mass After All?” The Journal of Theological Studies 62 (2011): 207-17. [Rex takes up the case of William Ramsbury discussed by Hudson in “A Lollard Mass” (see in Lollards and their Books). From the abstract: “This article re-examines the record and argues that it has been misread. Far from being a Lollard minister, it suggests, Ramsbury was nothing but a confidence trickster. The form of liturgy he admitted to celebrating was not a product of theological editing but the performance of the visible and audible parts of the mass, with those parts customarily unseen and unheard simply omitted for economy of effort.”]

Scattergood, John. “The Date of Sir John Clanvowe’s The Two Ways and the “Reinvention of Lollardy.'” Medium Ævum 79.1 (2010): 116-120. [Starts with a mention of Clanvowe’s text in Cole’s Literature and Heresy in the Age of Chaucer (on 50-54) in which Cole, dating the text to the mid- to late 1380s, argues that it comprises part of the contemporary re-invention of lollardy. Scattergood argues that Cole probably dates the text too early.]

—. ” Erasing Oldcastle: Some Literary Reactions to the Lollard Rising of 1414.” Heresy and Orthodoxy in Early English Literature, 1350-1680. Ed. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and John Flood. Dublin: Four Courts, 2010. 49-74. Rpt. in Occasions for Writing: Essays on Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Politics and Society. Dublin: Four Courts, 2010. 136-62. [Scattergood examines ways in which, unlike other lollards, Oldcastle “was a special case. . . . His heresy was assumed to be not simply a dereliction of his duties towards his church, but a dereliction of the demands of his class” (56).]

Simonetta, Stefano. “Verso l’Apocalisse, a piccoli passi. Escatologia e riforma in John Wyclif.” L’Apocalisse nel Medioevo. Ed. Rossana Guglielmetti. Florence: SISMEL edizioni del Galluzzo, 2011. 595-616.

Šmahel, František. “The English Rising of 1381, Wyclif and Lollards in the Czech Point of View.” In Confession and Nation in the Era of Reformations. Central Europe in Comparative Perspective. Ed. Eva Doležalová and Jaroslav Pánek. Praha (Prague): Historický ústav, 2011. 35-52.

Smith, Jennifer Anh-Thu Tran. “Reginald Pecock and Vernacular Theology in Pre-Reformation England.” Ph.D. Diss., UCLA, 2012. [From the abstract: “The first half of the dissertation is dedicated to the language and style of Pecock’s works. It includes a systematic survey of Pecock’s entire extant lexicon gathered from five source texts and the implications of Pecock’s many new word formations, their etymologies and their types. . . . The second half of the dissertation is the first systematic analysis of Pecock’s pedagogical system, one which he terms the “Four Tables of God’s Law” and saw as a better teaching alternative than the Ten Commandments. It compares Pecock’s techniques to his contemporaries, both orthodox and heretical, lay and religious. Fundamentally, the project moves from specific issues dealing with Pecock’s language use and progressively broadens in scope and analysis to situate Pecock and his writings at the transition between the Medieval and Early Modern eras.”]

Somerset, Fiona. “Censorship.” In The Production of Books in England 1350-1500. Ed. Alexandra Gillespie and Daniel Wakelin. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011. 239-58. [Somerset surveys “the evidence for censorship in the century or so before print” (239). She starts with Arundel’s Constitutions, and moves forward to consider instances in which inquisitors attempted to regulate the reading of problematic texts, with discussion especially of the problem especially of how to identify such texts, and means of regulation.. She finds that “book producers and owners would have been far less consistent and perfunctory in their efforts at censorship . . . if the terms of censorship had been clear to all and had been widely and systematically applied” (258).]

Somerset, Fiona, and Derrick Pitard. “Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies: The Lollards and John Wyclif.” [A categorized and annotated list of about 150 important publications in the field.]

What’s a Good Introduction to Wycliffism?

This question comes up quite a bit on line and in e-mails. This post gives some options for different audiences. In talking to colleagues about possibilities, several noted that new publications specifically to introduce the movement are on the way. New work will be noted here as it comes out.

1. About Wyclif. The most approachable introduction to Wyclif’s life and thought is the first chapter of Stephen Lahey’s John Wyclif (Oxford, 2009). This gives the most recent biography of Wyclif, contextualizing his life with lucid discussions of the political, theological, and philosophical debates that he participated in. This chapter will be accessible to undergraduates.

A more exhaustive discussion, appropriate for advanced undergrads or grad students, is J. I. Catto, “Wyclif and Wycliffism at Oxford 1356-1430,” in volume 2 of The History of the University of Oxford, edited by Catto and Evans (Oxford, 1992). This concentrates on the political and conceptual contexts at the university rather than on Wyclif’s life. Beyond this, the rest of Lahey and the essays in Ian Levy’s A Companion to John Wyclif (Brill, 2006) open up many further avenues into philosophical and theological contexts.

2. About the lollard movement that Wyclif inspired. A number of essay-length introductions accessible to undergraduates now exist, in part because of the “handbook” and “companion” trend in publishing over the past decade. The following suggestions contain overlaps, of course, but each takes a slightly different approach:

  • Mishtooni Bose, “Religious Authority and Dissent,” in A Companion to Medieval English Literature and Culture, c. 1350-c. 1500, ed. Peter Baker (Blackwell, 2007): 40-55. A great introduction to historical and conceptual information about the movement and its study.
  • Wendy Scase, “Lollardy,” in The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology ed. David Bagchi and David Steinmetz. (Cambridge, 2004): 16-21. A very succinct description of theological beliefs characteristic of lollardy.
  • Malcolm Lambert, in Medieval Heresy (Blackwell, 2002), now in its third edition, contains chapters on Wyclif, the lollard movement, and the Hussites in Bohemia. These outline the history very well, though interpretations of these facts have differed.

One other resource for shorter work is the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (most academic libraries subscribe), which not only includes essays on Wycliffites, opponents, and contemporaries, but also entries on “Lollard Women” and “Lollard Knights.”

3. Longer work. Book-length introductions appropriate for upper-level undergrads or graduate students must start with Anne Hudson’s The Premature Reformation (Oxford, 1988). This study is key not just for the knowledge that it deploys, gathered by Hudson as she worked with Pamela Gradon to edit the sermon cycle and other works, but also for the argument–which Hudson makes through an extensive interrogation of social and conceptual consistencies gleaned from a wide range of sources–that lollardy was worth studying as a coherent movement.

Beyond this, a next step is several essay collections that include a wide variety of work on the movement and its contexts. These include:

For more help, here are two bibliographical options aside from this site. The first is Derrick Pitard, “A Selected Bibliography for Lollard Studies,” in Lollards and their Influence in Late Medieval England 251-319. This categorizes material differently than this site does (which might be a help), but obviously only includes work published up to about 2002.

A new option is Fiona Somerset and Derrick Pitard, “The Lollards and John Wyclif,” Oxford Bibliographies Online, 2012. You can find this at, though it requires a subscription. This is a categorized and annotated bibliography of about 150 of the most important studies.

If you know of any others that should be here, please add them in a comment!

CFP: Early Book Society, July 2013

The thirteenth biennial EBS conference will be held at St. Andrews University, Scotland, from 4-7 July 2013. The theme for the conference is “Networks of Influence: Readers, Owners, and Makers of MSS and Printed Books, 1350-1550.” According to the CFP,

“networks” could allude to an affinity, friendships, communities, secular or religious or both, for example, while “influence” could be orthodox, heretical, royal, individual, and so on. “Networks” might allude further to collectors or cataloguers of medieval MSS or of related libraries. Lectures or proposed sessions that consider the transition from script to print, bibliographic issues, or the movement between English and Scottish texts (or vice versa) and audiences are particularly encouraged, though papers on any aspect of the history of manuscripts and printed books from 1350-1550 . . . are welcome.

The conference will feature special exhibitions from the collections at St. Andrews and the NLS.

The conference is open to all EBS members. For more about how to join, please see

Proposals are due by Nov. 15. Please send them to both Martha Driver (marthadriver [at] hotmail [dot] com) and Margaret Connolly (mc29 [at] st-andrews [dot] ac [dot] uk). Indicate in your proposal whether you will need a slide projector, over-head projector, or computer equipment.

CFP: Kalamazoo 2013

Here are sessions proposed for May 2013; the Congress will be held on 9-13 May.

1. Last Things

Papers in this session will consider the ways in which fifteenth-century Europeans addressed the death of the individual and its perils and promises; mass deaths or killings associated with plague, famine, or war; or fears, hopes or predictions about the end times, often imagined as soon to come. Participants might also consider the longer history of these attitudes and practices, and the ways that in telling the story of the fifteenth century they have been deployed within a narrative of waning or decay leading to the end of the middle ages.

2. Biblical Mediation and Remediation

Papers in this session will consider the proliferation of new media and genres and languages that mediated the bible to ever increasing audiences in the fifteenth century, in a wide range of redactions and embellishments and paraphrases and liturgical and performative deployments as well as (what might be claimed to be) its authentic and unadorned words. However, these new mediations also involve remediation. We use that term not only in its media studies sense, where it refers to the ways that any new form of communication does not supersede but interacts with and integrates and repurposes older ones, so that in many ways it is not as new as it seems. We also use it to describe how biblical mediations make bold ameliorative claims: they aim (they say) to repair or reform persons and communities by providing them with a truth they have lacked. But everything new is old, in ways that can produce all sorts of violence—the same might be said about the ways scholars have laid claim to what is new in the fifteenth century.

To submit a proposal, or for any further questions, please get in touch with Fiona Somerset at addax3 [at] gmail [dot] com.

New Essay Collection: Wycliffite Controversies

Wycliffite Controversies
Brepols has published new collection of essays, edited by J. Patrick Hornbeck and Mishtooni Bose, that includes a wide range of work. According to the publisher the volume considers “in interdisciplinary fashion the historical, literary, and theological resonances of the Wycliffite controversies. Far from adhering to the traditional binary divide between ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘heresy’ as a tool for explaining the religious turmoil of the late fourteenth, fifteenth, and early sixteenth centuries, essays here explore the construction and rhetorical use of those terms, collectively producing a more nuanced account of the religious history of pre-Reformation England.” This promises to be a very important collection of studies!

New Publication: van Dussen, From England to Bohemia

Dussen, From England to BohemiaMichael van Dussen has a new volume forthcoming (already out in the UK) entitled England to Bohemia: Heresy and Communication in the Later Middle Ages, as part of the Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature series. It promises to open up new ground on Wycliffism and communication with Bohemia.

According to the book’s jacket description, “This is the first book-length study of the influential cultural and religious exchanges which took place between England and Bohemia following Richard II’s marriage to Anne of Bohemia in 1382. The ensuing growth in communication between the two kingdoms initially enabled new ideas of religion to flourish in both countries but eventually led the English authorities to suppress heresy. This exciting project has been made possible by the discovery of new manuscripts after the opening up of Czech archives over the past twenty years. It is the only study to analyze the Lollard-Hussite exchange with an eye to the new opportunities for international travel and correspondence to which the Great Schism gave rise, and examines how the use of propaganda and The Council of Constance brought an end to this communication by securing the condemnation of heretics such as John Wyclif.”

Kalamazoo 2012

The schedule for Kalamazoo 2012 is now on line. Sessions this year will take place on Thursday, May 10, in the afternoon and evening.

  • Session 66: Influence or Interchange? Vernacular and Scholarly Cultures (Organizer: Fiona Somerset, Duke Univ.; Presider: J. Patrick Hornbeck II, Fordham Univ.)

    • “Unlocking the Barn Door: Vernacular Doctrine and Its Audience in the Thirteenth Century,” Claire M. Waters, Univ. of Virginia
    • “Do What You Can: Pearl’s Vineyard Parable and Fourteenth-Century Pelagianism,” James Knowles, North Carolina State Univ.
    • “Aristotle and Antichrist,” Kellie Robertson, Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Session 113: Historiographies of Feeling (A Roundtable) (Organizer: Fiona Somerset, Duke Univ.; Presider: Fiona Somerset)

    • A roundtable discussion with Sarah McNamer, Georgetown Univ.; Russell Leo, Princeton Univ.; Sara Ritchey, Univ. of Louisiana–Lafayette; Andrew Romig, New York Univ.; Holly Crocker, Univ. of South Carolina–Columbia; Matthew W. Irvin, Sewanee: The Univ. of the South
  • Session 158: Religious Practice (Organizer: Fiona Somerset, Duke Univ.; Presider: Elizabeth Schirmer, Univ. of New Mexico)

    • “Manuscript Evidence for Readings of the Christian Catechism: The Ten Commandments in English Rhyme, ca. 1200–1500,” Elisabeth Salter, Aberystwyth Univ.
    • “‘Stories of the elde testament’: Literary Reading and Lollard Biblical Scholarship,” David Lavinsky, Yeshiva Univ.
    • “Picking up Change: A Manuscript Available to Lollard Reformers and Restoration Catholics,” Pamela Troyer, Metropolitan State College of Denver
    • “Religious Practices in the Early Fifteenth Century: A Theology of Mystery,” Kevin Alban, Institutum Carmelitanum

Other sessions to attend include Medieval Translation Theory and Practice II, organized by Jeanette Beer, focusing on Biblical translation, including a paper on “The Wyclif Bible” by Elizabeth Solopova; and a session entitled Medieval Sermon Studies I: Saints, Sinners, and the Pastoral Art of Preaching that includes a paper by Sean Otto entitled “Confession without Confessing? John Wyclif’s Sermon for the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene.”