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Heresy and Heretics in the Thirteenth Century

Heresy and Heretics in the Thirteenth Century: The Textual Representations

L. J. Sackville
Volume: 1
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Heresy and Heretics in the Thirteenth Century
    Book Description:

    Heresy is always relative; the traces that it leaves to us are distorted and one-sided. In the last few decades, historians have responded to these problems by developing increasingly sophisticated methodologies that help to unravel and illuminate the tan

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-846-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    The story appears in the vast collection of exempla written by Stephen in the middle years of the thirteenth century. It is a neat story, but with several overlapping layers, not all of which are immediately apparent. Most immediately, it presents a first-hand account: a heretic preaching his error to the people in an effort to win converts. His preaching, which is at the forefront of the story, would seem to depend at least initially on a use and exposition of the Catholic Scriptures for its support. That use of Scripture, though, is a more loaded image than it seems:...

  6. 1 To Avoid Evil: Anti-heretical Polemic
    (pp. 13-40)

    After the letters and sermons that greeted the first mutterings of dissent in the eleventh century, by the mid twelfth the anti-heretical treatise had re-emerged in the medieval west with the quickening of heresy and the growth of the schools.² Early attempts, with the possible exception of Peter the Venerableʹs Contra petrobrusianos, tended to remain within the sheltering framework of previously condemned heresy provided by the early church: Eckbert of Schönauʹs Sermones tredecim contra haereticos of 1163–7, the first major work on dualist heresy in the Middle Ages, nevertheless drew heavily on Augustineʹs Contra manicheos for authority and content.³...

  7. 2 To Retreat from Sin: Texts for Edification
    (pp. 41-87)

    It is a standard rhetorical trope, even in the polemical texts, and certainly in much of the legal material, to couple the coercive repression of heresy with a positive movement to reinforce Catholic teachings through word and example. Of the texts that talk about heresy in the mid thirteenth century a significant number are the product of that impulse: the impulse to correct and instruct, to edify and pre-empt that was part of the preaching revival of the thirteenth century. That drive by the papacy to improve the preaching offered by the Catholic church, and to control the right to...

  8. 3 Who Walks in Shadow: The Canon-legal Perspective
    (pp. 88-113)

    The representations of heresy that have been considered so far have all been located in what could loosely be termed a literary context; next to that material, a substantial corpus of legislation against heresy, which formed a distinctive anti-heretical tradition all of its own, was developing. Ultimately, in the mid thirteenth century, that tradition increasingly meant the documentary output of inquisition, but the texts produced by that process will be considered in their own right in the following chapter. This chapter will consider the representation of heresy within the wider tradition of canon law, through conciliar material and through the...

  9. 4 High is the Heart of Man: Inquisition Texts
    (pp. 114-153)

    Although the organized repression of heresy had its foundations in the legislation of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, the formal practice of inquisition into heretical depravity was put in place during the pontificate of Gregory IX. The use of the old legal method of inquisitio for the investigation of heresy had been introduced and adapted by Innocent III. Unlike the traditional method of accusatio, which depended on proactive witness testimony, an inquisition allowed the judge to act on his own authority, on the basis of fama. An ideal tool for investigating a hidden crime, it quickly became the normal...

  10. 5 De heresi
    (pp. 154-200)

    The picture of heresy that we receive from texts is a construction of orthodox commentators, rather than a straightforward description. This has been a given since the introduction and entrenchment of the text-critical methods that revealed the different filters at work and the distortions that result from them, particularly in those texts produced in the context of a tribunal. Heresy is of course, by definition, always relative, but what recent work has shown is that its representation in text is a major part of how that otherness is created and maintained, even if the precise meaning or significance of that...

  11. Appendix: Perfecti as a term to denote heretics
    (pp. 201-202)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 203-216)
  13. Index
    (pp. 217-224)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 225-229)