The concept of heresy is deeply rooted in Christian European culture. The palpable increase in incidences of heresy in the Middle Ages may be said to directly relate to the Christianity's attempts to define orthodoxy and establish conformity at its centre, resulting in the sometimes forceful elimination of Christian sects. In the transition from medieval to early modern times, however, the perception of heresy underwent a profound transformation, ultimately leading to its decriminalization and the emergence of a pluralistic religious outlook.
The essays in this volume offer readers a unique insight into this little-understood cultural shift. Half of the chapters investigate the manner in which the church and its attendant civil authorities defined and proscribed heresy, whilst the other half focus on the means by which early modern writers sought to supersede such definition and proscription. The result of these investigations is a multifaceted historical account of the construction and serial reconstruction of one of the key categories of European theological, juristic and political thought. The contributors explore the role of nationalism and linguistic identity in constructions of heresy, its analogies with treason and madness, the role of class and status in the responses to heresy. In doing so they provide fascinating insights into the roots of the historicization of heresy and the role of this historicization in the emergence of religious pluralism.
About the Author
Ian Hunter is a professor at the Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland, Australia. John Christian Laursen is a professor in the Political Science Department, University of California, Riverside, USA. Cary J. Nederman is a professor in the Department of Political Science, Texas A&M University, USA.
Ian Hunter, John Christian Laursen, Cary J. Nederman, Paul Antony Hayward, Sabina Flanagan, Constant J. Mews, Takashi Shogimen, Thomas A. Fudge, Craig D'Alton, Conal Condren, Thomas Ahnert, Gisela Schlüter, Sandra Pott.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction, Ian Hunter, John Christian Laursen and Cary J. Nederman; Before the coming of popular heresy: the rhetoric of heresy in English historiography, c. 700–1154, Paul Antony Hayward; Heresy, madness and possession in the High Middle Ages, Sabina Flanagan; Accusation of heresy and error in the 12th-century schools: the witness of Gerhoh of Reichersberg and Otto of Freising, Constant J. Mews; William of Ockham and conceptions of heresy, c.1250–c.1350, Takashi Shogimen; A heretic hiding in plain sight: the secret history of Marsiglio of Padua's Defensor Pacis in the thought of Nicole Oresme, Cary J. Nederman; Seduced by the theologians: Aeneas Sylvius and the Hussite heretics, Thomas A. Fudge; Heresy hunting and clerical reform: William Warham, John Colet, and the Lollards of Kent, 1511–12, Craig D'Alton; Curtailing the office of the priest: two 17th-century views of the causes and functions of heresy, Conal Condren; Historicizing heresy in the early German enlightenment: 'orthodox' and 'enthusiast' variants, Thomas Ahnert; What is impartiality? Arnold on Spinoza, Mosheim on Servetus, John Christian Laursen; Thomasius on the toleration of heresy, Ian Hunter; Exporting heresiology: translations and revisions of Pluquet's Dictionnaire des hérésies, Gisela Schlüter; Radical heretics, martyrs, or witnesses of truth? The Albigenses in ecclesiastical history and literature (1550–1850), Sandra Pott; Index of names.