Holy Scripture and the Quest for Authority at the End of the Middle Ages
Publication Year: 2012
All participants in late medieval debates recognized Holy Scripture as the principal authority in matters of Catholic doctrine. Popes, theologians, lawyers—all were bound by the divine truth it conveyed. Yet the church possessed no absolute means of determining the final authoritative meaning of the biblical text—hence the range of appeals to antiquity, to the papacy, and to councils, none of which were ultimately conclusive. Authority in the late medieval church was a vexing issue precisely because it was not resolved.
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Holy Scripture was accepted as the principal foundation of authority in the late medieval church. Everyone—popes, theologians, and lawyers— was bound by the divine truth it conveyed. No teaching or practice could . . .
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This book has been quite a few years in the making and has undergone numerous changes along the way, both in content and in perspective. It is a work of historical theology, which may help in small ways to inform . . .
Chapter 1: Facets of Authority in the Late Medieval Church
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This introductory chapter addresses the authoritative status that Holy Scripture enjoyed in the late medieval church. More specifically, though, it provides a look at the ways in which scripture was understood in itself, . . .
Chapter 2: The Indignant Master
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John Wyclif was above all else a medieval theologian, which is to say that he was thoroughly steeped in the long-held assumptions and practices of the university masters. Having earned his doctorate by about 1372, Wyclif . . .
Chapter 3: The Ambivalent Friar
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Having examined John Wyclif ’s view on scripture and authority, we can turn now to his critics. This chapter looks at the Franciscan theologian William Woodford and the objections he raised to Wyclif ’s exegetical . . .
Chapter 4: Ad Fontes (?)
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The Carmelite theologian Thomas Netter earned his doctorate at Oxford in 1411 and just a few years later, in 1414, was elected prior pro - vincial of the Carmelites in England. His connection to William Woodford . . .
Chapter 5: A Falling Out
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There had been a long history of reform in Bohemia that predated John Wyclif and the subsequent dissemination of his works in the region. I cannot delve into the history of Bohemian reform here, but it must be . . .
Chapter 6: Approaching Final Authority
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As noted in the previous chapter, an ardent desire for the reform of the church in head and members was not confined to Hussites and Wyc - liffites. Indeed, leaders of the conciliarist movement, such as . . .
Chapter 7: The Enduring Dilemma
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We have observed a protracted debate among medieval university masters that seems at times almost impossible to resolve. Perhaps Jean Gerson’s confidence in the infallibility of a general council could offer the . . .
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Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Reading the Scriptures
Series Editor Byline: Gary A. Anderson, Matthew Levering, and Robert Louis Wilken, series editors