Heresy of the Free Spirit in the Later Middle Ages

ISBN-10: 0268010943
ISBN-13: 9780268010942
Edition: Reprint 
Authors: Robert E. Lerner
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Description: The heresy of the Free Spirit is often considered to have been the most important continental European heresy of the fourteenth century. Many historians have described its membership as a league of anarchistic deviants who fomented sexual license  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Publication date: 9/30/1991
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

The heresy of the Free Spirit is often considered to have been the most important continental European heresy of the fourteenth century. Many historians have described its membership as a league of anarchistic deviants who fomented sexual license and subversion of authority. Free Spirits are supposed to have justified nihilism and megalomania and to have been remote precursors of Bakunin and Nietzsche and twentieth-century bohemians and hippies. This volume examines the Free-Spirit movement as it appeared in its own age, and concludes that it was not a tightly-organized sect, but rather a spectrum of belief that emphasized voluntary poverty and quietistic mysticism. Overall, the movement was far more typical of the late-medieval search for God and godliness that is commonly supposed.

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
Heresy and Fornication
Three Racy Stories
The Heresy in the Swabian Ries
Heresy and Fornication: a Topos of the Thirteenth Century
Adamites and Luciferans in the Fourteenth Century
Beghards and Beguines
Origins and Sources of Hostility
The Heresy of Lay Piety
Conrad of Megenberg and John Wasmod of Homburg
The Condemnation
The Thirteenth Century
The German Decrees
Marguerite Porete
The Council of Vienne
The Inquisition in Strassburg
The Campaign of John of Zurich
The Second Wave of Persecutions
The Case of John Malkaw
The Third Wave of Persecutions
The Inquisition in the East
John and Albert of Brunn
The Beguines of Schweidnitz
The Hussite Problem
The Inquisition in the West
Hermann Kuchener and Constantine of Erfurt
The Revival of the Papal Inquisition
The Campaign of Walter Kerlinger: John Hartmann and the Beguines of Thuringia
Conrad Kannler
The Campaigns of Martin of Prague, Peter Zwicker, and Eylard Schoenveld
Nicholas of Basel and the Campaign of John Mulberg
The "Men of Intelligence"
The Fifteenth Century
The Polemics of Gerson
The Era of the Council of Basel
Hans Becker
The Predicament of the Mystics
Meister Eckhart
Eckhart's Orthodox Followers
Ruysbroeck
Groote and the Brethren of the Common Life
The Literature of the Free Spirit
The Mirror of Simple Souls
The Pseudo-Eckhart Literature
De onbekende leek and Schwester Katrei
The Rhineland libelli and The Book of Spiritual Poverty
Conclusions
The Place of the Heresy of the Free Spirit in Social and Cultural History
Who were the Free Spirits?
Motivation
"The Pursuit of the Millennium" or "Beyond Good and Evil"?
The Lay Spirit and the Dignity of Man
Ultimate Failure
List of Manuscripts
Index

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