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A Companion to the Reformation World by R. Po-chia Hsia

By R. Po-chia Hsia

This quantity brings jointly 29 new essays by means of prime overseas students, to supply an inclusive assessment of modern paintings in Reformation historical past.

  • Presents Catholic Renewal as a continuum of the Protestant Reformation.
  • Examines Reformation in japanese and Western Europe, Asia and the Americas.
  • Takes a extensive, inclusive procedure – overlaying either conventional themes and state of the art components of dialogue.

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Many Lollards were literate in the vernacular (though not usually in Latin) and could therefore read to each other from their Biblical translations and books of sermons and tracts. Later Lollardy, it would appear, was a cooperative exercise (Hudson, Premature Reformation, pp. 180–200). Waldenses were, in contrast, generally less literate. They had, however, an itinerant, celibate elite of pastors or barbes, who could read the books that they carried with them, and also knew parts of Scripture by heart.

The mere possession of religious books in English came to be regarded as a convenient means to identify a heretic at the end of the Middle Ages (Hudson, Premature Reformation, pp. 470–1, 486–7). Apart from language and ownership, there was often little else that was “heretical” about heretics’ books. The key text was of course the Bible itself. Waldensian translations were in various languages, and most are lost. There survive five incomplete Bibles in an Alpine version of FrancoProvençal. Usually the New Testament is nearly complete, while only selected books of moral and homiletic value from the Old Testament are included (Cameron, Waldenses, p.

Heretics largely shared the ethical standards of the Catholic dissent and heresy 19 Church, including its belief that the ideal for a priest was to be chaste and pure, living as a poor, apostolic ascetic. They objected above all to the church’s perceived gross failure to live up to those standards. Reformers would argue that the whole system of works righteousness built on those ethical values was radically misconceived. The Reformation presented a new theological message, from which an entire program of reform could be rolled out with relative consistency.

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