The Making of Medieval Antifraternalism: Polemic, Violence, Deviance, and Remembrance

Hardcover | May 5, 2012

byG. Geltner

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The mendicant orders-Augustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans, Franciscans, and several other groups-spread across Europe apace from the early thirteenth century, profoundly influencing numerous aspect of medieval life. But alongside their tremendous success, their members (friars) alsoencountered derision, scorn, and even violence. Such opposition, generally known as antifraternalism, is often seen as an ecclesiastical in-house affair or an ideological response to the brethren's laxity: both cases registering a moral decline symptomatic of a decadent church. Challenging theaccuracy of these views, Geltner contends that the phenomenon exhibits a breadth of scope that on the one hand pushes it far beyond its accustomed boundaries, and on the other supports only tenuous links with Reformation or modern forms of anticlericalism.Drawing from numerous sources, from theological treatises to poetry and criminal court records, Guy Geltner shows that people from all walks of life lambasted and occasionally assaulted the brethren, orchestrating detailed scenes of urban violence in the process. Their myriad motivations and diversegoals preclude us from associating antifraternalism with any one ideology or agenda, let alone allow us to brand many of its proponents as religious reformers. At the same time, he demonstrates the friars' active role in forging a medieval antifraternal tradition, not only by deviating from theirfounders' paths to varying degrees, but also by chronicling their suffering inter fideles and thus incorporating it into the orders' identity as the vanguard of Christianity. In doing so, Geltner illuminates a major chapter in Europe's social, urban, and religious history.

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The mendicant orders-Augustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans, Franciscans, and several other groups-spread across Europe apace from the early thirteenth century, profoundly influencing numerous aspect of medieval life. But alongside their tremendous success, their members (friars) alsoencountered derision, scorn, and even violence. Such o...

Guy Geltner is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Amsterdam and Director of The Center for Medieval Studies Amsterdam. His research focuses on the social, environmental, and religious history of the late Middle Ages, especially in an urban context. He has published The Medieval Prison: A Social History (2008); William o...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pagesPublished:May 5, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199639450

ISBN - 13:9780199639458

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Words and Deeds: The World against the Friars1. Polemic: False Apostles, False Seemings, False Starts2. Violence: Friars under FirePart II: Deeds and Words: The Friars against Themselves3. Deviance: Brethren Behaving Badly4. Remembrance: Antifraternalism and Mendicant IdentityConclusion: Antifraternalism, Anticlericalism, and Urban DiscontentAppendix One: Aggression against Mendicants until 1400Appendix Two: Major Offenses and Punishments among Dominican Friars until 1400BibliographyIndex