Heretics and Scholars in the High Middle Ages, 1000-1200

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Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998 - Christian heresies - 403 pages
An intellectual portrait of Europe in the High Middle Ages by one of the great medievalists of this century.The struggle over fundamental issues erupted with great fury in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. In this book, preeminent medievalist Henry Fichtenau turns his attention to a new attitude that emerged in Western Europe around the year 1000. This new attitude was exhibited both in the rise of heresy in the general population and in the self-confident rationality of the nascent schools. With his characteristic learning and insight, Fichtenau shows how these two separate intellectual phenomena contributed to a medieval world that was never quite as uniform as might appear from our modern perspective.Fichtenau's panoramic survey opens with the new heretics with popular appeal in the early eleventh century and ends with the new heretics with scholarly appeal in the late twelfth. He presents the whole spectrum of lay men and women, schoolmen, and members of religious orders who labored to delve into the most basic questions of reality with passion and conviction. While he recognizes some fundamental conditions underpinning the rise both of heretical movements -- particularly the Cathars -- as well as Scholastics, he is careful to distinguish the fundamental differences among these groups. Central to these differences is how myth and textuality played a role in their beliefs, what tools they developed to analyze the language of myth (religious or philosophical), and why their speculations were allied with doubt about the mysteries inherent to medieval Christian faith.First published in German in 1991, Heretics and Scholars in the High Middle Ages continues a grand traditionof scholarship on the intellectual history of the Middle Ages.


Western Heretics in the Eleventh Century
Bogomils and Cathars
Some Theories About Heresy
The Religious and Political Environment
Religious Edification and Biblical Exegesis
Ratio and Auctoritas
The Intellectual Pursuits of the Early Scholastics
The New Schools
Early Scholasticism and Heresy

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About the author (1998)

Heinrich Fichtenau was president of the Institute for Austrian Historical Research at the University of Vienna from 1962 until his retirement in 1984. Two of his previous books have been translated into English: The Carolingian Empire: The Age of Charlemagne (1956) and Living in the Tenth Century: Mentalities and Social Orders (1991).

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