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Scholarly Issues

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On the Place of the Mirror to Devout People (Speculum Devotorum) in the Middle English Pseudo-Bonaventuran Tradition

The Mirror to Devout People (Mirror) is a long, comprehensive meditative life of Christ in 33 chapters (one for each year in Christ’s life). A substantial prologue carefully establishes a paratext showing the Mirror to be a request work written by a Carthusian author for a nun of Syon. The text is thus a product of …

The Carthusian Milieu of Love’s Mirror

In his essay, ‘The Haunted Text’, Vincent Gillespie, following A.I. Doyle, has warned that ‘we need to look more carefully at Carthusian interventions in contemporary spiritual writing and … assess the evidence for textual circulation cautiously, without assuming that wide dissemination beyond an audience of confreres or fellow religious was ever a common intention of Carthusian scribes and authors’.[1] This re-examination is, however, not applied to one of the most widely circulating Carthusian texts produced in the fifteenth century: Nicholas Love’s translation of…

“Hospitable Reading” and Clerical Reform in Fifteenth Century London

“Categories of historical explanation are indispensable,” says the German historian of the Protestant Reformation, Berndt Hamm. “But when they lose their status as questions” he continues, “when it is no longer apparent that they are thought constructs placed upon the past, such categories come to have fatal effects on scholarship”…

Engaging with the Academic Community

Work on the Geographies of Orthodoxy project continues apace. The project PDRAs, Dr Ryan Perry and Dr Allan Westphall, are currently working on codicological investigations of the project’s manuscript corpus and detailed (con)textual profiles of English pseudo-Bonaventuran materials respectively, which will issue in ground-breaking web-based outputs in 2009 and, hopefully, as a published catalogue at a later date…

Issues: Vernacular? Theology? Vernacular Theology?

Project Co-Director Dr Ian Johnson assesses the valences of a controversial critical conjunction in contemporary medieval English Studies… At Kalamazoo in 2007 some speakers in sessions on late medieval English religious literature and culture talked of vernacular theology as if it was still very much the vital paradigm. Others, however, spoke of ‘vernacular theology’ whilst [...]

Reviews: Books Under Suspicion

In Kathryn Kerby-Fulton’s study of theological controversy and revelatory writing in Ricardian and early Lancastrian England, Books under Suspicion, the five-page list of the volume’s content itself makes for challenging reading, confronting us with a gallery of terms and names commonly and conventionally not employed in discussions of English religious writing of the period…