Faith, Ethics and Church

Faith, Ethics and Church

Writing in England, 1360-1409

David Aers





Examination of key texts - Chaucer to Wyclif - sheds new light on medieval spirituality.
The relationship between versions of the late medieval Church, faith, ethics and the lay powers, as explored in a range of late fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century texts written in England, is the subject of this book. It argues that they disclose strikingly diverse models of Christian discipleship, and examines the sources and consequences of such differences. Issues investigated include whether the Church could shape modern communities and individual identities, and how it could combine its status as a major landlord and trader without being assimilated by the various networks of earthly power and profit. The book begins with Chaucer's treatment of received versions of faith, ethics and the Church, and moves via St Thomas, Ockham, Nicholas Love, Gower, the Gawain-poet and Langland (who pursues the issues with particular intensity and focus) to Wyclif's construal of Christian discipleship in relation to his projected reform of the Church. Interdisciplinary in approach, the book will be of interest to all those studying late medieval Christianity and literature.
DAVID AERS is James B. Duke Professor of English and Professor of Historical Theology at Duke University.


July 2000
166 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780859915618
Format: Hardback
BISAC LIT011000, REL015000, LIT004120
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It is Aers's achievement to have brought out the religious issues which preoccupied his chosen writers and the nuances of their response, leaving far behind the crude labels of Lollard and orthodox, conservative and radical, to which too many historians have clung, and his book will be read with profit both within and outside the conspectus of English studies. REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES * Extraordinarily rich and committed scholarship. SPECULUM * This is David Aers on Wyclif and it is a message for our times. MEDIUM AEVUM * If the reconstructin of the Church's history demands examination of how Christianity ws lifed and thought beyond its institutionalised confines, the texts discussed here certainly cannot be ignored. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

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