By Andrew Cole

After the past due fourteenth century, English literature used to be essentially formed by means of the heresy of John Wyclif and his fans. This learn demonstrates how Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, John Clanvowe, Margery Kempe, Thomas Hoccleve and John Lydgate, faraway from eschewing Wycliffism out of worry of censorship or partisan distaste, considered Wycliffite rules as a pretty new highbrow source

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Extra info for Literature and Heresy in the Age of Chaucer (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature)

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46 Quite clearly, as we can now see, Wykeham’s mandate, and not Courtenay’s, is the first official publication from the Blackfriars Council. 47 With that knowledge, one of the puzzles about Courtenay’s and the Council’s procedures – the fact that no heretics were ever named in the first condemnations that decry persons “usurping the office of preacher” – is solved: Wykeham’s mandate, which comes first in the canonical sequence of documents, supplies the names of all offenders and requires that Courtenay’s mandate be understood in its light.

26 Legally speaking, however, his declarations about Wycliffites “usurping the office of preacher” are off target: there never would be “usurping” preachers within the university because there is no office of an episcopally licensed preacher to usurp, nor are there the limits of a parish within the university to violate. 28 It is also worth noting, in order to flesh out this inquiry, that there are no reports of Oxford Wycliffites disrupting sacramental ceremonies within chantries in town, as later reports would have it, nor are there accounts of any academic Wycliffites administering the sacraments in a patently heretical way, such that this canonical language would apply.

11 So much for the essence. But what of the form? ” What we have described as the “Piers Plowman sense” of “loller” seems only briefly to have been viable. Usage in the poem, and in contemporary and later writings, suggest that it was only possible for a short time in late-fourteenth century England to use “loller” as a satirical term for those who were defined by the law of Christ as the gyrovagues of the contemporary church. 12 The conclusion here is that Langland lost a discursive struggle.

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