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The Origins of Heresy
The Church and Medieval Heresy c. 1100-1437
In this course, Professor John Arnold (University of Cambridge) explores heresy and the church in Medieval Europe. In the first module, we think about the growth of heretical movements up to the beginning of the Albigensian Crusade. In the two modules that follow that, we examine two particular groups – the Cathars and the Waldensians – before turning in the fourth module to consider some of the methods used by the church to combat heresy. In the fifth module, we think about some of the records that have survive that give us an insight into the kind of people caught up in accusations of heresy, while in the sixth and final module, we think about what heresy can tell us about medieval society more broadly.
The Origins of Heresy
In this module, we think about the growth of heretical movements in Europe (and the reaction from the church) up to the beginning of the Albigensian Crusade in 1209. In particular, we focus on: (i) the events of the Albigensian Crusade and, in particular, the Massacre at Béziers on 22 July 1209; (ii) the almost total lack of any mention of heresy between the fall of Rome and the early 11th century; (iii) what the early church meant when they talked about 'heresy'; (iv) the isolated cases of heresy in the 11th century, e.g. Liutard of Vertus; (v) the figures of Henry of Lausanne and Peter of Bruys and the nature of their 'heresy' (according to the church); (vi) the importance of Augustine of Hippo's De Heresibus ('On Heretics') for providing advice on how to root out heresy and deal with heretics; (vii) the emergence of the Cathars in the late 12th century, what the believed and the extent of their support; and (viii) the growing tensions between the Catholic church and the Cathars, culminating in the launching of the Albigensian Crusade in 1209.
Cite this Lecture
Arnold, J. (2021, March 05). The Church and Medieval Heresy c. 1100-1437 - The Origins of Heresy [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-church-and-medieval-heresy-c-1100-1437/the-nature-of-heresy
Arnold, J. "The Church and Medieval Heresy c. 1100-1437 – The Origins of Heresy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 Mar 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/the-church-and-medieval-heresy-c-1100-1437/the-nature-of-heresy
University of Cambridge