Book Series Medieval Church Studies, vol. 7

The Teaching and Impact of the 'Doctrinale' of Thomas Netter of Walden (c. 1374-1430)

Kevin J. Alban

  • Pages: 298 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:4 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English, Latin
  • Publication Year:2011

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53179-3
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57212-3
  • E-book
  • Available

The first full-scale study of theologian Thomas Netter of Walden’s Doctrinale, a work whose important response to the threat of Lollardy remained invaluable to later Counter-Reformation polemicists and apologists.


"It is heartening to know that scholars now have a solid resource at hand to which they can turn, one which will benefit a wide range of interests. And it should be said, by the way, that Brepols has done a very nice job with the production; it is a sturdy, well-printed volume with a wonderful fifteenth-century manuscript illumination on the cover depicting Netter presenting his Doctrinale to Pope Martin V. If we are indeed on the cusp of a Netter renaissance, then Alban's book will be seen to have played a significant role in that." (Ian Christopher Levy, in The Medieval Review, 11.07.21)

"Mit dem Buch, das von Verzeichnissen der ungedruckten und gedruckten Quellen sowie der Forschungsliteratur und einem Sach-, Personen und Quellenregister abgeschlossen wird, legt Kevin Alban ein solides Fundament für zukünftige Forschungen zu Thomas Netter und seinem Werk, dem weitere Aufmerksamkeit zu wünschen bleibt." (Ramona Sickert, in: Sehepunkte, 12 (2012), 15.07.2012, URL: ;)


Thomas Netter of Walden (c. 1374—1430) was a Carmelite friar, royal confessor, diplomat, religious superior, and theologian. His only extant theological work, the Doctrinale antiquitatum fidei catholicae ecclesiae contra Wiclevistas et Hussitas, was written with the purpose of combating the errors of Wyclif and his followers. For this reason, Netter’s name and work are familiar mainly to those engaged in the study of Lollardy. Outside this field, Netter is almost unknown today, yet in his lifetime he was a highly regarded churchman who, it was said, could have had the pick of any diocese in England. From his death in 1430 until the middle of the eighteenth century Netter was a much-quoted and copied author whose exposition of Catholic teaching on subjects such as the Church, religious life, and the sacraments proved useful to many Counter-Reformation polemicists and apologists. This book is the first survey of the whole of the Doctrinale and it argues that there is more to Netter than anti-Lollard polemic. The author examines the principal topics in Netter’s work —  God, humanity, Christ, the Church, religious life, prayer, the sacraments — and he makes the case that there is a definite plan which links the various parts of the Doctrinale into a whole giving it a certain theological unity.

The Very Rev. Kevin J. Alban, O. Carm. is Bursar General of the Carmelite Order. He read history at Balliol College, Oxford; he also holds degrees in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and Catholic University Leuven, and a doctorate in church history from the University of London.