Book Series Medieval Church Studies, vol. 27

Religious Controversy in Europe, 1378–1536

Textual Transmission and Networks of Readership

Michael Van Dussen, Pavel Soukup (eds)

  • Pages: 350 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:17 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2013

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54428-1
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54484-7
  • E-book
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To situate religious controversy is to locate it within networks of human, material, and geographical mediations.


"Le moindre des mérites de ce livre n'est pas de faire voir ainsi la »diversité rebelle« du XVe siècle." (Olivier Marin, dans: Francia-Recensio, 2014/4, online:

" (...) All of these cautionary tales are present in this absorbing and stimulating collection of twelve essays (...) in the usual handsome Brepols style (...)" (Thomas A. Fudge, in: Parergon, 31.2, 2014, p. 217-218)

"(...) this fascinating collection (...) testifies to the fact that while manuscript studies may have a musty name, it grows as a burgeoning field whose scholarship remains vitally multidisciplinary, requiring its scholars to employ both traditional and theoretical learning. It will reward any scholars interested in the period." (Derrick Pitard, in: Renaissance Quarterly 68, 4 [2015])

"The special genius of this exciting volume is its focus on the circulation of manuscripts. The real focus is on textual communities revealed by controversial texts." (Ocker, in: Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte / Archive for Reformation History, Beiheft / Supplement: Literaturbericht / Literature Review 44, 2015, p. 12)

"Alles in allem ein sehr reichhaltiger Band, der aufzeigt, dass die Zeit von 1378 bis 1536 gerade angesichts der allüberall aufbrechenden religiösen Kontroversen als Umbruchszeit verstanden werden kann. Jeder einzelne Aufsatz ist mit einer reichhaltigen Bibliographie versehen." (Kathrin Utz Tremp, in: Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters Band DA 71-1, 2015, p. 345-346)

"Diese Publikation wird auch anspruchsvolle Leser befriedigen und ihnen neue Erkenntnisse bieten." (František Šmahel, in: Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung 43, 2016, p. 94-96)

“Finally, Michael Van Dussen's study interestingly reframes the concept of textual transmission.” (Tamás Karáth, in Sehepunkte, 22/5, 2022)




This book gathers new work by scholars who share a common interest not only in the controversial texts of the period between 1378 and 1536, but also in how the use, geographical movement, and manipulation of texts contributed materially to the formation of groups and group identities. The period covered spans the traditional medieval/early modern divide and the concomitant transition from manuscript to print. The years between the eruption of the Great Schism and the outbreak of European reformations witnessed unprecedented rifts in communities, institutions, and alliances. Yet while the crises of this period gave rise to division, they also prompted new groups to coalesce, resulting in realignments of communication networks, readership, and textual circulation in Europe. The Councils of Constance and Basel facilitated the production and dissemination of vast quantities of documents. Movements challenging the Roman Church and efforts to reform the Church from within provoked a torrent of persuasive and polemical writings which gained further momentum with the introduction of printing. These new situations also fostered the development and expression of group identities, defined by doctrine, opposition, vernacularity, and a burgeoning sense of national self-consciousness. Religious Controversy in Europe, 1378–1536 examines the textual and material circumstances of these developments.


Introduction: Textual Controversies, Textual Communities - Michael Van Dussen and Pavel Soukup

Academic Circles: Universities and Exchanges of Information and Ideas in the Age of the Great Schism - R. N. Swanson

Opera omnia: Collecting Wyclif ’s Works in England and Bohemia - Anne Hudson

Textual Transmission, Variance, and Religious Identity among Lollard Pastoralia - Fiona Somerset

Verses on the Effects of the Eucharist: Memory and the Material Text in Utraquist Miscellanies - Lucie Doležalová

The Council of Basel and Distribution Patterns of the Works of Jean Gerson - Daniel Hobbins

Wandering Heretics, Wandering Manuscripts: The Case of the Waldenses (Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries) - Marina Benedetti

Aristotle’s Tetragon: Compilation and Consensus during the Great Schism - Michael Van Dussen

The Anti-Waldensian Treatise Cum dormirent homines: Historical Context, Polemical Strategy, and Manuscript Tradition - Georg Modestin

Theology goes to the Vernaculars: Jan Hus, ‘On simony’, and the Practice of Translation in Fifteenth‑Century Bohemia - Pavlína Rychterová

‘Pars Machometica’ in Early Hussite Polemics: The Use and Background of an Invective - Pavel Soukup

University-Learning, Theological Method, and Heresy in Fifteenth-Century England - Kantik Ghosh

Philological Practice and Religious Controversy: Erasmus, Critical Reader of the Vulgate and Patristic Texts - Marie Barral-Baron