Reform, Ecclesiology, and the Christian Life in the Late Middle Ages: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Reform, Ecclesiology, and the Christian Life in the Late Middle Ages

1st Edition

By Thomas M. Izbicki


286 pages

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Hardback: 9780754659488
pub: 2008-01-28
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Philosophy was not an idle venture in the Renaissance. There were no clear-cut boundaries between theory and the practice. Theologians, jurists and humanists gave opinions on practical matters from within some larger intellectual context, and many held high office. Among the writers represented here are Pope Pius II (1458-1464), Nicholas of Cusa (d. 1464) and Juan de Torquemada OP (d. 1468). All of them, and the other writers dealt with, addressed the issues of their day creatively but from within different traditions, scholastic or humanistic. The present studies deal with issues of Reform, Ecclesiology [theories about the church and its mission] and the living of the Christian life. Among the specific issues covered are the canonization of Birgitta of Sweden, the status of converts from Judaism in Spain, acceptable forms of dress for clergy and laity, and the obedience due the pope. Also studied in this collection are the writings of Spanish theologians about the indigenous populations of the New World and the use of the name of Nicholas of Cusa by Elizabethan and Jacobean writers, both Catholic and Protestant, in polemics concerning right religious teaching and submission to the English crown, a paper hitherto unpublished.


’This volume is an impressive and useful compilation, and will be a great stimulus to future research in the areas represented in the various essays.’ Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Part 1 Reform: Reform and obedience in 4 conciliar sermons by Leonardo Dati, OP; The sins of the clergy in Juan de Torquemada's Defense of the Revelations of Saint Birgitta; Forbidden colors in the regulation of clerical dress from the 4th Lateran Council (1215) to the time of Nicolas of Cusa (d.1464). Part 2 Ecclesiology: The Immaculate Conception and ecclesiastical politics from the Council of Basel to the Council of Trent: the Dominicans and their foes; A papalist reading of Gratian: Juan de Torquemada on c. Quodcunque [C. 24 q. 1 c. 6]; Cajetan's attack on parallels between church and state; Representation in Nicholas of Cusa; An ambivalent papalism: Peter in the sermons of Nicholas of Cusa; 'Their Cardinal Cusanus': Nicholas of Cusa in Tudor and Stuart polemics; Reject Aneas!: Pius II on the errors of his youth. Part 3 The Christian Life: Leonardo Dati's sermon on the Circumcision of Jesus (1417); Juan de Torquemada's defense of the conversos; Nicholas of Cusa and the Jews; The origins of the De ornato mulierum of Antonius of Florence; Salamancan relectiones in the Fernán Núñez collection; Addenda et corrigenda; Index.

About the Author

Thomas M. Izbicki is Humanities Librarian, Alexander Library, Rutgers University, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General