By Edwin D. Craun
The past due medieval Church obliged all Christians to rebuke the sins of others, particularly those that had strength to self-discipline in Church and country: clergymen, confessors, bishops, judges, the Pope. this custom, during which the injured occasion needed to confront the wrong-doer without delay and privately, used to be often called fraternal correction. Edwin Craun examines how pastoral writing prompt Christians to make this corrective method potent via averting slander, insult, and hypocrisy. He explores how John Wyclif and his fans extended this verified perform to authorize their very own polemics opposed to mendicants and clerical wealth. eventually, he lines how significant English reformist writing - Piers Plowman, Mum and the Sothsegger, and The ebook of Margery Kempe - improved the perform to justify their protests, to guard themselves from repressive parts within the overdue Ricardian and Lancastrian Church and kingdom, and to induce their readers to mount powerful protests opposed to spiritual, social, and political abuses.
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The past due medieval Church obliged all Christians to rebuke the sins of others, specially those that had energy to self-discipline in Church and country: monks, confessors, bishops, judges, the Pope. this tradition, during which the injured celebration needed to confront the wrong-doer without delay and privately, was once often called fraternal correction.
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Extra info for Ethics and Power in Medieval English Reformist Writing
Moral theology, canon law, and other materials were all synthesized in the alphabetical compendia for preachers, the summae for confessors, and the sermons that are the main sources for our knowledge of fraternal correction in England. Because of the fundamental, unavoidable canons and biblical texts on correcting sin and because of Thomas Aquinas’s inﬂuential theological treatment, pastoral writing and preaching on fraternal correction possesses a great deal of continuity from the late thirteenth century to the mid ﬁfteenth.
Despite this continuity, I will limit pastoral sources in this and the next two chapters to those written and disseminated before , for the reasons I gave in the introduction. Let me introduce the major sources for this chapter and the next: ﬁrst, entries (those mini-treatises on fraternal correction) in collections of pastoral materials and summae for confessors, then sermons. Of the eight alphabetized compendia circulating before that contain entries, I draw on all more than once, but extensively on only three, the most capacious.
Firstly, the clergy used fraternal correction to engage the laity in reproving and reforming sinners. Secondly, pastorally promoted fraternal correction licensed subditi, including lay people, male and female, to reprove the sins of their superiors, those civil and ecclesiastical authorities who exercised disciplinary authority over them. Pastoral texts and preaching had taken fraternal correction, as a moral practice, out of the monastery and out of the religious orders and into the general life of the Church.